Erin

6

Back To The Grind

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Well, here we are again at the time of year that I can never believe has arrived.  Summer vacation is over and the kids started school this past Monday. This is the first year that they will both be going, although Buggy only goes for 3 hours a day. It has been weird having the time to myself but nice. I’ve gotten quite a bit done and I hope that continues.

L handled the first day of school like a champ.  We had gone to meet her teacher last Friday and she even stopped in to see her teacher from last year. We usually try to park on the first day and walk her to the door but there were NO spots this year so we just dropped her off.  She was totally fine with it (sniff).  Buggy starts school a little later so we had a little time to spend with her before we both took her in.  Two kids in her class have older siblings who were in L’s kindergarten class so that’s nice.  She did fine when we left but she told B later that she had cried a little bit after we left.  And since then she has cried every morning when we drop her off.  I hope she adjusts soon because I hate leaving her like that.  And she didn’t even make it two days before we got a call that she had bumped her mouth on the playground.  Luckily, she was fine but sheesh.  And of course now she’s stuffy so I’m expecting her to get a full blown cold at any moment now.  Thank God the weekend is almost here!

Meanwhile, I am continuing my job search.  B thought he had a good lead for me but that didn’t pan out.  I’ve applied for a couple of others but no luck so far.  I did make the decision to try (at least for now) to return to the insurance business but only on the consulting side. That was I can still be doing something I have a lot of experience with but on a side that I won’t necessarily have to deal with the types of people I was dealing with before (when you get in between a person and their money they can get NASTY).  I am going to give that a couple of months and if nothing turns up, I’ll start applying for anything that looks interesting!

I also recently started contributing on a web site for families who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy, baby or child.  The administrator of the site is graciously hosting my blog in return!  The site is called SURVIVING RIVER – Pregnancy, Infant and Child Loss Support Community.  I will be contributing at least once a month (hopefully more once the school routine is set) and I am also moderating a few of the community forums.  I know that too many of my friends are loss mamas so please go check it out and have your families check it out too.  We provide support to anyone touched by these types of losses.

I am also going to try to blog more on ALL of my blogs and I continue to help out at Band Back Together as well.  I have more than enough to keep me busy but I do find myself looking forward to rejoining the workforce.  I’ll keep you updated!

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Quick Note – Address change

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The URL for this blog has changed to www.mommylifeinfloridaparadise.com.  For now, using the Blogger address will redirect you to the new address but my blog will be moving in the near future (More on that later).  So, definitely make note of the new address.  I Know I am on a few blogrolls so please update them accordingly!

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My Heart Is With Aurora

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Yes, it seems I’m a bit later than most in posting about this subject.  But, when faced with an incident like this, I need time to process it and get my thoughts together.  If I don’t, my post would only be angry spewing and ranting and no one wants that!
When B came in on Friday morning to tell me there had been a shooting during the premiere for “The Dark Knight Rises,” I was half asleep.  It wasn’t until I grabbed my phone and began to check Facebook and Twitter that the magnitude of what happened hit me.
When you find out about something like this, you go through a whole range of emotions.  I was sad, then angry and then I asked what I am sure everyone else has asked, “WHY?”  I’m not sure we’ll ever have a clear reason why.  And I go back and forth between believing the shooter is mentally ill and believing he is an extremely intelligent individual who would just like us all to BELIEVE he is mentally ill.  Naturally, as soon as this happened, calls for tighter gun laws went out.  I am not here to get into a debate about that.  What I do want to point out is that hardly anyone ever points out that what really may be needed is better and more easily obtainable mental healthcare in this country.  It would also help to try to break down the stigmas associated with mental illness (something we at Band Back Together are working to do) so that people wouldn’t feel as ashamed about asking for or getting the help they need.  I will say that I am seeing more calls for better mental health care but still not enough.  Maybe if and when we decide to work on this issue, incidents like this one will become fewer and further between.
And just when the initial shock of this whole thing started to wear off, I learned something that made my blood boil.  I learned that a certain religious organization (who I will not give the satisfaction of naming) was threatening to “super picket” a prayer vigil for the Aurora victims.  They were tweeting things about God sending the shooter and thanking God for the shooter.  Immediately people put out a call for volunteers to make a human wall if they showed up.  These nutjobs responded that they would conquer any wall just as they had at a military funeral a few days earlier.  Only, when you looked into it, they didn’t conquer anything.  A small group of them showed up but they were unable to get past the wall of supporters so the slunk away like the snakes that they are.  And, thankfully, in the end, they didn’t show up in Aurora either.
I will never understand the hatred of a group like this.  I was raised Catholic but now consider myself agnostic.  I have no issue with religion as long as it’s not being shoved down my (or my children’s) throats.  Heck, I like a good theological discussion as much as the next person (and I had a good one with a friend just this past weekend).  But these people twist the Bible to back up their hateful beliefs and it gives GOOD Christians a bad name.  The last thing ANYONE needs after an incident like this one is hate being spread as people are trying to make sense and mourn.  And I am willing to bet a day will come when this group will REALLY piss someone off and the end result will NOT be pretty.
My heart and thoughts are with the people of Aurora, the victims and their families.  I wish them peace as they journey toward healing.  And I leave you with this picture by CarlyMarie.  I think it says it all.
http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/CarlyMarieDudley.jpg
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What The Future Holds

