Tuesdays Are Back!!

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Disregard all the mess on my coffee table.  The important part if this picture is the empty bottle of Port and the two delicious looking drinks!

Eric and I have been together for almost 4 years now, 4 years next month.  When we first go together our lives were hectic and we had our group of friends around us much of the time.  It was hard to find that time alone.  So just several weeks into our relationship we came up with our Tuesday Wine Nights.  Tuesday was a night that he didn’t have ban practice, and my roomates at the time did have practice and were gone, so we made that our night.  A night for Eric and Bobbi and nothing else.  As much as our lives have changed since then, that is a tradition we still carry on.

There have been some nights here and there where we have had to postpone or make it up another night because of work schedules or other things, but for the most part we always have that time together.  After we moved here to Virginia Beach, we started to mix it up a bit and take turns planning out the activities for the evening.  What we would do for dinner, cook together, go out, or maybe a picnic on the beach, scrabble on the balcony… just taking turns planning the night.

Along the way, we have somehow gotten away from the habit of taking turns, but we still set aside that evening together for us.

Last Tuesday was one of the best Tuesday wine nights we have had in a long time.  It was an absolutely perfect night!  Just what I needed, and what we needed.  I got home from work and we ran out to pick up our mead for Saturday’s Summer Solstice camping celebration and stopped at the store to grab something to make for dinner.  Homemade garlic and onion pizza and Port!  We ate our pizza out on the balcony until it started to rain on us.  We talked together to plan our upcoming camping trip and things we needed while listening to awesome music. We had dinner, finished up our bottle of Port then played with the girls for a while.  They all three were so happy to have mom and dad home together, and to be getting a lot of attention too.. especially Nefertiti.  Then we gave them some treats, making them even happier!

After finishing up our Port, we had some yummy frozen drinks in my favorite cactus cups.  Blue Hawaiian and Hurricanes while We watched the finale of The Voice, to find out the winner before it was shared on face book and tv… even though we don’t usually watch tv or tune into the real world on our Tuesday nights.

Definitely what I needed, what we needed!

Summer Solstice Celebration Camping Trip

What an amazingly incredibly wonderful trip!

After two bottles of mead and a six pack of beer 🙂

Eric and I went camping to celebrate the Summer Solstice.  He had class Saturday morning, so while he was at class I spent the morning getting the food all ready and everything all packed up.  When he got home we packed up and headed out.  It started to look like it might rain, but we were lucky and it didn’t rain on us at all the entire night!  We had a spectacular full moon, a supermoon in fact!

Amazing full moon

This was the first time we had ever camped at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.  It is as close as you can get to camping on the beach, I think.  We checked in and drove around to find the perfect spot.  Reservations are not site specific so they tell you what area has openings and you go find what you want, and claim it.  The majority of the sites were already booked up since I believe it was a sold out weekend, but we ended up finding a great spot.  And we got lucky enough to have the campsite beside us vacant so it helped to feel a little more secluded and private.

First thing first, time for a beer!  We cracked open a couple bottles of Yuengling, made a toast to us and our weekend and begun our celebration!  We got the car all unpacked and started to put up the tent.  Ha ha ha That crazy little pop up tent took us probably about 45 minutes to put up.  Time for another beer.  It appears everywhere we tried to put the stakes in, there was a rock bed under the dirt so we had to keep moving it around to find a spot where we could get the stakes through the ground.

Before dinner, there were a couple of trees calling my name!  I Love Love Love climbing trees!

Time to fire up the grill and get dinner started and open up the mead.  After a delicious dinner of tofu pups, grilled veggies, corn on the cob, and a steak for Eric we lit up the camp fire.  We had so much fun just sitting by the fire on a blanket on the ground, drinking mead, talking and enjoying the moment.  Enjoying each other.

Our Summer Solstice tradition is fire and mead.  In whatever form available to us.  This year we tried something different enough and new and went camping, to have the real fire, rather than just the fire from our grill.

Fire and Mead!

We used the greenery from our Winter Solstice Yule Log to get the fire started and after the fire was roaring we burned our Yule Log in our fire.  It is said to bring good look and prosperity in the upcoming year, and we decided that rather than burning our log on the Winter Solstice, we would save it until the Summer Solstice and then burn it.  The start of a nice new tradition for us!

