Life’s Been Good


Year One, Month 5, Day 16

I know, I know, I know.

I’ve been a bad Lizzie the last couple of months to not keep you up to date on what’s been going on in my life.

So, Gentle Reader, let me catch you up on my doings.

First, I became a great-aunt for the second time about seven weeks ago.  A beautiful baby girl.  I was actually present in the delivery room since neither of my niece’s parents could be present at the birth.  One was caring for my nearly two-year old nephew, the other was coming in a couple of days later once my niece was out of the hospital.

It was an honor to be there  as a sweet, innocent life came into the world. The following day, as I was rocking my new niece and watching the news from the Ukraine, I realized the best way to achieve world peace was to sit in a rocking chair with a newborn in your arms.

There is no way you can think bad thoughts when you are cradling a baby.

Second, I have organized a book club among my friends, so  running it has been good for my brain as I research new books and decide what we’ll be reading next.  I also joined a second club and have made several new friends through it.  I’ve read several excellent books, and now have several more on my list.  So, now on those rare evenings when I am not out and about, I have an interesting book to keep me company.

Third, ny dear friend Mary has gotten me involved in organizing a fundraiser for the local Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  I have been looking for some kind of public service event or charity to become involved with, and when she approached me to head up the media and marketing team for this event she is chairing, I jumped on it.  She’s also roped in several of our friends as well, so planning this shindig is proving to be fun!

Fourth, my freelance work has been picking up, and even though I haven’t yet been offered a full-time job anywhere, I have had several interviews in the last month, so I know it’s just a matter of time before I am offered gainful employment.

Finally, I have been seeing a terrific guy I’ll call “Alex.”

Whoops.

I buried the lead.

We met on OK Cupid, the night after my niece was born.  I had gotten home from nearly thirty-six hours at the hospital, and I was exhausted. I checked my messages, and I saw that I had a pile of messages waiting to be read.  I opened Alex’s, and was immediately impressed.

It was well written, sincere, and obvious that he had read my entire profile.  He lived about twenty miles away from me, was the same age as my brother (58), college educated, attractive, and a ninety-one percent match.

Usually a match that high meant he lived hundreds of miles away from me… not a mere twenty.

I saw he was online, and I decided to go ahead and respond.    He replied almost immediately.

We began chatting, and before I realized it, it was nearly 1AM, and I was about to fall asleep with my head on the keyboard of my laptop. We said good night and he asked if we could continue the conversation the following day.  I said, of course, and sweet dreams.

By the end of the weekend, Alex had asked me out to dinner for either Thursday or Friday that the following week…depending upon my schedule with the new baby and my family obligations.

To make a long story short, we met for dinner on Thursday… and we hit it off. The conversation was easy and relaxed, He was utterly charming and sweet.  He even gave me a single red rose when he met me.  (Cheesy, I know, but NO ONE had ever done that before.)  When he walked me back to my car, he asked if I was available the following Tuesday evening (I was going to visit my bestie Ann that weekend for her fifieth birthday party), and after I said yes, he kissed me.

Fireworks.

Again, to make a long story short, Alex and i have been seeing each other two or three times a week for the last six weeks. No, we haven’t met each others families.  We haven’t met each others friends (unless we happened to bump into them when we were together).

But I don’t think it will be too long before that happens.

In upcoming posts, I’ll talk a little more about what is actually going on in our relationship…and a few of the complications. (Yes, there are some…but I’m not freaking out over them.)  But while I do see some yellow caution flags, I am not rushing things with him.  I’m letting this relationship develop as it will.  But, I can say confidently, that Alex isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Right now, life is pretty damn good for LIzzie.  My life is full of friends, intellectual stimulation, and romance.

It’s all starting to come together…and I’m damn glad I’m finally getting the sweet end of lollipop.

 

 

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Working for Living…hopefully…


Day 345

I am little antsy Gentle Readers.

I have a job interview tomorrow…the first face to face interview I’ve managed to land since I was laid off a couple of months ago.

God, I hope I don’t mess it up.

We had a quick, fifteen minute phone interview last week that went well.  By the end of it, I knew I would land the face to face …especially when the interviewer said “I think you can pretty much count on an in-person interview next week, Elizabeth.”

Actually, I don’t think I will screw it up. I have always interviewed well. It’s been rare that I DON’T get the job after an in-person interview.   I have worked there before; I loved working there. I was laid off when the economy tanked in 2008.   Luckily, I left on good terms, and am still connected with a lot of the current employees through Facebook.

In fact, I think one of my interviewers tomorrow will be a former co-worker who is now in management.  And the one person there (outside the interviewer) who knows I’m up for the job has promised”talk me up” to help me get the job.