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I can’t believe it’s the middle of July already.  The summer is just flying by.  June was a whirlwind after school got out.  We had our beach vacation, Father’s Day, a trip to the Jacksonville area to visit friends and then an overnight trip to Disney for L’s birthday.  The next thing I knew, it was the 4th of July.  And now, I look at the calendar and realize school starts in less than a month.  Where did the time go?

On August 13, L will start 3rd grade and Buggy will start pre-K.  The next couple of weeks will be spent getting school supplies, clothes and shoes.  Buggy’s teacher has already called to introduce herself.  We’ll hear from L’s teacher closer to when school starts.  It’s hard to believe both my girls will be in school (even though Buggy will only be there for 3 hours).

I never thought I would have an opportunity to be a stay at home mom.  When we lived in CT, I had to work due to the high cost of living there.  I was only able to take 10 weeks of maternity leave after L was born.  I got pregnant with her pretty much the second we moved into our first house.  The house needed work so that was where a lot of our money went before she as born.  When I went back to work, I worked 4 days a week and my in-laws watched L one day a week so she only went to day care 3 days a week.  She didn’t attend full time until she was almost 18 months old.  I was glad to have that one day a week with her for that time but I still felt like I missed a lot.  So, when I had the opportunity to stay home for almost 6 months after Buggy was born, I took it (CT has VERY generous FMLA guidelines).  And I cherished that time with her.  I had no idea that 8 months later I would be leaving my job to move to Florida and I would finally have a chance to be a full time stay at home mom.

Once we moved to Florida, being home all the time took some getting used to.  It took me a while to get into a groove but I did do it.  I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure I was cut out to stay home.  I had always thought that I needed to work in some kind of capacity but I was wrong. I have loved being able to be home with my girls.  But all good things must come to an end and since they will both be in school this fall, it will also be time for me to re-enter the workforce.  The problem is, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
I worked in insurance for over 10 year.  B still works in insurance and I could easily get a job with his company but the one thing I DO know is that I do not want to go back to that…if I can help it.  I also got spoiled at my last insurance job.  I was able to work from home 4 days a week.  But, as I’m sure many of you know, legitimate stay at home jobs are HARD to come by.  So, not only do I have to get back into the work force, but I will likely have to go back to going INTO work rather than just walking to my computer.  My dream would be to earn money for my writing or social media skills but, so far that hasn’t panned out although I haven’t given up completely.  I thought about being a Virtual Assistant but I’m not sure that would work out either. 
I want to find something I love.  I want to be excited to go to work everyday.  I want to be able to sleep at night without worrying about my job.  I don’t want to only complain when I talk about what I do for a living.  Am I setting the bar too high?  Maybe I am.  Maybe I have unrealistic expectations of what my career should be.  But for now, I’m looking and I’m keeping my options open.  You never know what the future may hold.

