You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2015.

If you haven’t discovered Glennon at Momastery, check her out. She’s what I’d call one of the Mega-Bloggers — one of those people who, with dedication, humor, brilliance and je ne sais quoi, has created a mass following.

Stumbling around the cyber-world the other day, I discovered one of her posts about the gift of an ordinary day.  “Let it Begin with Me”, posted on September 11, 2013, chronicles Glennon’s ritual for honoring 9/11. But, what struck me the most was the opening line of her post (click the link in the previous sentence to read it) and her reverence for “the ordinary.”

I lost ordinary over five years ago. I can tell you the conversation, the moment, the date when ordinary left and chaos begin to build like black clouds over a calm sea.

It was October 2008. The Wizard and I sat in the basement watching TV. The Kids were safely tucked into bed. Our cocktails — booze on ice — were dancing in our glasses, in our brains, off our tongues.

“J’s neighbor has a Harley for sale,” The Wizard said as we flipped between travel adventures and cooking shows. It was our ordinary.

“Really? How much is he asking for it?” I said.

“$10,000. It’s a great deal. 2003 Harley Softail Deuce Anniversary. Very low miles. The guy has brain cancer and probably won’t make it. He’s selling.”

“That’s too bad,” I said.

Pause. Silence. Flip. Commercial for fabric softener. Flip Anthony Bourdain. Flip. RV travel in Alaska. Flip. Silence, except for whatever flashed on the screen and the tinkling of ice in glamorous booze holders.

“I told J I’d buy the bike.”

“YOU WHAT? Buy the bike???” I sat my booze down and turned to The Wizard. “That’s $10,000. You just told me that we had to cut back. I’ve been buying the kids’ clothes at the thrift store and getting books at the library.  Where the hell is $10,000 coming from?”

“I already bought it. I gave him the money today.”

And the storm began. The winds began to blow ordinary away. It slipped through the cracks under the door. It oozed out gaps in the windows. It billowed out the chimney.

The arguments grew. The motorcycle. Our sex life. My spending. His spending. His drinking. His time away. The kids. The way I read books. The way he drove. The tornado roared sucking any ordinary away.

I grasp at the shreds, the shards, the dust particles, trying to hold ordinary, as I knew it then, in my hand.

Ordinary cannot be held in desperation.

Over the last five years, chaos has formed my days. I went from drunk, stay-at-home mom to sober, divorced, full-time working, single parent.  Nothing from 2008 remained intact. The tornado destroyed that ordinary.

I craved ordinary. I prayed for ordinary. I wanted ordinary. I tried to pick up ordinary in the wreckage of the past. But no amount of duct tape would hold the former ordinary together.

Last night, The New Beau met me at church. We attended another Mass together. Then, we went to a dinner hosted at the church. Sitting with three older couples, each married 40 to 50 years, we listened to their stories, their laughter, their ordinary lives. We stuffed ourselves with ordinary food.

This morning, I made The New Beau his favorite breakfast and a cup of tea. I drank my coffee. We sat at my kitchen counter, munching and reading sections of the Sunday newspapers to each other. He told me about how his favorite sports teams are doing; I read snippets from the travel section to him. The rumple of paper echoed in the kitchen. The conversation meandered across the newspaper sections.

It was an ordinary morning: newspaper, coffee, tea, breakfast.

“This is feeling more and more right every time,” he said as he headed out for the rest of his ordinary day.

“Yes, it is. Very. Very right.”

And, ordinary.

Dear God, thank you for blessing me with ordinary. There’s something so nice, so right, so sacred about ordinary.

I rang in 2014 at my best friend’s house, surrounded by other normie friends who toasted the new year. I was there alone and received a “Happy New Year” text from Chef Man. He wasn’t there. I thought it was because he was recovering from major surgery just a few weeks earlier. Wearing the clothes he had given me for Christmas, bragging about how he cooked for me, I tried to impress my friends with how wonderful this man was.  They told me how perfect he sounded. Isn’t it every woman’s dream to have a man in her life who buys her clothes and cooks for her?

On the surface, Chef Man seemed perfect.

But, it wasn’t real. Chef Man was living with his girlfriend of five years. I bought his lines about how his house was under construction and not safe to visit. I accepted that his place was his “man cave.” I understood that he didn’t “play” where his children ate and slept. I didn’t push to go to his house… until the end when my gitchy-feeling screamed so loud I could no longer ignore it. My magical thinking created a delusion of a relationship. Or, as my sponsor put it to me yesterday, “You gave Chef Man a chance and it turned out you were right: he was a sick f***.”

I rang in 2015 at my house. On the stove, pots of lamb stew and lentil soup bubbled. At my dining room table, The Kids, one of their friends and one of my recovery friends sat playing a board game. In my kitchen, I sat with my best friend and the New Beau (I’ve been calling him Tall Dude, but let’s change that — he’s so much more). I didn’t try to impress anyone with the New Beau. I didn’t have to: he simply is. I did brag about the great coffee he got me for Christmas, though.

We talked and laughed the night away. We covered everything from online dating to gynecologists.  Turns out my best friend went to high school with his ex-wife: same graduating class, not the same gynecologist — at least, not that I’m aware of yet.

At midnight, New Beau kissed me and said hardly above a whisper, “Let’s spend 2015 together.”

When the evening came to an end, he hugged my best friend as she was leaving. “It was great to meet you,” he said. “I know we’ll see each other again.”

This morning I had an email from New Beau telling me how much he enjoyed hanging out with my friends and family last night and how he looks forward to doing more of it.

After asking my best friend what she thought of the New Beau, a question I never asked about Chef Man, she said: “I like him. No strange vibes. He seems very comfortable around you and us. And you obviously like him.”

I do. I really do. New Beau is a good man. He’s sweet and kind and gentle. He’s real. He’s comfortable. He’s genuine. And that scares the hell out of me:  I’m terrified I’m going to screw this one up. I don’t know if I know how to have a real relationship with a good man who is so kind and so gentle and so sweet. I don’t know if I know how to be with someone who stands in his kitchen making me Brussel sprouts because he knows I like them, who brings me bananas when my stomach is upset, who gets along great with my best friend.

I know how to do drama-laden relationships where “f*** you’s” become the norm. I know how to do fake, ego-feeding relationships where I pretend everything is perfect. I know how to walk on eggshells and dance on nail beds to keep the delusion going.

This peace and serenity stuff feels so strange. I’m not quite sure what to do with it. When I’m with New Beau, I just want to curl up next to him, relax every muscle in my body and sleep — not because he’s boring; but rather because he’s so comforting to be around. It’s like I’ve come home, like I can finally just be. I feel like I can slip into my comfy clothes, take off my makeup, and let him see me as I am.

It’s a new beginning, and that’s scary for this alcoholic who once thrived on the comfort of chaos.

Dear God, thank you for bringing New Beau into my life. Please don’t let me f*** up this relationship.


January 2015


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