Weekend Update

My friend was supposed to come help me pack up my room today, but she got food poisoning and had to cancel. :( So, I suppose I should jump into the task myself, but that's why I welcomed her help - because it's easier to accomplish with moral support (and a kick in the butt).  The move date of October 3rd is fast approaching!

I did spend several hours today making my famous "Eggplant Enchiladas" from the Moosewood Cookbook, as well as cooking up a few potatoes I had in the fridge into a yummy onion/garlic/cheese/mushroom potato skillet dish.  Taking a break and then going to work out.  I have been going three times a week pretty consistently. 

Yesterday, I finally bought a decent yoga-type workout shirt and pants, so I don't feel so ratty.  I also bought a short-sleeve t-shirt dress with lightweight leather-type material (pleather?) on the sleeves, which I think will look cute with my boots.  I so rarely buy clothes these days, it felt good to get something new.

On Thursday, I took Zoey over to the new house to meet J (my new housemate) and start getting a feel for the place.  The two dogs - one belonging to J and one to his boyfriend - stayed in the backyard.  We are trying to do things incrementally, so the next step will be to meet one or both of the dogs on neutral territory like a park and/or on a walk.  Honestly, I am pretty anxious about it.  Even though I've had Zoey for a couple years now, I am no expert on dog behavior, and she hasn't spent much time socializing with other dogs.  She loves people, but the experiences she's had meeting dogs on walks have been mixed.  Sometimes great and other times, she gets jumpy and they bark.  The worst instance was with another Boston who started growling and then they tangled up leashes and went 'round and 'round in circles growling/snarling.  I thought they were going to kill each other but no biting actually happened.  Oh and then I tried to arrange a playdate with another male Boston and Zoey growled and snarled at him when he got up in her space.  I've since learned I shouldn't have introduced them on her "turf," and also this dog was a scrappy-looking rescue dog who lived with two pit-bulls, so I don't think his behavior was great. 

Anyway, I feel so responsible for her and don't want her hurt in anyway.  But I don't think my anxiety helps the situation sometimes!  At least we are trying to be conscious and follow the "expert's" advice on how to introduce dogs for the first time.  Fingers crossed!  I think if she is able to acclimate with the other dogs, it could be really fun for her to have playmates.

On the people front, J and I went to a play together a week or so ago, as well as talking more during the Thursday visit... Remember what I said about him being an actor and extrovert and sometimes dominating the conversation?  Well, it has unfortunately been the case.  He is a really sweet guy and has had a hard time with his partner passing away last year.  But I am not really interested in being a "groupie" or playing his audience all the time, you know?  He seems to love to "hold court" and expound on any number of subjects, seeking attention and sympathy whenever possible. 

When I was there Thursday, he asked about a date I had the week prior, and I had just begun to share about it when he jumped in and started talking about how he and his partner met in their church community and why it was such a great way to meet, etc.  I tried to pick up the thread I had started to talk about when he interrupted again with a raised voice and further explained his point of view.  Argh!  I'm trying to cut him slack because I imagine any talk about dating and relationships might bring up intense feelings for him around the loss of his partner, but I do like to be heard and seen in a conversation, as well.  Not sure if he will be around enough - as mentioned, he will be spending a lot of time at his new partner's house - but I may need to make a request of some sort if it continues?  We will see, but it was the first time I felt a twinge of nervous "Buyer's Remorse" about my new living situation...

Off to work out!  Hope you are all enjoying your Saturdays!


Philosophical Ruminations

Do you all think it's true that the more vulnerable you are, the more "belonging" you will feel in groups or within a couple?  This is something that seems to be coming up for me in different contexts: I read about it, talked to others about it, and it came up last night in my InterPl@y group, as well.  The idea being that as we show both our weaknesses and strengths, we can experience acceptance and truly being known.  And, in a chicken and egg equation, the more self-acceptance we feel, the more authentic and vulnerable we are able to be.  I think there might be truth to this... I know I experienced the opposite - a feeling of self-consciousness, separateness, and lack of acceptance - in my leadership group when I was "triggered" or feeling small and not good about myself.  I would like to increase my self-acceptance, ability to be vulnerable, and my sense of belonging in my friendships and groups.  Can I make a mid-year resolution?

Another, even bigger, question: What gives our lives meaning, and what specifically will give my life meaning, if not ttc and motherhood?  I have been thinking lately about how focused I was for so long (many years) on trying to get pregnant, and, as frustrating as the process could be, how it gave my life direction and meaning.  Researching fertility, donors (or male fertility for S), procedures.  Tracking my bbt and other fertility signs, then hyper-analyzing possible indications of pregnancy.  Talking to others, supporting and being supported by others through the journey.  It all added up to a LOT of time, energy, and, yes, meaning.  The chance of success was so exciting and trying for the goal of a child definitely fueled a fire within me.  What fuels my fire now?  At the moment, nothing that comes close to that level of engagement.

Do I need to take some dramatic action to change my life?  Right now, I feel somewhat stuck in a rut, and have felt that way for a while, even during the last part of when I was with S.  The activism I did with S did feel meaningful and exciting, which I haven't been involved with since.  Do you ever feel like you just go to work, plan for work, eat, sleep, watch TV?  Okay, I also participate in dance and theater groups once a week and am now working out a couple times....going out with friends here and there.  But our day-to-day activities are the meat of our lives.  My career counseling work is enjoyable and has some meaning, but it's not enough; I need more juice.

And this upcoming move feels like a parallel one.  My new living situation - the houseshare with my theater teacher in Al@meda, which will be confirmed when I meet his partner but is 90% likely, will be similar to this one in many ways: living with a guy who's in a relationship and gone much of the time; small two-bedroom, one bath house with a backyard; nice couch and TV setup in the living room just beckoning for my butt to sit down and watch.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful!  The rent is right, I am friends with my new housemate, Zoey has her backyard, the house is pretty nice.  But part of me hoped this move would be more of a shake-up; that I would end up in a significantly different, more close-knit friendship/community-type situation.  The one BIG difference is the neighborhood.  It's MUCH nicer and more walkable.  LOTS of fun restaurants, coffee shops, stores, hangout places, and the beach is close-by.  So maybe I will get out more and feel less insular.

But I feel like I need MORE of a shake-up or to find something that gives my life more purpose and meaning.  A relationship would be a good start, but I can't force that.  I am not in a stable enough place at the moment to think seriously of pursuing having a child (in ways that don't involve my own eggs).  Anyone else felt like this?