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A Legacy And The Beauty Of Facebook

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In a little more than six weeks, this is what I will be seeing:

And a big reason WHY I will be gazing out into the beautiful Gulf of Mexico is because of a woman who passed away five years ago on Monday.  Sue was my boss at my first insurance job.  She was a great boss and a wonderful person.  Sue owned a condo in Englewood Beach, FL.  I had never heard of it so I asked her about it.  She showed me pictures and told me it was about two hours South of Tampa.  Then, she offered me use of the condo.  B and I had only met a couple months before but we had talked about taking a beach vacation.  Sue set it all up for us and gave a great deal on the rental price.  Needless to say, B and I fell in LOVE.  Englewood is NOT a tourist area but it is beautiful and QUIET. When I left that job after a couple of years, Sue again let us use the condo for the week I took off in between that job and my new one.  B and I had an even BETTER time on that visit!  We knew it would be a place we would return to.

Sue and I kept in touch on and off for a bit but, as often happens, we lost touch.  Then, one day I was reading the paper back in CT and I saw her obituary.  I was shocked and saddened.  She was only 63.  The paper said that she had passed away in Florida so I knew that she had retired and she and her husband had moved there full time.  I called another former co-worker to get details.  She told me that Sue had passed away from cancer (ovarian, I think) and that it has been very quick.  She had only JUST retired the year before.  I was pregnant with Buggy and had suffered two miscarriages before her so I was taking it easy and was unable to attend Sue’s memorial service.  I was saddened but was there in spirit.  I knew she would be greatly missed.

Once B and I moved to FL, we knew we wanted to start a tradition of a beach vacation every summer, just like we had as children.  Englewood seemed like the logical choice.  So, in early 2010, we started to look into it.  We had our eye on a house on the beach but it was no longer available for rental once we hammered down when we wanted to go.  So, we decided to check out the complex where Sue owned her condo (she had sold it before she retired).  It looked just as we remembered it so we booked one of the end units (right on the Gulf) and planned our trip.

We had an awesome time.  The kids LOVED it.  It was nice, peaceful and relaxing.  There was hardly anyone there and the weather was GORGEOUS.  We stayed in the same condo last summer and will again in a few weeks.   Buggy calls it “the beach house.”  I think of Sue often during our week there.  I know how much she loved it and I know she is never far from there.

By now I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with Facebook.  Well, thanks to Facebook, I had reconnected with some of my old co-workers from the company I had worked at with Sue.  I knew one of them was also friends with Sue’s daughter on Facebook.  I had mentioned to my former co-worker that I had thought about sending Sue’s daughter a message and she encouraged me to do so.  But, time got away from me and I never did.  Then, late last week, my former co-worker posted that it was the anniversary of her husband’s passing.  Sue’s daughter, Kelly, responded noting that Monday would be the anniversary of Sue’s death,  So, I took the opportunity to let her know who I was and how Sue had led us to our favorite vacation spot.  That led to Kelly sending me a private message and we got to chatting about her mother, Englewood and other things.  Kelly loves Englewood as much as her mother did.  Sue now has four grandchildren, including one named after her.  Her husband still lives in the Englewood area.  Kelly asked me to say hi to Sue while I was there.  They had spread Sue’s ashes in the Gulf at Stump’s Pass…the main beach in Englewood.  I told her I would since we often ate at the restaurant right across the street.  She told me she ate there often too.

Kelly sent me a friend request and we browsed each other’s pictures.  She sent me another message asking if my kids called one of their grandfathers “Bumpa.”  I explained my Dad was Bumpa to my kids just as his dad had been to me, even though he had died before I was born. Kelly then told me that was what HER kids called HER father and what she had called her grandfather.  We both got goosebumps and we were certain Sue was near.  We ended our chat with promises to keep in touch and hopefully get together when she was in FL.

