Friday, August 28, 2009

Do What?

So I'm walking around the campus of my office this week.. and I really appreciate that my client is so active in the community. They are environmentally conscious and when you're working on warehouse/manufacturing real estate requirements- it makes me sleep a little better at night. All in all, they are a great company that cares about the community, their employees and the value of their product. So as far as clients go- I couldn't really ask for more.

I office on site with Frito Lay in Plano. The campus is nice... and the biggest perk is that we get a free bag of chips every day- even though I try to refrain. So I'm making one of my 10,000+ trips to the restroom every day because I drink a lot of water.. and everywhere in the hallway are these fliers

I think to myself... hmm? We're really going to raise money for the Heart Walk by selling Frito Chili Pie.. Never mind that Fritos (while tasty on occassion) have a boat load of fat, calories, oil, and salt..before we add the chili or the cheese.

We're all going to be heart patients after this... good thing we're raising money. Holla!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We're Just Friends

I turned on Good Morning America last week and was somewhat shocked that Steve Harvey had joined the crew. His segment on this particular day was addressing "can men and women just be friends?" and his new book: Act like a Lady- Think like a Man. The segment started off by bringing up the classic movie When Harry Met Sally and how Billy Crystal proclaimed early on that men and women can't be friends- because the sex part always gets in the way.

I grabbed my coffee, put my laptop down and settled in to see what would happen on GMA. My girlfriend called me and shouted "are you watching this?" uh huh. I was.

Check it out:

Basically, Steve Harvey said that when considering outside relationships you have to ask yourself "What good does this relationship bring to your marriage"
I think this is an intriguing point of contention. It has been debated by my closest friends and I. It's been an issue in relationships for a very long time What's appropriate? What's inappropriate? Especially when there is a vast amount of gray area on either side.

I work in a predominately male field. When I travel, I'm usually the only female on the trip. When I'm in meetings it's usually me and the boys. I don't mind it. My brother trained me well. So my rules are generally, if it's a business lunch, drink, or dinner- I sort of have to go- but I think there is absolutely a way to be respectful of your relationship with it. Stay for one or two drinks instead making a night of it. Invite someone else from the office to go with you for lunch. But above all I think it's about communication.. when you fail to disclose the plans- you create doubt.

I had a very good friend that I worked with when I started out in the industry. We were close. He mentored me on how to do a deal. We crossed over to being more than business friends. I only ever thought of him as a friend. We would get lunch a couple of times a week. We would occasionally go for happy hour. When I started dating my now ex husband- he let me know that he'd like to be more than friends.. I was taken a back. I didn't think of it like that? It was then that my good friend educated me-- he said "Ashley- men never take a friendship to the level of ours if they don't want something more." I sort of lost one of my good friends. Sure, even after this we still had the occasional lunch and ran into each other at business happy hours, but it wasn't ever the same. He later married and we didn't see each other for the first several years of his marriage (other than at business functions). But he called me last week, and wants to have lunch.. I politely made sure this was something he'd cleared with his wife (because I know and respect her), and if I go- I'll let my significant other know. He's a business colleague and it is all about networking- but some might consider this crossing the line? (Especially those interviewed on the show)

Regardless, I think the key to maintaining or having relationships with people of the opposite sex is to never act in a way that would cause your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/special friend/person or any of the above to doubt your intentions. If your significant other read that text or email- would they have an issue? Could it be misunderstood? If they knew you had lunch,dinner, or drinks with that person would it make them uncomfortable? If you're seeking out situations that are socially okay to flirt with the opposite sex are you really happy and fulfilled in your own relationship?

What's okay with business friendships or friendships with the opposite sex in general? Can Men and Women just be friends? I think so. Especially if it's friend of your "relationship" meaning you both know and have something in common with the person or they are a couple friend.

OR you could take Steve Harvey's approach and just not do it. I'd love to get your comments! Most of my blog followers have had successful, affair proof marriages- so let me know what you think!

Happy Monday! Holla!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I should have stayed in bed

I should have stayed in bed this morning. As the alarm chimed in at a little before 7am I was having a great dream about a home purchase and my plans to make it awesome...then I woke up.

