Hitting the Wall

It’s happened. I have finally hit a wall. I realize I have spent the last five years worrying. Constantly. Worrying about money. Worrying about what was going to happen. Worrying about my kids. But mostly worrying about money- when he would pay, if he would pay, how much he would pay.

I FINALLY got everything settled. After more than 2 years of him self-modifying child and spousal support, and almost three years of him paying whenever he felt like it, I FINALLY had an order requiring him to directly deposit a set amount into my bank account on set dates.

Much like my pool that I had wanted for years and finally got, only to enjoy it for a mere six days before my world collapsed, I got to enjoy my victory for a small window of time. One month between court and the day I finally got my first direct deposit. Even that was marred because Jerry Lee texted several days before payment was deposited into my account to tell me he was being garnished.

Six days of having my pool and one direct deposit. That is the story of my life.

I thought the days of waiting for a response and hounding people to get to my case were over. I have been working on this in ernest since January of 2019. I finally had my day in court on July 15th of this year. And now I am back on the hamster wheel trying to get shit done.

I am so tired. I don’t think I have it in me to keep fighting this.

It is Wednesday. The caseworker has not gotten back to me, despite the fact that I emailed her on Saturday morning. My lawyer has not replied to my email or returned my phone call from Monday.

Monday morning the direct deposit came in considerably short, as expected because of the garnishment. I received an email from my lawyer letting me know that she had received a phone call from Jerry Lee’s lawyer. He was informing her that his client’s paycheck had been garnished by Mississippi. Her advice was for me to send that money back, assuming he had paid the correct amount per our order. Isn’t that cute? If only it were that easy.

I wrote her back and told her I had no idea where the money was and that Mississippi had garnished him before his company could put the money into my account. I also told her I had already told him I would send him that money back.

I tried calling her to get a quicker answer because I didn’t know what to do. On one hand she’s telling me to return the money. On the other hand, she’s telling me to return it if he’s paid the correct amount per our order. Well, that’s the Catch-22. He couldn’t pay me what our order required him to because there wasn’t enough left. The part that Mississippi took is floating around out there somewhere. No one seems to know where.

I got her assistant who told me she was on her way to court but she could call me after 2 pm. I waited until after 3 before leaving for lunch.

Today I went down to the Child Support Enforcement agency on my lunch hour. I took my current order and I spoke with a very nice receptionist who seemed to know what she was talking about. Unfortunately, my case had her stymied.

She said there was no record of any payment to my state. She also said that the last correspondence between my caseworker and the state of Mississippi was when MS asked her if they could close the case, and her reply on Aug. 21st, giving them permission. Why on earth they garnished him when they clearly told her he was no longer living in the state is a mystery. She took my name and put me on something called a walk in sheet. I’m not sure I’ll get an email or a phone call any sooner because of this but I at least did something.

I also learned it could take up to two months to get this resolved. Why? Because it’s an interstate case. They have 60 days to respond to anything. Supposedly Indiana can’t be calling them up and asking them for a response any time sooner if they haven’t gone over their allotted time. So, she sent them approval to close this case on Aug. 21st. They technically have until October 21st to do anything. Two full months without a dime in child or spousal support. Potentially.

Right now I feel like I’m beating my head against a brick wall. I can’t get anyone to respond and when someone does share information it’s even more disheartening.

I know I won’t be destitute. My mom has already told me she would loan me money. She feels I’m a safe bet because she knows where I live. The mobster has offered up money as well, if needed.

I’m thankful, but I’m also so frustrated. This. Was. Supposed. To. Be. Over. I’m not supposed to be borrowing money to make it through until I finally get payment. I’m supposed to be socking money away. And what happens if it takes them even longer?

I walked into her office on September 10 for my interstate meeting. She told me to give it 60-90 days. Eleven and a half months later they finally garnish him, despite the fact that he’s no longer living in that state and hasn’t been for more than 8 months. She called and left a message with the customer service rep in February, asking the caseworker to give her a call back. She sent them another email in June, asking for a status update because she had never heard back. They finally reply in August, and tell her he’s moved and they would like permission to close out the case. These are not people that are in a hurry.