I am so glad I have had the chance to connect to Kelly.  Sue spoke of BOTH of her daughter’s often and I know she was a great mother who is sorely missed.  She passed on her love of Englewood not only to her own family, but to mine.  I am forever grateful to her for that and I hope my kids carry on the legacy.  Thank you, Sue.


Englewood on Dwellable
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Crunch Time

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It dawned on me today that we leave for our beach vacation 13 weeks from this coming Saturday (not that I’m counting the days or anything).  And at the same time, I realized I have SERIOUSLY fallen off the exercise wagon.  I can’t seem to get back into the groove I was in last fall.  Although I have to say, I’m not surprised.  That groove was TOTALLY unlike me and I’m still not sure where it came from.


I have been able to keep my eating pretty much on track aside from the occasional weekend splurges.  Now that football season is over, it’s easier to eat healthier even on the weekends.  I have been on top of making menus and I want to get back into the habit of visiting the farmers market.  There has been a pitfall.  I recently discovered a fabulous cheap wine  and my consumption of wine has started to creep back up so I need to reign that in a bit too.  Entertaining with friends on weekends can make it tricky too since our friends like to drink as much as we do.

I think I mentioned that B is trying to lose weight too and we really want to set a good example for our girls.  A few weeks ago, we started taking a walk as a family at least a few times a week.  But the last couple of weeks, things have come up and we haven’t been able to go more than a couple times a week.  And I have an awful feeling with the weather getting warmer that our excuses are going to become more and more frequent.

So, starting Monday I resolve to get my ass back on that treadmill.  I figure if I do that AND we happen to take a family walk, that will just be a bonus and I’ll have burned even more calories.

I need to get a new bathing suit this year and I’m HOPING I can order one at least a size smaller.  At the very least, I hope to lose another 13 pounds before we go to the beach.  I hope I can get there.
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My (LATE) Goals For 2012 Post

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Yeah, I know, I’m really late on this.  First it was because my daughter didn’t go back to school until the 9th.  Then I got caught up in my duties with The Band.  On that front, I had to ask for some help and luckily, I was granted even more than I expected so, now I have more time to blog.

I am going to start by saying that I don’t like the word “resolution.”  I like the word “goal” better, so that is what I’m going to use.  I started thinking about my goals for the New Year Back in October and I think I have a decent list of OBTAINABLE (that’s KEY) goals to reach.

My first goal is to set SMALL goals that lead to bigger goals.  I have learned that if I am overwhelmed with a goal, whether it be weight loss, blogging, etc., I get frustrated and give up.  So now I am going to start breaking my big goals up into little chunks and go from there.

My first goal will help me head to my ultimate goal of losing weight.  My end goal is to lose 50 pounds this year (about a pound a week).  The first small goal is to get my eating back on track.  I was doing so well in the fall and then we had guests and then the holidays came.  Now that all that is over, I need to retrain myself and I am off to a good start.  I am planning a menu every week and sticking to it.  I am buying ONLY what I need and nothing extra (which will help toward another goal).  I am concentrating on buying healthy snacks and keeping myself in check by using www.myfitnesspal.com.

Once I get my eating back on track, I will get back into exercising.  I was doing the Couch to 5k Plan in the fall and I may go back to it.  Or I may start a new plan of walking and running sprints.  I need to decide.  But either way, I need to TRY to exercise for 150 minutes per week, per my doctor.  You see, when I went for my physical, my blood sugar was a bit high and my good cholesterol was a bit low.  So, I need to get on track for my health.

Now I am going to move onto my balancing life goals.  My first goal is to get organized.  I needed to make a schedule for each day that balanced my home and my blogging/Band life.  I have used my email calendar to break out each day and so far it is working well.  I have stayed in track with my household goals and now that I have freed up some time, I can hopefully reach my blogging goals too, though I have not set a firm goal on that front yet.  I do need to figure it out because I would LOVE to get my writing out there so I can someday get paid for it but I wonder if that might be a pipe dream.

