Trivial Status

>> Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So, I should be talking about important topics here, especially after completely letting everything lapse for MONTHS.

Not going to, though. Only noteworthy event is the tragic shooting in Connecticut that has undoubtedly been written about and lamented to damn near death. And the truth is, there's nothing I can think of to offer as corrective action or comfort. In some ways, it's like the tsunami in Japan, not that it's an act of nature, but that there's really nothing one can do to stop it. Best laid plans, high security, the utmost caution - nothing can prevent a person bent on destruction from causing it except dumb luck.

I'm for gun control (though not necessarily banning) but the OKC bombing showed definitively that guns aren't necessary. Nor are big groups combined in a conspiracy, technological expertise, huge bankrolls or, obviously, any sort of reasonable logic. Short of going into 1984 mode (and I'm not for that either), you can't keep people hell-bent on doing bad things from doing them. That's how the law works - can't lock up people based on potential crimes. They get to move first and, if they make a doozy, the most you can do is pick up the pieces.

I have opinions on attitudes and mindsets that make this worse, but really they're just speculation. And, right now, I don't have the heart to expound on them knowing there are plenty of other possibilities my speculation doesn't cover that can happen next time. Truthfully, there's plenty of injustice in the world we might have a chance of addressing when I know keeping the crazies from doing bad things is just not on the list of things I can do.

But I seriously digressed.

Instead, today I'm going into narcissistic mode, so those of you who read all the way down here in the hopes I had something useful to stay are now cued to roll your eyes and wonder if there's anything interesting going on elsewhere.

It's been over a year now, since I found out I was going to be single again (and most likely, permanently). Also been diagnosed with Type II diabetes which wasn't entirely a surprise but didn't improve my mood any.

For those that are interested (and hopefully, that's all that's left reading this), here's my current status, for good or bad.

  • Kids are all happy and healthy. Several reasons for this, not the least of which is that they all have fine constitutions, but also that my ex and I have both striven to keep our relationship as friendly as possible.
  • Eldest daughter is in college with a music major. Her choice, but, as I've mentioned before, she has a superlative voice. Said voice is also being recognized by more than myself. She has been successful in winning parts for everything she's auditioned for (even as a freshman), though same have been chorale parts, and she'll be opening a cabaret show with a jazz classic. So, good for her. 
  • Two youngest are both in programs for special needs children and neither are really talking even now. Which is more challenging to deal with and lonelier than it might seem. Since I'm on my own dealing with them a majority of the time, it has distinct frustrations that are sometimes overwhelming. Alex, in particular, with his OCD and autistic tendencies, confounds and confuses me. However, we're also finding rhythms and routines that work for us so I'm still hopeful we'll make it work. Note, however, I am a dreamer. 
  • My work is going well, keeping me busy and mostly entertained. In addition to be interesting for me, my work has also been very supportive in letting me do some of my work from home and accommodating the schedule challenges of a single mother. I seriously don't know how regular single parents with less flexibility and smaller paychecks manage it. 
  • I have two cats now who have exactly the right personalities to suit me. Both are sweet, beautiful and affectionate and one is even willing to let Roxy pick him up a couple of dozen times a day without losing his temper. Which is just about perfect. 
  •  I have faced my health challenges head on, given that I have responsibilities so dying is not something I'm allowed to do any time soon: I have gone on a stringent diet necessary given the state I had let myself get to. So far, I've lost more than 70 pounds since August and hope to get to my goal weight by next fall. And stay there. With any luck, that will be a considerable benefit in keeping my diabetes in check. I've also bought a Bowflex and am forcing my sedentary self to exercise for the same reason. Necessity exists.
  • Diet and exercise does not make me happier. Nor is the obvious deep and abiding affection my once husband has for the woman he left me for. I don't think I still wish he loved me or even long for him. It's more like it's lowering to realize (by contrast) how very little I ever meant to him and, given that I believed no one had ever love me more, what that says on how much I have ever been loved. I'm lucky that my children are affectionate and I have an aunt and sister and several friends who clearly care about me, but most are at a distance (which I'm sure contributes to our friendly relations). Acknowledging that people who live with me (other than my children) don't care much for me is, well, painful. And, given the effort I made with my former husband, I have to admit I don't think there's anything I can do to improve that situation. I am just not loveable.
  • I am trying not to be depressed - I have more than my children's future to consider, but also their current comfort - but I've not been entirely successful. In many ways, I feel like my life holds nothing but making sure my children are cared at this point forward. As a life-long romantic and writer-wannabe, the realization is unbelievable miserable. 
  • Even so, on the balance, I clearly have a lot to be grateful for. I wish telling myself that forcefully was effective as a counter. Still working that particular issue. 
  • I have not been able to write fiction now for more than a year. I've tried a couple of times but what I wrote was not worth hitting the save button for.  I honestly don't know, at this point, if I ever will be able to write again or if it's even worth the effort given how little interest the world has in what I've already written. I don't know if I managed to kill my ability to write when I stopped believing in magic. Maybe I just know too much about the caliber of my work to date.
I think that's about all I have going. Now you know.

