Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hitting the ground running

I'm hitting the ground running upon return. There is so much to do in such a short amount of time. My event - the biggest one in my nineteen years of operation by about an extra 25% - looms five weeks away. Despite all the jobs I've delegated out, most of it still falls on my shoulders, mainly, the every day work of processing orders and customer service. Because of our numbers I've had to add new things - extra classes, extra rooms, parking options - that are all more work and more money from my end. Bigger is not always better. I told my sister, until I'm rolling around in all my money naked, none of this extra work and stress feels worth it. Perhaps I'll feel differently on September 6th.

Theo is starting to use the potty, and Bobby is pretty much staying dry all night with the exception of the occasional maddening poop. I am reveling in the first event prep summer in which I am not doing childcare 100% of the time. To be honest I don't really get much work done during the daytime - I'm too acclimated to working at night at this point - but it's a great time for work phone calls and complicated errands. The other day I even got in the pool for a few minutes, a dream of mine since 2012. 

Theo is becoming quite the little man lately - he speaks in full sentences, just not ones we can understand. He is taller and thinner and no longer has his fat little belly. He and brother sleep in the same bed every night which is beyond adorable. He has become a sporadic eater and cannot sit still during mealtimes, which drives me nuts, but thankfully I went through this once before so I know what to expect.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Back to my stupid life!

Welp, I'm baaaack! 

Despite my wicked sunburn I had a really good time. I think The Big Island runs a very close second to my favorite Hawaiian island, Kauai. I picked an excellent travel companion in my friend Nancy. She was fun and up for anything and easy going. Everyone should be like this!

We saw caves, beaches, waterfalls, and volcanoes. We did a nighttime manta ray snorkel tour which was awesome. I won't lie - jumping into dark ocean water and hanging on to a questionable surfboard/pvc pipe contraption while waiting for the giant sea creatures to arrive had me a bit panicky and questioning my life choices. But they were serene and friendly and a few deep breathing exercises and I forgot that my throat felt like it was going to close up and choke me. Win win.

We did a snorkel tour of a few prime spots on Monday which was neat. I finally got a lot of use out of my snorkel set I bought during an ill-advised attempt at scuba diving some years ago. With the help of a 30spf t shirt I managed to do no further damage to my crimson back. When I go back to any part of Hawaii I am wearing these every time I go to the beach. Not sexy at all but it's clear to me now that sunscreen cannot be trusted that close to the equator, not for me anyway.

Highlights? Pretty much everything we did was awesome, thanks to extensive research on TripAdvisor and Yelp. Every attraction was fun and all the restaurants top notch. Between this and gps, vacations are a snap these days. How did we ever function without them???

First black sand beach! Fascinating! And with turtles...

A blissful moment on Hapuna beach before I burned the shit out of myself...

Farmer's market in Waimea where I bought $70 worth of jams that should show up in two weeks - yippee!

Rainbow Falls where I want to spend a whole day next time:

And Kapopo tide pools, also worth an entire day but we ran out of time:

Lovely birthday dinner on Sunday at Merrimen's in Waimea - I turned 44 in style!

Snorkeling around Captain Cook monument - crazy reef that drops off to over 120 feet deep:

Kaumana caves with graffiti from the teens and twenties:

And a final lovely sunset dinner on the beach last night:

It was a great trip. The pain from sunburn on my back and legs put a little damper on things, but didn't ruin it. Also having to drive two hours to get anywhere kind of sucked - they don't call it The Big Island for nothin' - but allowed for lots of good conversation and roadside discoveries. We would have had to spend a month there to even begin to get through all of the things I wanted to see and do. Guess I'll just have to come back a few more times! 

I read The Course of Love written by the guy who spoke on the This American Life episode about relationships that changed my life, and it was excellent. I also chipped away at The Denial of Death which was fascinating. Can't wait to really delve into that once my event is over.

Speaking of my event...well, a million people are signed up* (*slight exaggeration) and that's great and all, but it's causing lots of logistical problems. Our discounted room block is sold out and everyone is freaking out because they thought they still had a month to get a room. I am trying to arrange an overflow situation at a hotel nearby. The contests are filling up, and I have decided to spend the $10,000 or so to add another class track just to take the pressure off the other now overcrowded classes. Everyone wants special considerations, partial refunds, their own hotel room, me to fix all their problems and make everything ok. Oh, and I was called out online for suggesting on my website that it's not polite to turn down a dance and then turn around and dance with someone else - common dance floor etiquette that has been blown up into an attack on women having control of their own bodies and that I'm condoning rape culture. Yes. This is the kind of crap I have to deal with. Good times. So yeah, the event is successful and that's great and everything, but ughhhhhhhh

The BF snuck cute birthday and anniversary cards in my luggage and signed one from the boys. Awwww. 