Burning our Yule Log from Winter Solstice

After two bottles of mead, a six pack of beer, a delicious grilled dinner, quality time by the fire with the one you love, climbing trees, peeing outside in nature, and toasting marshmallows we decided to take a walk around our campground loop and find the beach.  It was probably sometime after midnight and the campground was so quiet and peaceful.  Pretty much everyone was already asleep and it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.  We walked along the beach and out to the ocean with the brightness of the full moon guiding our way.

It was a perfect night.  Everything was incredible.  I feel so happy and blessed to have such an amazing time.  I got up early this morning… unfortunately not early enough to see the sunrise… but early enough to light up the grill and make some fried rosemary potatoes and onions and peppers with some coffee for breakfast before we had to check out.

It was definitely just what Eric and I needed, especially after some of the difficulties we have had.  Communing with nature is the perfect remedy to help combat any of that leftover negative energy still residing inside.  To just get away from the “real world”, focus on the two of us and forget about everything else.

 

 

Summer Solstice = Fire and Mead…and Dancing!

The Summer Solstice is Friday June 21, 2013.  The Summer Solstice is a major celestial event in which civilizations have celebrated the great power of the sun for centuries.  Also known as Midsummer, this day marks the first day of summer.  It is also the longest day and the shortest night of the year.  The word Solstice is derived from Latin meaning sun to stand still,  Sol+stice = Sun + to stand still.  As the day lengthens the sun rises higher and higher in the sky until it seems to stand still, at its highest point in the sky.

Early Celtic civilizations celebrated  the first day of summer with dancing and bonfires, helping to increase the sun’s energy.   Chinese honored Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light.  Druids would celebrate the day as a marriage of Heaven and Earth, resulting in a modern-day belief that it is “lucky” to have a wedding in June.  Every year, thousands of people gather at Stonehenge at sunrise where the sunrise is welcomed and Summer Solstice is celebrated.

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

Pagan and earth-based tradition festivals take place where groups of people gather to light a sacred fire and stay up all night long to welcome the dawn.  Oak is the wood of choice, the oak tree is associated with strength, stability and the sun.  Celebrations included bonfires where couples would leap through the flames with the belief that their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump.  It is also believed that the bonfires have great power and that prosperity and protection cold be received by jumping over them.  Cold embers from fires were charms against injury and bad weather during harvests. They were placed around fields and orchards of crops to protect them and ensure abundance.   The ashes of the fire can also be spread on the garden, said to aid in fertility, and walking through the smoke of the fire was traditionally believed to cure sickness and bring good fortune.

Newly married couple jumping through the flames of a bonfire.

Midsummer is thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear.  To rid them off, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers.  Pagans believe it is an excellent time for weddings, communicating with nature spirits and divination.  It is believed that the boundaries between the worlds are thin and the portals between them are open, especially at twilight.

One other traditional Summer Solstice activity was doing cartwheels down a hillside.  In this tradition, the wheel represents the wheel of life.    Some modern celebrations include a wheel firework display, very appropriate for this “fire festival”!

Pagan Solstice Wheel

Pagans called the Midsummer moon the “Honey Moon” for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice.

There are many different types of celebrations or festivals to celebrate the Summer Solstice.   I love the Summer Solstice and the Pagan idea of it rooted in nature and honoring Mother Nature.  I love to develop my own celebrations or rituals to celebrate days like this.

When Eric and I got together, I wanted to come up with a celebration ritual for the two of us to enjoy each year.  I took a couple of the ideas of what Summer Solstice is and put them together for something fun for us.  With it being the “festival of fire” and a day to celebrate the power and energy of the sun i wanted to incorporate fire into our celebration.  Living in an apartment, it was always hard to create a bonfire so we decided on a simple fire ceremony involving our charcoal grill and whatever food we choose to grill!  Another aspect i incorporated into our ritual was the drinking of Mead, which is Honey Wine.  The Pagans called the midsummer moon the “honey moon” named after the honey wine Mead drink that was a popular drink as part of summer solstice wedding ceremonies.

FireMead

Each year our Summer Solstice celebration will consist of Fire and Mead!  I am sure it is something we will continue each year, maybe modifying or adding something to adjust our lifestyle at that time, but it will always include Fire and Mead!

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These are the two kinds of mead I got for this year!

This year, on Saturday the 22nd, rather than the 21st (because of schedules) Eric and I are going to go camping for the night.  We are going to build a great fire, burn our yule log from the Winter Solstice, drink our mead and dance together around the fire!  Too bad we will be in a public state park…  because drinking mead and dancing around the fire….NAKED… sounds like the perfect medicine for all that ales..  😉 I am really excited about this celebration, ready to climb a tree and pee outside!  And to celebrate the Summer Solstice with the man of my dreams.