You are probably wondering why I didn’t just keep the money and let Jerry Lee sweat it out. Well, as I wrote earlier my lawyer told me I needed to return the money. She’s not answering me once again so I wasn’t sure if she would tell me to keep what little money was deposited and let him worry about how to pay bills, or if she would tell me to return it in order to honor our Virginia court order.

I could keep it, I suppose. However, he’s just going to have his lawyer ask for an emergency hearing to have the direct deposit stopped until this mess is sorted out. Then I have to go through this all over again. I’m trying to avoid that.

There’s also the possibility that his lawyer could seek to have our order voided since Mississippi garnished him. I don’t think that’s as much of a possibility as I did in the beginning, but what do I know?

I think the biggest thing is I’m so tired of being called a bitch, a cunt, a whore, a selfish, money hungry gold digger. I’m tired of the obscene emojis and the hateful comments and the nasty stamps on the envelopes. This was supposed to be the end of that. I didn’t have to communicate with him. I didn’t have to deal with him. It was over. The money was being directly deposited and we never had to speak to one another again.

If I had kept the money I would be dealing with all of that shit all over again. It may come to that.

Strangely, he’s been suspiciously nice. He offered to pay me his share of Picasso’s therapy bill to help me out until this was sorted. He thanked me. I really figured he’d be cussing at me. He called Mississippi once again and was told Indiana has to stop the garnishment. He even told me that Mississippi either wouldn’t or couldn’t tell him where the money is. And, when I asked him if he would help Rock Star out if he could, he agreed to send her the money she needed for the third access code she had to buy for this semester.

Right now I’m simply overwhelmed. Rock Star has started a new semester and there are all sorts of expenses associated with that. I told her I would pay her rent this year and it hasn’t even been a full month back at school and I’m already in financial distress once again. Every time I turn around she has to buy a new fucking access code for one of her classes. They’re over $200 a pop. She’s bought 3 so far. Her sorority dues are coming in. They’d better all be $25 because they’re sure as hell not doing anything these days.

My co-worker was supposed to be on vacation next week. She works from home and her internet is out so took this week off instead. Charged off accounts are crazy this week. Normally I’ll have maybe 10-15 on a busy day. I had 21 yesterday and I’m scheduled to have 29 on Thursday. That doesn’t count any of the requests by people in the branches, or the business close outs, or those that are on mail return. And for some reason I had over 100 cards to close out as well yesterday. I did have help from the staff assistants in closing them, but I still folded all the letters and stuffed most of them. In addition to that I had 40 service fee closures. On a normal day I might have 4-5. A busy day might be 8-10. It’s been an overwhelming amount of work, just with the things that I would normally do; then I add in completing the NSF report every morning and trying to get the fee reversals done and logged for the student accounts.

I’m trying to squeeze in getting this garnishment mess cleared up in between doing my co-worker’s workload and my substantially bigger workload this week. I think I’ve finally caught up somewhat (until I’m stuck with 29 charge offs tomorrow). I’ll shoot off another email to my lawyer and ask her what I do until this mess is sorted out. And I suppose I’ll wait for my caseworker to email or call me back.

I’m so tired.

August and Anti-versaries

Holy moly! I can’t believe it’s August already. This year has been such a shit year. It seems like all we do is tick days, then weeks, then months off of the calendar, hoping against hope that our lives might return to something resembling normal. I’m not sure there’s anybody out there actually enjoying this year. Most are enduring. I know I am. Between checking off the weeks that I’ve been downtown and away from our regular spot, and weighing in on Fridays, hoping to see the scale go down, it’s been an entire year of getting from week to week.

Summer is always a little tricky for me. I do my best to not let Jerry Lee and his past behavior influence how I see an entire season but it can sometimes be difficult. I found out about his first affair Mother’s Day weekend in 2013. I spent the entire summer pick me dancing and holding my breath, not knowing whether or not our marriage would survive. All that culminated in me getting a message from The Saint the day of Rock Star’s birthday party.