I have a also set a financial goal.  We need to try to save money and reduce our (small, thankfully) debt.  Planning meals and sticking to grocery lists has really helped.  We have paid off quite a few things and will use our tax return to rebuild our safety cushion (which went down because we needed a whole new AC system last year).  When B gets his bonus, a small portion is budgeted for our beach vacation but the rest will be used to make an even bigger dent in the debt.  I have updated my financial Excel sheet and I am being diligent about looking for ways to save.

My last goal is to start thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.  Buggy will be starting Pre-K in the fall and I will (hopefully) go back to work in some capacity.  The issue is, I don’t know what I want to do.  I don’t want to go back into insurance.  I am looking into getting into the school system in some way and I also keep an eye on county jobs.  I have my resume out in a couple sites and I am on LinkedIn.  Hopefully, I will find something I can enjoy.

So, there you are…my 2012 goals.  I plan to keep my myself accountable with my weight loss on here so you will see more posts about that.  I plan to revisit all my goals in June and see where I am.  Hopefully, I will have made some headway!

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Dose of Happy: New Additions

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I have always been an animal lover.  Over the course of my childhood we had 3 cats and a dog.  B never really had any pets.  So, when we got ready to move in together, he wanted to get a cat.  Since we both worked all day, we got two kittens, a brother and sister.  We figured they would keep each other company.  They came to live with us the DAY after we moved in together. We named them Maxwell and Nikita…Max and Nikki for short.  About a year later, we adopted two more.  They came from a feral colony that lived behind a deli in town.  They were about the same age but they weren’t sisters.  We named them Zoe and Kayla.