We saved our Yule log from Winter Solstice and will start our fire with the wood from our Yule log.  Saving the Yule log is said to bring good luck, then to burn it during the following Summer Solstice helps to release the past and move forward.  Something that would definitely be beneficial for Eric and myself.

Find a way to celebrate the Summer Solstice.  Whether it be rooted in religion or nature get out and enjoy the longest day of the year!

My Challenge For “This Life”

Maybe I need to look at this whole thing more as a challenge.  As a test of my strength.  Of all the things that I have learned over the years and all the lessons I have had to teach myself.  Maybe it is meant to be a reminder to me of the strong independent woman who I am.

In my life, my biggest weaknesses/areas for growth are my patience and my inability to control my emotions.  This is a test of both of those things.  In order to become my best self, I must overcome all obstacles, especially those that are the most difficult to me.  If I am unable to achieve that goal in this live, I am subject to dealing with these same struggles in my next life, and each life after that until I finally am able to overcome.

I do believe that each life we are given (because I fully believe in reincarnation) we have a goal to work towards.  An area within ourselves to overcome and perfect.  Maybe this is my goal for this current life here on earth.

I have strength, I have spirit, I have persistence, dedication and determination.  My thoughts are what can become destructive.  This too, is a challenge I can overcome.

Crying Over Crabs

Last night, my neighbor made me cry.

Sitting alone in my apartment I heard a knock at the door.  The girls scattered and I quickly threw on pants that happened to be inside out.  I answered the door and saw my neighbor standing in the hallway.  My neighbor who almost burned down our whole apartment building because she left the fire on under a pot and left.  The neighbor who, when she opens up her door you can smell garbage coming from her apartment.  The neighbor who I am pretty sure is the reason why we find roaches in our apartment.  The neighbor whose bratty little daughter stomps down the steps and slams her door at all hours of the day.

I think you get the picture.  She is not one of my favorite people.  Well she said, with a frantic look in her face and a bowl in one hand and tongs in the other, “are you afraid of crabs?”  I said no.  She asked if I would help her, a crab got loose.  So I said yes, of course.  I am never one to turn my back when someone asks me for help, even if it is someone I don’t care much for.

I followed her into her apartment.  She is giggling and screeching like a teenage girl.  Her apartment is just as messy and dirty as I imagined it to be.  She led me into the kitchen where there was a huge crab on the floor.  She screamed again and started prancing around and asked me if I could help her catch the crab.  I took the bowl from her hand and picked up the poor little guy and put it in the bowl for her.  I then asked her what she wanted me to do with in now.  She asked me to throw it into the pot of boiling water.  When I said no, she took the bowl from me and threw the crab into the water… then asked me if I wanted one.  I told her no and left.

Then I went back to my apartment and cried.  I helped her catch and kill that poor little scared creature.  I feel so horrible.  Yes, I helped out a neighbor in need, but I also was an accomplice to the murder of that helpless creature.  My heart hurts over that, and I am deeply saddened by my part his end.

Changing My State of Mind…

Change my state of mind, change my thinking… in order to change my behaviors and to change my emotions.  It has to work, because I am grasping at straws right now.  I am teetering on the edge and need to pull myself back over.  I need help pulling myself back over.

The love of my life told me that my negative thinking is clouding my mind.  I need to change my state of mind and everything else will fall into place.  That a lot of the issues we have in our relationship are due to my own negative thinking and frame of mind.

I am typically a pretty positive person.  However, as of late my emotions are very raw and vulnerable.  My relationship is in trouble and I am not sure how to mend what is broken.  When I love, I love with my whole entire heart.  That love that I share with someone is the most important thing in my life.  My relationship is my priority and that thing that means the most to me.  So when there is a problem in that aspect of my life, it truly affects me tremendously.  I don’t even know if this is something that is even possible to change about myself, nor would I would I want to, it is part of the many amazing things that makes me who I am.

So when I have such a big problem in my relationship, the thing that is most important to me than anything in the world… yes, I am  going to experience some negativity.  What I need to do is try to diminish some of that negativity and create a more positive outlook for myself.  Despite all of the sadness and hurt that I am feeling, I need to figure out some way to change my state of mind and see the positive in it.

It is easy from the other side, to tell someone they need to think and be more positive.  I have said that to others myself numerous times.  However, when you are the one hurting so badly, feeling so sad, lonely and on the verge of depression… it is hard to pull yourself out of that negative spiral and bring in the positivity.