It was August 14th, 2013. My stepfather had just died. I was in the middle of buying drinks and ice, picking up the big 6 foot sub from Walmart, grabbing cupcakes, picking up chips and cookies and candy, and getting things set up down at the reservoir for her party after gymnastics practice. It appeared out of nowhere: Did you get a good lawyer yet? That was the way I found out Jerry Lee was a bald faced liar and had been in communication with Harley the entire summer, despite swearing up and down he would end it with her.

Two years later the kids and I took off for Queen Bee’s graduation and then headed out to Utah for 2 weeks. Not long after we got back we took off to Florida. Jerry Lee couldn’t come with us because of a work obligation. While in Florida I saw a purchase made in Whore Town. That was also the summer of him wiring his “mom” money for groceries and buying “her” and his “stepdad” phones and paying their cell phone bill. Needless to say there was no work obligation and he wasn’t sending shit to his mom. It was all Harley.

August 10th, 2015 I got another message from The Saint: I thought you should know Jerry Lee has been spending his weekends in Whore Town with Harley. Just like that my entire life crumbled.

This summer has been interesting. It marks five years since my life as I knew it ended. I’m pretty okay with it this year. I forgot June 10th this year. That’s the day, four years ago, he informed me with a brief text message that he had lost his job and wouldn’t be sending me anymore money. Period. Nothing else to be said. Completely forgot the date this year.

I also didn’t notice the day, six years ago, that we moved into our new house in Virginia. Oh sure, I saw Facebook memories. There were pictures of us going to some of our favorite places one last time before we left. Pictures of us going out to lunch and dinner with friends. Pictures of me with people who were saying goodbye. Pictures of the moving truck the day they came to load everything up. But I forgot the day we moved in. Ironically, it was pretty much a year to the day that Jerry Lee was fucking Harley instead of going on vacation with his family. Good times, good times.

Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll even make the connection this year. I was in the shower this morning after my four mile run and I suddenly thought, “Oh shit! It’s August. Some serious bullshit went down this month in 2013 and 2015. I almost forgot about that.” That was the extent of my thoughts.

Earlier this year I was trying to remember a date. I was thinking to myself, “Was it the 10th or the 14th?” Then I suddenly realized it was neither of those two dates. Those were my D-Days! This thing I was thinking about was a good memory and it happened about a week later. Those dates were stuck in my head but I no longer associated them with trauma. Maybe this is what getting to Meh feels like. Maybe it’s a way to see that I’m healing. Whatever it is those dates don’t hold much significance anymore.

Wanna know something really funny? We’ll see if Jerry Lee is going to follow the court order this month. He gets paid on the 15th and the last day of the month. This month though the 15th falls on a Saturday. So I should be getting my first direct deposit from his company on August 14th- 7 years to the exact day since my first D-Day. That’s even better than all the times he ended up paying spousal support on our anniversary. Maybe another celebration cake will be in order.

A Petty Confession

I have a petty confession to make. Rock Star and I were talking last week. I told her I had finally told her brother that his dad got married. It happened the same time we set up his Venmo account. He saw the picture of his dad kissing Harley and he says to me, “I suppose this is his pictures. The one of him kissing a ho.” It’s been two years and Daddy Dearest still hasn’t managed to tell either of his kids that he’s remarried.

She said their anniversary was a few weeks ago. I know that. I remember because my mother shared the news with me as I was on my way down to Virginia to throw the mobster his surprise party. I think their actual anniversary is the day before his birthday, so it’s kind of hard to forget. I don’t know the exact date but I do know it’s around the mobster’s birthday.  Anyway….

She goes on to tell me he announced it on Facebook. That was a whole other conversation because I knew she had told me before she wasn’t friends with him. Seems Jerry Lee has two accounts, not that I give a shit either way. Nonetheless, I was being snarky and asked, “So did he gush about how she’s the love of his life and he’s never been happier?” To which she nodded and said, “Pretty much.”