Cole had a couple of crying out bursts last night, and the dogs were restless combine the two and I was up every couple of hours... and when you're someone who needs a good solid 7 hours of sleep- this was mistake no. 1.

Marketing Boy is in LA today pitching some new business so I had Joey plus his dog Dude. I let the pups out this morning.. fed them.. watered them... took my shower..watched some GMA while getting ready for the day. Downed some coffee... all in all a normal morning. The dogs now have a dog run in the back part of my back yard.. I go out through the garage and to the side gate to let them in and out.

Cole and I are in a hurry to get out the door today. I'm trying to meet up with Chris for a Cole exchange and make it to work for a meeting. We go out through the garage- he can now climb into his car seat- the plan was for me to let the dogs out of the yard- let them into the house and buckle Cole in..

Mistake No. 2- Cole and I left the door between the house and the garage open. Picture it.. open garage door.. open door into the house.. open car door where my kid is waiting for me to buckle him in (all within 10 feet of each other ) I trot over the gate to let my puppies out... if you're really picturing it- you should know that I was in a hurry this morning and was walking around without the strap of my sandal/heel buckled.. white button down shirt.. white skirt with flowers on it...

As I open the gate, I unknowingly release two 45 pound mud balls who are suppose to be Australian Shepards...they are excited and greet me by jumping up on me.. knock me down.. I land smack on my *ss.. they manage to give me a muddy puppy greeting and they are making a mad dash into my house...

It's slow motion at this point " NNNNNOOOOO" I yell. I jump up and run in after them.. it's at this point that I cross over to crazy... I'm fairly pissed and start trying to get the dogs to obey.. no such luck. They ran laps through my house-- muddy... it's at this point that I vaguely remember cussing and finally getting them and herding them into their kennels (i'm not proud). Apparently I was really loud because when I went to the open door to collect my kiddo he was sitting in his car seat with his hand over his mouth looking like "who is this crazy woman masquerading as my mom?"

Acting like a crazy person was probably mistake no. 3. I call Chris- she's a saint, and nearby and offers to come collect Cole... there is some relief.

When she got to my house- it was clear that the Tasmanian Devil just destroyed it. I give Cole hugs.. send him on his way.. and then I decide to just sit down with my muddy skirt, my muddy legs, hands and house and cry... I'm seriously contemplating dropping the dogs at the pound on my way to work. It's not necessarily the dogs that made me want to cry.. More like it's just the icing on my two weeks of crappiness as a cake. There's no way for me to get cleaned up, change my clothes and get to work in time for my meeting.. I was looking like a mess... I had muddy dog prints in EVERY room of my house.. and two muddy dogs in kennels staring me down.

It's morning like this that you just have to declare defeat. Sometimes you just need to cry and move's cleansing sometimes.. I wasn't sure what to do first, clean up the house before the muddy dog prints set into my Berber carpet-or scrap it and get my butt to work? Did I mention I only had my carpets cleaned two months ago?

It doesn't really matter what happened next... but I made peace with the dogs before I left, they forgave me and I didn't leave them at the pound or post a ad on Craigslist.. and I have more mess to clean up when I get home..

I'm a lucky girl and I know it.. but here lately I feel like all I do is try to clean up the mess I've made of my life. But like my muddy house, dogs, and self- I'll figure it out. We all have to... right?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Formative Years

Of raising children, I often heard, that you have until they are about seven to mold them into the people they will become. If by 7 you haven't established yourself as someone to be respected, trusted and your expectations of them- it's almost too late. I don't know that I completely agree with this, but my kid is only almost three. I'd like to think I have longer than these "formative" years to make an impact- but I guess it's any one's guess.

Here's what I know about Cole: He's a pretty good, well mannered, disciplined kid. Sure, we have our moments, and there are times- but for the most part if I communicate to him what the plan is and my expectations- we're pretty ok.

Discipline is a very child specific thing. Some kids just looking at them wrong causes them much duress. Some children taking away privileges works. Some kids are just so wrapped up in their own wants and needs it feels like you always have to yell at them to get their attention. My brother, for example, was so busy that the only way my mother could get through was to spank him. For me, I wanted to please my parents so much- all they really had to do was tell me I had disappointed them, but I received my fair share of spankings as well...