So I ask you all, is it really possible?  To change your thinking, change your mind set… and that in turn will change your behaviors, attitudes and emotions.   And if it is possible… then I need help.

Advice, suggestions, inspirations.  Send them all my way, Please!

Confessions of the Heart

Tuesday June 4, 2013

Confessions of the Heart

Conflict is a bitch.  I am torn and conflicted.  Thoughts spinning around in my head, not knowing how to process them all.  Not long ago I wrote a poem entitled “Longing”.  This was a very honest and emotionally raw piece of writing straight from my heart.  Written without censoring or fear of judgment.  I have went back and reread it several times to see if it still hits me the same way emotionally, and it does.  You know how sometimes after you write something out, you look back at it later on and realize that maybe you did over react and that the writing was just a product of reactive emotions taking over?  Well that is not the case with this writing.

 

Since then, I have been trying very hard to change my thinking, to see things in a more positive light, to laugh and smile when I feel like crying.  As a very dear friend put it one night during wine and conversation… “fake it till you make it.”  Well, that is not working for me.  I have been trying so hard to just go with the flow and let things happen as they will.  To not be so controlling and uptight about certain situations and issues.  But the problem is… is that the more I do that, the more I feel like I am not being true to myself and my true feelings.  I still feel all of the things I wrote about in that poem.  I have just been trying very hard to change my thinking.  To cherish and appreciate what I DO have, currently… rather than longing for something that I used to have.  But what I used to have is what I still want, it is my ideal, my dream.  Something that I never thought I would find or have, and once I did I continue to fight with every bit of strength I have to keep it .. to get it back.  Is it gone for good?   How do I say that without sounding selfish?  It feels fake to me, to keep trying to pretend it is alright.  To try to change my thinking to make it more positive, when some of those things that I am trying to change and compromise towards are things that … in all honesty with myself… don’t have much room for compromise.

 

In relationships, over time, two people either grow together and evolve to create a stronger bond and relationship… or they grow apart.  They may realize that they have different ideas, different wants and needs, different thoughts about too many things.  When I felt that… growing apart… I fought it.  I fought it with everything I have.  I talked and cried, expressed my feelings, asked for what I needed and wanted, said how I felt about the changes and what I wanted and when that didn’t work I complained and nagged until I could hardly stand my own behaviors.  I even attempted to change myself and the ideals I had for what I wanted out of a partner, relationship and life, in order to keep fighting and make it work.  But with both sides trying so very hard… how do you know if and when it just won’t work?  If you grow apart, what does it take to get back together?

 

I have been feeling really guilty about some of my emotions and behaviors.  Guilty that I have felt and acted so controlling.  Guilty that I have demanded so much.  Yet on the other hand I am glad that I stood up for what I needed and wanted.  But what happens when there is no compromise to be made?  And why… why do sometimes I feel okay with it, then other times I am about ready to crawl out of my skin worrying and obsessing over the same thing I was okay with just the day before?  I think it is because I am trying so  hard to change my thinking, my actions and my behaviors that it almost works.  Then for whatever reason, something happens and it all comes rushing back to me and I let out my true feelings, my true thoughts and emotions.  And they tend to be overwhelming since I have tried so hard to cover them up or talk myself out of feeling what I truly feel.  No matter what, I have to be true to myself.  I may be able to put on a smile and fool other people, but I can’t fool myself.  I can’t deny what I am truly feeling.

 

So here lies my conflict.  What if we are growing apart?  As I am getting ready to write the next chapter of our book, I see that year one and two were absolutely amazing.  Not without their problems of course, but just so amazing.  Year three was a huge struggle, but a struggle that helped to bring us more together and strengthen our bond.  Then looking back at this past year, to me it feels like a continued struggle but rather than bring us closer, I feel more distant and less bonded.  For all of the reasons I wrote of in “Longing” .. all of those things that made me feel so close and connected.  Without them I feel lonely.  We are both trying.  He is trying so hard and making a lot of progress and showing a lot of changes, yet I have this feeling that they are forced changes and not genuine. Changes that aren’t sticking.  Changes that are good for a while, then go back downhill again. Like he is fighting just as hard to hold on to us and trying to do what he can, but in an attempt to keep the balance.  Because the alternative is just too painful to bear.