Why do I even care? I don’t want him back. I’ve spent almost five years coming to terms with the fact that I have mourned the loss of the life I had more than I have ever mourned losing him. I’m finally getting to the point where I’m focusing on what is right now, instead of what I had and what I lost. Yet, it still chaps my ass that he goes out of his way to do this shit for her. He never did anything like that for me. Sure, he was only on Facebook for three years out of the twenty that we were married. Technically I suppose we were married 23 years so he was on it for five years. But a review of the timeline shows I signed him up in 2012; by 2013 he was involved with Harley. After discovering I could see all of his activity if I had his Facebook archives I asked for his password. It didn’t work and shortly thereafter he supposedly deleted Facebook because it made him “so unhappy, comparing his life to others and all they have.” He stayed off until I found out about his second affair with Harley in 2015. In other words, he spent most of his time cheating on me when he had a Facebook page. In hindsight I can see why he wasn’t lovey dovey on it; it was his dating app.

December 2013 would have been an excellent time to toss out the “I love you’s” and “You’re the love of my life!”. Maybe even a, “I will spend the rest of my life making things up to you,” or “Thank you for putting up with me and all my bullshit.” Anything really. But nah, he never did. Not one time did he announce our anniversary or make a big deal of it on social media. But he’ll do it for the whore, the woman who actually was still fucking her husband behind his back while he handed her the remainder of his paycheck.

Just like despite knowing how much it bothered me that neither he nor his family ever commented on my pictures and complimented me, he still never bothered. Yet for Harley the Hillbilly Whore he can always find a spare minute to blow smoke up her ass.

On a scale of 1-10 I find this a solid 2. It irks me. It bothers me for some reason; I’m not sure why. It causes me to question how much is image management and how much is real, and if it is real why couldn’t he do that for me? Maybe that’s why it bothers me. Why couldn’t he do it for me? I was married to him for twenty years. I moved all over the damn country for him. I gave him two children. I fixed his fucking plate for him every night. So why not do something like that for me? It’s a big “Fuck you!” from him to me. For the most part though it makes me shake my head and say to myself, “It wasn’t you. It was him.”

It’s easy to fool myself into thinking that they’re just a better couple, more compatible. Good for them! The reality though is that if he had put one fourth of the effort into our relationship that he makes for her we probably wouldn’t be divorced. As much as he likes to lay all the blame at my feet (I wasn’t a good housekeeper. We never had sex. We grew apart. I focused too much on the kids. I treated him like a wallet and a handyman.) he was not a good husband. He made good money and that’s all I can say for him. Oh, he was handy around the house. But as far as putting any effort into me or our relationship? No. He fell short of the mark. Not only did he fall short of the mark, he didn’t care that he fell short of the mark! He was a shitty partner. He was rarely there for me. I was a wife appliance and he treated me as such. I went through most of our marriage alone. Reminding myself of all of that makes me shake my head and say to myself, “It wasn’t you. It was him.” So why does it gnaw at me, even the tiny little bit that it does? Hmmm….

It’s easy to say maybe he knows he’s married to a low down, trifling ho so he figures he better make the big gestures to keep her around. It’s also easy to say it’s like Chump Lady reminds us:  He’s got to make it seem like the love affair of the century to justify what he did to his wife and kids.

Then I look back on the Facebook messages I’ve posted about the mobster. They’re gushy. They’re loving. This past year on his birthday I told him he was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. The past two years I mentioned how even though it was his birthday I was the one that was receiving the gift. We wear matching t-shirts and post them on Facebook. Granted, I don’t post often on Facebook but what I do post is genuine. The mobster and I really are an adorable couple. We are over the moon thrilled to have found one another. No, we are thrilled to have found someone who appreciates the efforts we make and is willing to make an equal effort.