Have a good holiday. Spend time with the people you love and those that love you. Time marches inexorably forward and it's easy to be distracted by trivialities and miss it.

Update: I was just looking to my pre-breakfast blood sugars (the only ones I have to take) and realized every single one in December was normal and, with the exception of one, the ones in November were pretty darn close to normal, too. So, yay me!


  • Roy

    Given the list you've provided, I think you have a lot to be grateful for. And absolutely congratulations on the weight loss! Keep up the good work.

  • Shakespeare

    Okay, two things. I ditto Roy on what he said--and I have always been impressed by your ability to find the positive and to work beautifully towards productive ends even when important aspects of your life are lacking.

    Thing one: You are NOT unlovable. I could not disagree more with anything, even if the Republican party brought it up in the Senate. The fault with your logic is that you depend on OTHERS to love you, to tell you whether you are lovable or not. That's like depending on a stupid Miss America pageant to decide whether you are beautiful. As long as you go by what other people think, you will never have the full picture. Go ahead, look in the mirror at yourself. Better yet, look inside yourself, at what the mirror can't tell you. You know all of your fantastic beauty is there. That some dork doesn't see it (or denies that he ever saw it) is immaterial. He's just some dork. YOU are the real judge. And if YOU love yourself, nothing else is necessary. I know you don't get this, but I'm right. I'm totally right. And you're smart enough that you'll figure this out soon, too.

    Thing two: I haven't written anything in a year, either. I tried revising one of my novels this summer, and it just didn't happen. But it will, if it's meant to. I understand your worry about this. I have the same worry. But you have a lot on your plate, and right now your family obligations are wearing you out. Keep reading manga, and soak it all in. You are learning more than you know, and it will all come out brilliantly some day, when the time is right.

    Keep your chin up, and thanks for the update on everything. Love you, sis.

  • Stephanie Barr

    I appreciate the support. I do think I'm a decent human being with some good qualities. I like my own company, which is good because I spend a LOT of time with myself.

    However, the only who can decide if I'm unlovable or not is someone on the outside. Being lovable is the "having qualities that attract affection" and that's not something I can decide myself.

  • red dirt girl

    Hi Stephanie,

    I'm a friendly follower and fellow traveler down the path of single parenthood. What struck me most was your inability to write. I found the same happened to me after the finalization of a very long and protracted divorce. My words ... disappeared. And I haven't written a decent poem in 2+ years. I wonder, too, if 'it' whatever 'it' is will return - the wonderful feeling of hearing words in your head or waking up and find a poem waiting to be written down as quickly as possible. I blame it on the serious overload of responsibility we single mothers take on along with the depressing reality that we are truly alone in this world and yet we have young children who need us to function to care for them. I feel your pain. My one bright observation: there IS someone out there who is waiting for you. Love will find you in unexpected places. And you do attract affection from your family, friends and blogging buddies. So you are lovable whether you can realize it or not at the moment. Keep doing what you are doing and know that this too, shall pass. Blessings await you. Of this I am certain.


  • Shakespeare

    Oh, Stephanie, I simply can't agree. You are lovable even when some jerk doesn't love you. And that is completely internal.

    This isn't a beauty contest, and your self-esteem shouldn't depend on outside judges. Judges are stupid, blind and fickle, yet your worth is the same, whether some bloke notices or not. Your worth is ABSOLUTELY something for you to decide on yourself.

    I know you don't understand. Perhaps you can't at this point. I know how much pain you must have gone through, and I'm so sorry that it has played out this way. You don't deserve it. You are such a fantastic person, and none of this is fair.

    But it doesn't negate who you are. Your beautiful soul is there, and it survives everything. It is the source of your strength and resilience, and I love you for it.

  • Stephanie Barr

    Thank you, Red Dirt Girl, that DOES make me feel better.

    I shall persevere and try to stop punctuating that thought with the phrase "I have no choice."

  • Stephanie Barr

    My self esteem is a different matter, Shakespeare, and has always been complex. I have always been well aware of my strengths and fairly cognizant of my weaknesses. I'm proud of myself in many ways.

    Perhaps my biggest weakness has been judgement as it comes to romance, though I don't think I've ever chosen someone using my brain (which might be the problem there). Given time, I may stop being so irked over that poor judgement, but I'm not there yet.

    But I have to admit, everyone I've spent ~decade or more with, with the exception of my daughter and one of six siblings, has ended up thinking little to nothing of me. Assuming, of course, that my daughter thinks anything of me. :)

  • A.

    You undoubtedly have the strength of character to get through this phase in your life. Since my husband died so suddenly I can very much relate to your feeling that life is empty and to the loneliness too. There's nobody to consult on even the most trivial matters.

    You already do have your family around you and I hope you will find that you'll develop a wider circle of friends. I'm certain your life will feel full and fulfilling before long.

  • Stephanie Barr

    Thanks, A.

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