I absolutely hate to reprimand Cole. I want him to love me and think I'm the greatest thing ever, but here's the honest truth..for any parent. I think discipline is about loving your child enough to teach them the right way to behave, interact, appreciate, respect, and the boundaries. BUT it surely sucks when your dishing it out.

This morning, Cole and I were on the way to work and for me to drop him off. We drove thru my Starbucks for my iced coffee (I found a new Starbucks). Cole already had a granola bar in his hand, and a toasted bagel packed in his bag for breakfast " Mama I want a donit" (not a type o- that's how he says it) "Not today Cole. You have a granola bar and I packed a bagel for you." He looked at me.. with the look. Huffed and said "Fine."

My head nearly spun off my body. Oh no he didn't?!? A teenager this is probably to be expected... but I had this flash back to the obnoxious toddler sitting on the plane behind me on the way to Connecticut last week and how he was totally disrespecting his mother the entire flight. I threw the car in park and turned around to look at him. We had our chat. He cried. I got a "yes ma'am" out of him. Lots of sniffles.

I hadn't even had enough coffee yet.. and I'm already dishing out the discipline??!! It's mornings like these that "I love him enough" becomes my mantra.

Well- there's work to be done. I've only made it through most of my emails and made my to do list for the day. Holla!

The Year

August 6, 2009

Greetings. I blog. I write. Then I don't post them or forget to or am scatter brained and don't get to it. Sometimes I write as a cleansing process and I think "meh" I don't need to write that and I delete... but it's part of my journey.

Written/Blogged July 1

Over a year ago. I got dressed as I would any other day. I had arrangements for someone to be with Cole and I drove to the courthouse. I was number two on the docket. My friends and family had offered to come with me, but there comes a point where you have to stand on your own, and accept it . At 31, after six years of marriage, I stood before the judge and had to say that my marriage was beyond repair. I had to acknowledge that it had failed, but that the terms of the decree outlined what was fair and in the best interest of our child. The judge stamped it, signed it, and handed the decree back to me.. 60 seconds somehow erased 6 years. I walked it down for it to be filed away and just like that- it was done. I almost forgot that it has been over a year, probably because it was over long before it was final.

Leaving that courthouse I knew that Cole's care would be mine. I knew that a part of me had died. I knew that the guilt would surround me and I knew that I would spend a lot of time praying. I knew that the next year was going to be hard and that it would take the of support from my friends and family for me to get through it. That support started about two hours later when one of my best girlfriends came over to help me re-paint my bedroom..a perfect shade of yellow. I need happy colors around me. Sometimes you need new scenery and a new beginning. My new beginning sort of started that night.

Last summer was hard, but I made it through. By late summer, early fall things were definitely starting to look up. My dark cloud was becoming a lighter shade of gray. I started to realize I could move on.

Grace Eventually
A long time ago, I took a vow before God and everyone who loved me and a year ago when I stood before that judge I essentially said " You know.. I was just kidding about that.." My albeit simplistic interpretation of the Bible is: divorce is wrong. I researched, read and re read every book, chapter and verse that talked about divorce. I didn't really have an approved "out" biblicaly speaking. I struggled with this for a very long time. How could I feel totally embraced spiritually when I was going against His word? I realize I'm human... and on some crazy level I know I will be forgiven for my daily sins.. the small ones..but this to me was fairly huge.

Grace is an amazing gift. I asked for it daily. I offered it up to Will in the way I've dealt with things. And one day I decided to forgive myself and I'm almost there.

Here's what I've learned about prayer.... For the first time in my life I never prayed for what I thought Cole or I needed or wanted. I just prayed for His presence in my life and Cole's. I prayed for guidance and for the right path to be revealed for us. While it has been a struggle of a journey-I feel like it has. A year ago I had lost so much emotionally, spiritually and financially, but now I have so much more than I ever could have imagined. Just a year later.

I'm a big fan of Anne Lamott. One of her books usually resides on my nightstand (in the pile). In her book Grace Eventually she says this: "Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can't imagine."

Give it a try (not the divorce part, but the prayer part). Sometimes in life you can't possibly fathom what is in store for you.