Maybe that’s how Jerry Lee feels as well. Perhaps he believes I just held him back and stomped all over him. I mean, I was emotionally abusive according to him. Plus, she’s probably a better housekeeper which… well, means zilch. Maybe what he really wanted was a wife who made money as well. A wife that wouldn’t put up with his bullshit. A wife who would ooh and ahh over every little thing he did and treat him like he was a king. Maybe she’s a better actress than I am, or was just hungrier for his paycheck than I was. Maybe he really is happier than he’s ever been. Maybe she is the great love of his life. It stings a bit, I suppose, knowing that I was nothing to him. Just a broodmare, a cook, a laundress, a chauffeur, and a bad housekeeper.

Like I said, it’s a solid 2 on a scale of 1-10. In the end it doesn’t matter. They’re two shitty human beings and if being with shit makes him happier then good for him. My guess is it’s a lot of image management. They’re two cheaters and one of them is going to cheat on the other in the end. I know he’s no prize. I know I don’t miss him or want him back. I also know I’ve got the best relationship I’ve ever had with the mobster.

Perhaps it all comes down to realizing that a twenty year marriage didn’t mean a damn thing. He cheated and left after all. Abandoned his kids. So I suppose it makes sense that this new life makes him happier than he’s ever been. If I am happier than I’ve ever been it stands to reason that perhaps he is happier than he’s ever been. Then again, he’s a lying asshole and I’m not.

I don’t think I’m going to get a resolution on this. The best I can hope for is to roll my eyes and let it walk on by. Not my circus, not my monkeys. Fear not, though. I’m not wanting him back. I’m not mourning his loss. I’m simply dealing with yet another slap in the face.

The Biggest Mistake We Make

I was reading Chump Lady the other day. Someone had written in to see if she would put his STBX-wife’s texts through the UBT (Universal Bullshit Translator). Seems cheating ex-wife thought they should come together for their son’s graduation and present a united front- for the children, of course.

Surprisingly, this post is not about presenting a united front, or all the insane things people think divorced couples should do for the sake of their offspring. No, this is about something else.

At some point in his letter he mentioned that he had met a wonderful new lady and they had been dating for about six months.

One regular reader made the comment that one of the biggest mistakes divorcing chumps make is to date before the divorce is final. Among his reasons for thinking this is the biggest mistake you can make:

1. It’s too soon which isn’t fair to your new partner because you haven’t had time to heal.

2. You’ll probably be bringing baggage into your new relationship because of #1.

3. It might look like you were the cheater.

4. You’re still technically married.

5. It can give your cheater ammo to use against you.

I’ve written about this before. I’ve also admitted that I used to think exactly like that. You’re still married until you’re divorced. Don’t date. Keep your marriage vows. Then I divorced a lying, cheating fuckwit. Let’s just say that experience changed me. If you’re in a state (or country) where you can get a divorce in 6 months or less? Great! You probably can get through your divorce without dating. You certainly don’t have to, but you could.

There are many of us, however, where we can’t even file for divorce until we can show we’ve been separated for a year or more. In my situation I had no desire to begin dating; I had no plans to date. I resisted other people’s suggestions that I try online dating. I wasn’t looking and I was fairly certain I would never be in a relationship again. I didn’t even know the mobster existed until almost two years after D-Day. D-Day had been approximately 1 year, 9 months, and 20 days prior. My first divorce court date had already been continued, thanks to Jerry Lee and his claims of PTSD. I had a new date lined up. While I was working two jobs, supporting our two children with no help from him, and navigating all the emotional hurdles with them, my “husband” was living over 300 miles away with his cousin/mistress and her kids. He had financially cut us off that August of 2015, approximately 2 weeks after being caught; he, Harley, and the mulligans were living it up and living their best life ever. I hadn’t seen him in over a year. The month the mobster fell out of a tree and landed on my head marked a year since Jerry Lee had paid any support.