 

 

Tuesday June 10, 2013

Out of Time

 

What do you do when you are struggling and fighting with your own mental sanity on a daily basis.  When you break down and no one attempts comfort you, to hold you and calm you, to reassure you… instead, they just go to sleep, or walk away and go to bed.   Having a wonderful, unexpected evening together than all of the sudden, a topic of conflict comes up and my body instantly reacts with so much anxiety… my heart racing, hands shaking, that lump in your throat feeling with such a heaviness and tightness in my heart.  Is that one substance really that important to him?  So important that it is allowed to cause continued stress, anxiety and turmoil in our relationship?  How is that possible, and how does he not see that as a big of a problem as I do?  Is it denial?  Is it resistance?  Is it stubbornness?

 

Presently, I am a part time girlfriend.  A position I did not want or strive for.  Relationships need time, nurturing, attention… or they drift apart.  We are drifting apart.  Yes, work and school are definite priorities.  Things that are a must, not flexible to change.  But then there are those other activities that are not mandatory, important yes, but not mandatory.  Yet still activities that this part time girlfriend takes a backseat to.  I want to be as supportive and understanding as I can, about every aspect… but it does not mean I have to take a back seat, to feel less important, to not be a priority.

When I was married, I spent most of my time alone.  Doing activities on my own and creating my own experiences and memories.  Mostly because he and I had different interests and likes.  One of the many reasons our relationship didn’t work.  I hated it.   I hated being in a relationship and feeling so alone and lonely, trying to fill that hole with other activities or things.  Then I met Eric.  I was amazed by all of the similarities we had and all the things we had in common.  All of the activities we liked to do together.  We spent as much time together as possible. I was so happy to have someone to share all these experiences with.  To have a partner to share my life and interests with.  To have what I had been missing so bad in my marriage.  But now… I am falling back in that hole I used to be in.  Eric is busy with his life, with his priorities, which no longer seem to include me.  Which means I am forced to create my own solo world again.  Something I do NOT want to do!  I do not want to be in a relationship and feel lonely and alone.   Yet, it is happening again.  The worst part.. it is out of my control.  Nothing I do or say seems to help him see how utterly important this is to me.  Nothing that will convince him to cut back on some things that are .. important.. but not mandatory.. in order to rescue our relationship… even if just temporarily.  Is that a red flag?  Is that a sign that should make me open my eyes to see that I truly am not as important to him, in his life, as I thought or hoped I was?

 

A relationship that once felt so freeing.  Where I was able to be me fully.  Where I thought we both were… now feels oppressive and stagnant.  He feels like I am taking away from part of who he is due to some of my expectations.   I feel like I am losing a part of myself because I am settling for something I know that I do not want.

 

He says that all of my negativity is clouding my mind and my thoughts.  He may be right.  However, I do still see the positive changes he has made, and make attempts to acknowledge and thank him, to show my appreciation.  Yet I have still been through enough to know what I want out of a partner, of a relationship and out of my life… to know that I want to feel important, like I am the utmost priority in his eyes.. everyone deserves to feel that way.  Why should I have to negate those things, that I feel are necessities in a relationship to me… I shouldn’t.  And I can’t continue to, especially if he won’t even budge or compromise.

 

When you know that time is running out… that decisions have to be made… oh my gosh, what do you do.  So much fear, so much sadness.  I did what I told myself I would never do.  I asked him to choose.  To choose me, us, our relationship, our lives, our love, our family and our future together,… over this substance that seems to be so important to him.. and one day a week of this important, but not mandatory piece of his life.  Not asking him to give it up completely, never asking that… just to cut back.  I felt like, with time running out… it was my last ditch effort.  The last thing I knew to do to pull at whatever strings are still there binding us together, before they are severed completely.

 

I feel, like at this point, I have done all that I can do, all that I am able.  I have expressed… MANY times what I need and what I want and I feel I have made so many efforts to try and make it all work… short of continuing to deny myself of my own needs and necessities.  Things are now out of my control.  Hardest for me to want and hope to change a situation that is so far out of my control.  I just hope he is able ot realize  the one of a kind love that we have and how rare and special it is… and will do what it takes to not lose it.

 

 

Maybe I have created this idealized view of him and of our relationship.  Maybe the reality is not as accurate as this idea in my head.  Maybe I need to open my eyes to the reality and see the signs, the red flags.  Maybe he needs to open his eyes to the severity of the situation.  To see that what we have is a once in a lifetime love and it is about to slip through his fingers.  I don’t want it to end.  But yet,  I do not want it to continue this way.  The conflict never seems to end.