The thing is, I’m perfectly qualified for this job…except in actual EXPERIENCE. It’s for a “new media,” digital job…not an “old media” writing or producing job for which I am more than qualified. ( In fact, I’m probably a better old school TV writer/producer than most of the people on the staff.  I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I am VERY good at what I do.)  It has been genuinely frustrating the last four and half years that I haven’t been able to actually do it because of how media outlets have been cutting back personnel to stay profitable.

I’ve spent most of the last few days “cramming;” I’ve read so much about SEO, SMM, social media and mobile marketing I think my brain is going to explode.

Here I am…a 49 year old woman trying to hit the restart button on her career.  I am forcing myself out of my comfort zone and trying to move my career into the future…otherwise I’ll end up having to move into another career field…and it is proving difficult to persuade employers in other industries that my client and communication skills are transferable and VALUABLE in any business.

By this time tomorrow I’ll know if I hit a home run or if I struck out.

I can’t wait for this damn interview to be over…

Just The Way You Are…


Day 305

Yesterday was one of those “meh” days.

I looked in the mirror and I just looked old… tired…. my age.

It has been a tough few weeks, granted.  But despite the stress I have been under, I feel good about who I am and the path I am following.  I don’t know WHERE it’s leading me….but I do see a faint light at the end of the tunnel.

But yesterday I felt ugly and unattractive…no matter how many pep talks and Stuart Smalley affirmations I had running through my head.

So, what snapped me out of my funk?

Music.

Bad pop music at that.

As I was driving to my latest Earl mascot appearance, I had my radio cranked up (not to the station I work for, however.  I’m not a huge country music fan).  And the playlist included the Bruno Mars song I above.  I found myself really listening to the lyrics this time… and a simple truth hit me.

I am amazing…just the way I am.

As I was digesting this startling thought, I got a text from my niece informing me that I was going to be a great-auntie to a little girl in about 5 months. I realized that I wanted my precious little great-niece to grow up KNOWING she was beautiful…no matter what she actually looks like.

Then THIS awful song came out of my car stereo speakers….

As it burrowed into my brain, I realized despite how irritating I find One Direction, these lyrics  can be healing for a lot of females with self-esteem issues. (I do have those…in spades.)

Beauty isn’t merely physical. It comes from your heart…your soul…your personality.

I know all us females have rolled our eyes at our moms and grandmothers when they told us we were beautiful. And when a man we like (or love) tells us we are beautiful, we brush off the compliment because we don’t want to seem narcissistic.

I have said before that I don’t think I am pretty. Yes, I do have some nice features (hair, eyes, smile) but I have never been one to think that I’m noticeable in a crowd of women.  I’m ordinary, in other words. I’m a nice woman…but nice is sometimes…just nice.

Robert specialized in making me feel bad about myself; always making comments about my weight (“I just want you to healthy, Lizzie), my hair (“That’s not your best look, there, Lizzie.  Sure you don’t want to have her fix that new cut?) Or “Sure you want to wear that dress, Lizzie?  It’s not that flattering.”)   After a steady diet of belittling comments over a 23 year period, you start to believe them.

Now I realize this was Robert’s way of hanging on to me; that he was the best I could do because I was unattractive to men.

Troy tells me “You’re all kinds of hot,” “You’re gorgeous,” “You’re ravishing.” ( Even my BFF Ann’s hubby has said “Lizzie has the most beautiful smile I have ever seen.  It absolutely lights up a room when she is genuinely smiling.”  She told me that one day when I was really giving myself a hard time recently.)

At first, when Troy would compliment me,  I would make a self-deprecating comment… finally cracking a joke about his needing to get his eyes checked. That last comment seemed to irritate him…and that was when I had this “AH HA” moment.

Making self-deprecating comments and jokes when someone pays you a sincere compliment doesn’t make you look modest. It makes you look like an asshole; like our boyfriend/husband/lover/friend doesn’t know what he is saying.  It makes him feel stupid…and it will discourage him from saying it ever again.  Then YOU start to wonder WHY he never compliments you anymore.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Since then, I’ve worked hard on accepting (and giving) compliments graciously.  I have to stop myself from making a self-deprecating comment to lessen my embarrassment. Instead, I smile and say thank you. I still feel embarrassed inside…but if that person actually says you are “ravishing,” “gorgeous.” or “pretty” that is their opinion.   Accept it. Who am I to deny them their reality and make him feel bad he took a chance and said it?

You need to take the chance and let the guy in your life know that you think he is attractive, handsome, sexy.  Because he is…to you.  Because a lot of guys NEVER feel like the woman they love actually finds them physically desirable.  (That was another part of my AH HA moment.)

So believe it Lizzie (and the rest of you as well.) You are beautiful…no matter what you see in the mirror…