I’m solidly on board with the line of thinking that says I will not let him take one more minute of my life. Obviously you don’t need to be partnered up in order to live a full life, but if someone enters your life and they make things better I see no reason to avoid that person just because your cheating spouse wants to drag this divorce out. And often, they do. It’s the last means of controlling you they have. And because so many “helpful” people tell you that you need to keep your halo shiny and remain true to your marriage vows, they know they can get away with living their new lives, complete with a new partner, possibly new kids and a new house, while you’re left twisting in the wind, waiting for them to finally release you from your matrimonial bonds.

I would never have the relationship I do now if I listened to all the naysayers who say you need to wait until you’re officially divorced. It took me over two years to get my divorce. How much more time was I supposed to wait before I began dating once the divorce was finally finished? Another year? Two? Three? The mobster is still trying to get one. How long is he supposed to put his life on hold while she merrily goes about her life, doing whatever she pleases, shacked up with her boyfriend? We would both be missing out on the best relationship we’ve ever had while our spouses are shacked up with their new loves, doing whatever the fuck they want to do. Why are we supposed to forego our relationship?

Oh yeah- Reason #1- it’s too soon which isn’t fair to your new partner because you haven’t had time to heal.

Who is anyone to say what is too soon? In my case almost two years had passed and I was still married. I can tell you this though. I was way too busy working and trying to survive to go to therapy or do any work on myself. Year one hadn’t been too bad as we were still in our house the first 10 months, but year two sucked! I was thinking of nothing except survival and how much my life sucked. I was also pretty sure it was never going to get better.

I didn’t want Jerry Lee back. I wasn’t mourning him. I wasn’t mourning the loss of my marriage. Again, I was way too busy trying to keep afloat financially. Maybe people with plenty of money have that kind of time to navel gaze and overthink every little nuance of their past relationships.

I actually did fear that the mobster was moving on with me too soon. We met only two months after his wife walked out and less than a month after he had filed for his online divorce. But as he said many times, his marriage had been a living hell for 12 long years by the time he met me. He craved an honest partner. As he wrote once upon a time he wanted honest love; he was ready for that.

In the early days I grappled with a lot of self-doubt. I sometimes thought the love he had shared with her was far too big for me to ever measure up. They had twenty-five years together! But over time the fears lessened. I don’t worry about that at all now. And honestly, it probably wouldn’t have mattered if he’d been separated or divorced for a year or two. The issue was mine and it was mine despite the fact that my marriage had been over for almost two years, I had no lingering feelings for Jerry Lee, and I absolutely knew his cheating had had nothing to do with me.

Not everyone needs a year or two or more to heal. Not all of us need years of therapy and time to heal from a major trauma. Some people have been detaching for years, and once that person is out of their life it’s like a weight has been lifted. The mobster would say that he had been grieving the end of his marriage for twelve years before I came along. All those years he spent trying to get her help and get her sober he was grieving the end. I don’t think the mobster used me to replace her. Truth be told I wasn’t the first person he had dated after she left so it’s not like he just took whatever he could get. He chose me. He told me he fell in love with me the moment he laid eyes on me, crazy as that may sound. He was determined to not let her be the last chapter in his story. He moved ahead with full intentions of finding love again. And, as he always likes to point out, he knew when he was done with her. He didn’t need months or years to recover once that point was reached. When he finally got to that point recovery was well under way. The further away he got from her the clearer his mind became.

Similarly, point #2- you’ll probably be bringing baggage into your new relationship because of #1, isn’t true of everyone. Or maybe it is true of everyone regardless! I think I brought a certain amount of baggage into this relationship and it would have happened no matter how long I had waited. Anyone who watched twenty years of their life go up in smoke is probably going to be a little jumpy now and again. There are certain things I learned while my life unraveled and I don’t think I’m going to unlearn them any time soon. I also don’t think time heals all wounds, and I think everyone heals at their own pace. One person may be ready right away, while another person might never be ready. So, don’t date because you might bring baggage into this new relationship? Honey, I think we all bring baggage into our new relationships, even if that baggage is Louis Vuitton. We can’t help it but we can learn. Again, everyone does this at a different pace.