The boys did great in my absence and even tried some new foods (yay). I admit I did miss them a lot and got a little weepy looking at all the tanned little kids running around on the beach, thinking about what a kick they would get out of it. I really hope we can have some lovely visits there with extended family someday. But for now my perhaps last single gals' trip was a blast and I'm so glad I went. 

Now...back to my stupid life!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Look at it!!!

Behold the wonder that is Fire Girl!!!

Today on the Big Island (Hapuna Beach to be exact) I got the worst sunburn of my entire life. This is after conscientiously re-applying my SPF 50 sunscreen several times to avoid this. WTF did they put in that bottle, baby oil with iodine? Jesus Christ. And now I look like a fucking idiot who doesn't know how to apply sunscreen. Good times.

In other news, pretty much everything about this trip has been awesome. Details to follow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Countdown to The Big Island

Everything in my life right now is about two things - my price increase for my event happening tomorrow night, and then my trip to Hawaii the following day.

It's been a busy time. Right about now is when my event becomes a full time job. Numbers are very good - but big events come with big problems. My room block at the hotel has sold out, which means I have several hundred people who are used to booking their rooms at the last minute who are going to be sorely disappointed - and who will expect me to do something about it. So far the hotel has been happy to add rooms. I'm just hoping this will hold up at least for the duration of my trip.

I leave for what was supposed to be my birthday/anniversary trip with my boyfriend on Thursday; instead I'm taking my friend Nancy. He is super bummed but, after all, he's the one who told me to find someone else to take. Thankfully I did, and have spent weeks on TripAdvisor looking for things to do. We're doing a nighttime manta ray snorkel and a fancy dinner on my actual birthday on Sunday and hopefully lots of beaches and volcano hiking. The forecast looks like nothing but rain for our entire trip which doesn't thrill me, but hey. Can't look a free trip in the mouth, right?

Theo has decided he wants to sleep up in the top bunk with his brother. It scares the crap out of me because he still falls a lot and I can just picture him tumbling out of there. But, just try ripping a screaming two-year-old out of a top bunk and keeping him down in his bed on the floor at ten o'clock at night...I, for one, do not have the energy. 

Things are good with the BF. He planned a nice belated birthday party for me at a cool local bowling alley the weekend after I get back. I'm having a much better time with him since I adjusted my attitude. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Lowered Expectations

I have spent this time not seeing the BF to do lots of research in the way of reading articles, listening to podcasts, and interviewing friends and family about their relationships to see what is that magical formula that makes people stay together.

Mostly people just contradict themselves. Or you unwittingly open yourself up to a diatribe on how terrible their relationship actually is. But then I listened to the This American Life episode titled Choosing Wrong and all of a sudden it all clicked into place for me. The opening segment features a British writer and psychologist who very bluntly states that most people have wildly unrealistic expectations about what relationships are supposed to be like, and that is why they largely fail. That in a relationship you will often find yourself feeling not understood, lonely, and in despair, and you may even think if only you met the right person everything would just fall into place and be easy. And that's total bullshit.

This guy says his wife wore a black dress to their tenth wedding anniversary saying it was a funeral for many of her hopes and dreams. 

I fucking love these people.

I then sat down and wrote a meticulous list of everything I liked and didn't like about the BF, being brutally honest on both fronts. And in reading it I noticed that there were many petty annoyances on the "con" side, but many very large and often rare qualities on the "pro" side - how I trust him with every ounce of my being to be loyal and faithful and always put us first, how he never makes me feel insecure or unloved, how he's a hard worker and lives to take care of people, how we have the same value system and world view, how hot we still are for each other, etc etc. 

He's a really good guy and a great asset in our lives. It would be lovely to be a real family with him. 

Can I live with him being a vaper and not a smoker? Yes, yes I can.

He came by Friday night and, as we've done so many times before, hashed it out with a lot of compassion and understanding. I had him listen to Choosing Wrong and he agreed with it completely. He is still not smoking and working on resolving his back tax issues. He's doing everything I've asked of him. So we talked about making a plan for him to move in some months from now when we both feel he's succeeded in correcting these deal breakers that got us into this mess in the first place. 

So nothing is set in stone as of right now, but we're talking about moving forward. Which feels good now whereas a couple of weeks ago it didn't. I just had to really see him and us clearly and get a realistic view of what a real adult relationship should be like. Which is - not perfect and constantly causing you explosive joy. God knows my kids didn't bring constant joy into my life - quite the opposite, especially lately. Why should I expect that of another complex adult?

We're going to see some fireworks tonight. I hope it signifies a new start for us as a couple and a family.