Max and Nikki

Zoe and Kayla
While we lived in apartments, we felt that a dog wasn’t an option.  Once we bought a house, we started to talk more about getting a dog since we had a nice, big, fenced in yard.  That year at Thanksgiving, B’s cousin brought her new shih tzu puppy to the family gathering.  We fell in love.  The VERY next day, we found a breeder on the other side of CT and went to pick out a pup.  We picked the last female left and named her Abby.  I know, I know, we bought a dog.  I can assure you, that the breeder was reputable but next time and probably from now on, we will rescue. 
It turned out Abby had a problem with her eye that required expensive laser surgery.  In fact, B took her and returned her to the breeder.  I was pregnant with L and turned into a hormonal mess so we tried to figure out how to keep her.  In the end, we got Abby the surgery and the breeder paid us for about half.  She has been healthy and happy ever since.  Max and Nikki loved her right away but the other two never warmed up to her. 
Abby
A lot of people thought we were nuts for having four cats and a dog but honestly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  I loved the fact that my kids had so many perts and the kids loved their furry friends.
In December 2009, we learned Nikki had cancer.  I took her to the vet for what I thought would be the draining of an abscess.  Instead, I had to make the most difficult decision I had ever had to make at that point.  I held my first baby girl as she went to sleep.  I was heartbroken.
We could tell Max missed his sister.  He clung to me even more than he used to.  He became my shadow, always ready to jump on my lap as soon as I sat down.  I kept a close eye on him, fearful we would lose him too.  He seemed perfectly healthy.  Because of that, it was a shock when, just shy of a year after we lost Nikki, he had a seizure in our kitchen and passed away.  I was a mess.  I had lost my first 2 babies within a year of each other.  Given all the other things that had happened to us over the course of the last couple of years, it was very hard to take.  I thought I had a few more years with them.  The cats I had as a kid had lived to 15, 17 and 18.  Max and Nikki were only 10 and 11.  It didn’t hep that over the years, Zoe and Kayla have reverted back to feral type behavior and have taken to hiding most of the day and hissing at anyone who comes near them. Zoe will come out and get love from me but other than that, it’s like they’re not even here.
Because of how the remaining two cats behave, B kept saying we wouldn’t be getting any more cats until they were gone.  And even then, he said we would only get one.  As Zoe came out of her shell to me more and more, B could see that I really missed having affectionate cats.  And he realized he did too.  So, he started talking about getting another cat…ONE cat.
When our neighbors across the street adopted a dog from a pet rescue that rents a store front in our mall, I mentioned to B that we should check it out.  I thought maybe the cat could be a Christmas present for the girls.  This past weekend I had to run to the Hallmark store to get the girls their Christmas ornaments,  Since the Hallmark store was at the mall, we all went and we decided we would stop into the rescue while we were there.
The rescue had several dogs right out front including an adorable chihuahua who only had one eye.  B has always said if we got another dog he’s like a chihuahua.  But we were there to look at cats so we went past the dogs to the cat area.  There were several cats and kittens.  They had cats of all ages from tiny kittens to cats who were a few years old.  A cage with two older kittens in it caught our eye.  They were a bit older, 3 months old, and they came right to the front of the cage when the girls walked over.  We learned they were brothers and they were just adorable.  Their names were Alexander and Troy.  We looked around a bit more, and then we left.
As we left the mall we talked to the girls about the possibility of getting a kitten as an early Christmas present.  We told them it would likely be their one big gift (adoption isn’t cheap!) and that I would call Santa to let him know.  I told B that the brothers were the ones I would want and since they shouldn’t be separated, we would have to get both.  He didn’t seem real thrilled with the idea of two cats but I figured I couls work on him.
We went home and put up our Christmas tree and talked about it some more.  B finally agreed the 2 kittens would be a good choice so I went online and filled out the application for adoption.  After we finished lunch, we decided to head back to the mall.  I was afraid out 2 little kittens would be gone.  I also mentioned to B that is his little chihuahua was still there after the new year we could think about adopting him too.
Alexander and Troy were still there and so was their foster mommy who was THRILLED that they would be adopted together.  She handled all the paperwork for us and gave me the lowdown on their personalities.  As I was handling that, B and the kids stayed out front where they found out the little one eyed pup had been adopted.  I was thrilled for him, but I think B was a bit bummed.
Once the paperwork was done, we loaded the kittens into the carrier we had brought and we went to bring them home..after a stop off for kitten food, that is.  Their foster mom had said they hadn’t been around dogs recently so we knew that would be a small hurdle but we hoped that eventually they would at least tolerate the dog if not become friends with them.
Xander (the shortened name suits him) and Troy have now been with us for 3 days and they are just the cutest, most loving kittens.  They put up with the girls constantly loving on them.  And they show plenty of love to all of us.  Their relationship with the dog is still a work in progress but Xander is slowly warming up to her.  I have a feeling Troy will follow along soon enough.
Xander
Troy
As we come up on the sad anniversaries of losing Max and Nikki, I am glad we have 2 new babies in our home to help fill the void.  They can never replace our first babies but they are helping to ease the ache a bit.  We hope Max and Nikki are watching over them and us and that they know they are still very much loved and missed.  But these two little loves have brought a long awaited dose of happy to our family and for that, I am thankful.
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Loving Stress-Free Holidays!

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When we moved from CT in FL in 2009, we had no idea what we would do for the holidays.  We knew we wouldn’t be going home and it was unlikely anyone would visit us due to the price of airline tickets around that time.  As it turned out, my parents did come down for Thanksgiving.  But, they left Thanksgiving Day because the flights were cheaper which made for a stressful day of trying to get the meal ready in time for them to get to the airport.  We had a good time but the rushing was a bit too much.

As it got closer to Christmas, we started to figure out what we should do to celebrate.  We knew we would be home Christmas Day…I had a nice dinner planned and the kids would be able to play with their new toys.  That tradition hadn’t changed much when we moved.  After thinking a bit, we hit on a solution.  We had gotten annual passes to Disney from B’s parents so we decided to go to Magic Kingdom on Christmas Eve.  People said we were crazy but it honestly wasn’t too bad.  We knew how to maneuver the parks and the lines weren’t too bad for the rides we wanted.  Plus, Buggy was still a bit too young to stay for the fireworks so we were able to get out fairly easily.  In the end we had a really good time.  And the next day we had a nice relaxing day with just the four of us.