I’ve already gone over what I think of the “you’re still married” bullshit. Yes, legally I was still married. Legally Jerry Lee owes me somewhere around $60,000. Whether or not I’ll actually get that is a whole other topic. If it makes you feel better to say you didn’t date until the ink was dry on the divorce decree, knock yourself out. I’m certainly not advocating that you must date while you’re in the middle of that. But I no longer see anything wrong with it. Fuckwits are going to do what Fuckwits are going to do. They like to drag it out. Case in point- BSC. She’s been living with her boyfriend for 3 years now but has absolutely no interest in getting a divorce. It’s stall tactic after stall tactic, lie after lie, outrageous demand after outrageous demand. Any time the mobster starts talking settlement she gets all crazy and expects to get everything.

Point number five- you give your cheater ammo to use against you. Well, not really. If you’re in a no fault state they really can’t use the fact that you’re dating against you. And you can always remind them that if they want to try to drag you through the mud because you’ve dared to date before divorced that you’re only dating because they cheated on you. Which in effect means they’re dating, too, and they did it behind your back while you thought you were in a committed relationship.

But what if you live in an at fault state? As a person who divorced in an at fault state I can tell you that all three of the lawyers I met with were very clear that even if I could prove adultery it wouldn’t result in anything extra for me. Debts would still be split 50/50; assets would still be split 50/50. The judge wouldn’t give me full custody because of it. I wouldn’t get everything while he walked away with nothing because he cheated. I was advised to not date but the other side of that coin was that I was also told he could run around town declaring his love for Harley and make out with her in the middle of Main Street. Unless I could prove they were actually having sex I couldn’t prove adultery. The bar is set pretty high when it comes to proving adultery.  Jerry Lee and Harley were living together. He had moved out of the state to be with her. My lawyer still said she didn’t know if she had enough to prove adultery. They. Were. Living. Together.

Plus, it’s only a potential problem if you’re the spousal support receiver. If you would be paying spousal support you can do whatever you want. It’s not like you’ll have to pay more because you’re dating. Even if you’re the receiver you’re allowed to date; you just can’t have sex. Unless your spouse can prove you’re actually having sex and not just going out to dinner and the movies with this new person, you are operating within the law. Personally, I wouldn’t announce it to the world (and I didn’t) because cheaters don’t like consequences and they are always looking for a way out of them.

Finally, I take issue with this little gem, otherwise known as point #3- it might look like you were the cheater.

To whom? The cheater in my case is a perpetual victim. Even if I hadn’t met the mobster until months after the divorce was final Jerry Lee would still be whining and crying. It’s what he does. I don’t care if he likes it or hates it. I don’t care if he thinks it’s unfair or that I’m a horrible person or that he says  horrible things about me. The opinion of a man who cheats on his wife and walks away from his kids means absolutely nothing to me. Furthermore, what on earth do I care what his family thinks? They are nothing to me anymore. They will always side with him; they have supported and encouraged him throughout his entire affair. They know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our marriage ended when he began carrying on with Harley again. They know I was blindsided and that there was no one the entire time I was living in Virginia. They know, and he knows, that he was the one packing a bag and leaving his kids every weekend to go meet up with Harley. Not me. More importantly, I know none of that matters to them. So why in the world would I care if they think I cheated on him?

The people that matter to me know the truth. They had front row seats to the Jerry Lee Divorce Chronicles. They were there when I found out. They were there when he moved out without saying a word. They were there when he lost his job, forcing us out of our home. They were there when I moved back with my poor kids in tow. They were there during those long, long months where I worked two jobs while he worked none and sent no support for his children. Those are the people that matter to me and they all know that I’m not the cheater.

I can say the same thing about the mobster. The people important to him know he didn’t cheat on his wife and leave her for me. They know about everything she put him through. His dad, a Baptist pastor, even told him at one point that maybe it was time he considered divorce. When he told me that story he admitted that his dad suggesting that, when he had always grown up with the idea that marriage was forever and you just did not get divorced, shocked him. It must be really bad if his dad was offering up divorce as an option. They also know that I didn’t come into his intact marriage and break them up. She was gone before I came into the picture. His parents know that. His siblings know that. His kids know that. Jerry Lee can spin whatever kind of lies he wants to about me. His family can judge me as being a homewrecking tramp. I don’t give a flying fuck. You know why? Because the people who matter know the truth. Jerry Lee and his ilk don’t matter. And they wouldn’t know the truth if it came up and bit them on the ass.