I don’t think I had ever had such a stress-free Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong…we miss our families at the holidays but what we don’t miss is the stress.  With my my parents being divorced and having in-laws to please, it felt like we were pulled in 100 different directions while trying to keep everyone happy.  We spent so much time making sure OTHER people were happy that we weren’t able to relax and enjoy the holiday.  We had started to make some of our own traditions but it wasn’t nearly as many as I would have liked.  Living away from family has enabled us to celebrate the holidays the way we want to without worrying about upsetting other.

We still haven’t established a set Thanksgiving tradition.  Last year we spent Thanksgiving week with B’s entire family at Disney and we ate Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant…not something I ever want to repeat (the dinner…not the trip).  I ended up making a small turkey dinner for us the following weekend.  This year we celebrated with friends up in the Jacksonville area and I have to say…it was one of the most fun and relaxing Thanksgivings I have ever had.  I’m not sure if it will become a tradition but it certainly made for some good memories!

Christmas is a different story.  Last year we continued our Magic Kingdom tradition for Christmas Eve only this time, we stayed for the fireworks.  Ugh, it was a NIGHTMARE getting out of there.  So this year, we’ll stay with the Disney theme but at a different park…Hollywood Studios.  They have the Osborne Family Dancing Lights which go on every half hour or so and that ensures that we can watch then whenever we want and leave whenever we want.  There won’t be one big rush of people trying to leave all at once like after the fireworks.  I made reservations for dinner so it should be a good time.  and as usual, we’ll have a nice relaxing Christmas Day with just the four of us.

I hate to admit it, but sometimes there are perks to living away from family.  Like I said we do miss them but we also like our new, more relaxing life.  We fulfilled a lifelong dream for both of us in moving here and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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Where Old Friendships Go To Die

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When we first moved to FL, we picked the area we did because we were familiar with it (well that and the fact that this county has a great school system).  We were familiar with it because I had a friend who had lived in this area since high school.  I won’t get into the boring details of our friendship other than to say we met in 7th grade back in CT…right before she moved to Cape Cod and then a year or so later, she moved here to FL.  We kept in touch as pen pals and visited each other when we could over the years.  I flew down when she got married and she was a bridesmaid in our wedding.  It was at around that time that I noticed she had changed a bit.  Or maybe, we had both changed.
Over the next few years we continued to keep in touch although we did have period of not speaking.  She was very helpful as we prepared to move here.  She was also the one who took me to the hospital when I lost our last angel baby and stayed with me until all the intake stuff was over.  But it became clear that we had different personalities, ways of parenting…the list could go on and on.  I had thought we’d see each other often once we moved here but that wasn’t the case.  I don’t think it was anyone’s fault.  We both had lives and once we moved into the house we live in now, we got to know our neighbors and we made other friends along the way who were more like us.  And of course she had friends as well.  Our kids were slightly different ages too so that probably played into it as well.

As of right now, I would say it has been close to a year since I have seen her.  She emails occasionally and I reply but I would say that happens once every couple of months.  My mom doesn’t seem to understand it.  I think she thinks that because I have known her so long, that we should just continue to TRY to keep the friendship going.  But is it worth it when you have become such different people?  How much effort should we be required to put into keeping a friendship going?

I had wondered how to handle the whole thing.  Do I just distance myself?  Not reply to emails or calls?  Actually talk to her about the situation?  In the end, it seems this friendship is dying a natural death and none of those things are necessary.  I have no hard feelings toward her…she is a wonderful person.  It’s not like there was a fight that led to this.  We became different people who no longer mesh.

Am I the only one who finds this happening as we get older?  Facebook has led to many people reconnecting after years of little or no contact but I wonder if issues like this are coming to light more often because of this.   That wasn’t the case here but I am curious to know if Facebook has resulted in others having this issue.  It’s always sad when a friendship ends and it may be even more sad when there isn’t one particular incident that leads to it…no fight or harsh words that make it easy to walk away.  But regardless of how it ends, it’s like a chapter of your life has closed and all you have are the memories and hopefully, there are more good memories than bad.

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