Back In the Saddle Again

It’s now almost a full week since I’ve been back. I had my first weigh in since vacation on Friday.  I am pleased to announce I actually lost .4 pounds since my last weigh in on May 22nd.

Oh, I definitely gained some between May 22nd and June 5th, but I managed to take it off. My whole plan was to indulge on Monday when the wedding took place- have a piece of cake, eat whatever they decided to have for dinner. Instead I played footloose and fancy free pretty much the entire week.

I had a donut every day Saturday-Tuesday. I would make some really good choices, but I would also indulge, like when I had an omelet for breakfast, lobster for lunch, and then had a pretzel stick dipped in nacho cheese later that evening. I tried to put a stop to it once we got back but I never made it to the grocery store. I had eggs in the morning and some pork skins and cheese doodles. Honestly, I don’t remember what they were called but they only had 2 grams of carbs in them for 9 of them! My new favorite. We’d go out to dinner and I’d pick something healthy and then have a drink and maybe a dessert. So, I wasn’t horrible but I wasn’t strict either. I flew home Monday morning, was ravenous when I got off the plane (lines were very long and there really isn’t much I could eat) and had my mom pull into Wendy’s so I could get something to eat. I did not care if it was low carb or not. I was starving. I ended up getting a spicy chicken sandwich, fries, and a diet Coke. I ate the entire sandwich, one fourth to one half of the fries, and one fourth to one half of the diet Coke. Small size, by the way. That was my last day of debauchery.

Wednesday I got on the scale just to prepare myself; I was sure I was going to weigh in at a higher weight for the first time since I started this. I was higher- 1.2 pounds. I was pretty happy with that because after my week of no carb counting and eating a lot of things I shouldn’t have I thought I might actually have a 10 pound weight gain! But, seems returning to eating low carb and running 3-4 days a week helped me shed the vacation weight and then some. I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped on that scale Friday morning. Not much of a loss in two weeks but it was a loss instead of a gain!

I’ve got four more weeks until the weight loss challenge is over. Last I heard I was still in the lead. We’ll see if she updates the leader board on Monday. I’m a little less than 1.4 pounds away from losing 15% of my weight. I have no doubt I will reach that unless I start to plateau horribly, so I’m set to win a lot of money. Not millions, or even thousands, of course. But probably two hundred or so.

I don’t know if I’ve actually gone over the weight loss challenge here. Each person who is participating paid $25 to join. Then, we pay $10 each month for April, May, and June. So, $55. I believe there were 18 people to start, although there are maybe 3 who haven’t paid anything since or aren’t fully paid up.

When the challenge is over the money in the pot is split in two. The first half of the pot is split between the top 3 losers (or winners, however you would like to put it). I always got the feeling that the pot was split evenly between the top 3, but maybe they do a percentage. I don’t know. The second half of the pot is paid out to people who reached the milestones- 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%. No one has reached 20% and I don’t believe anyone will. There are two of us who have reached the 10% milestone and will make 15% more than likely. There are maybe five people who have made the 5% goal, and another 1 or 2 who probably will. They take the number of milestones to pay out and divide the money by that number, so if it ends up each milestone nets $25, I’ll get paid $75 because I reached three of them (assuming I take off that last 1.4 pounds). If it’s $30 I’ll get $90 and so on.

Yesterday I went through all my old summer clothes- the ones I had put away because I could no longer wear them. There was a pair of denim short overalls, a pair of low rise capri pants and maybe another pair of shorts that didn’t fit but everything else did. It felt great. I now have way more summer clothes than I need, especially because most of what I bought last summer still fits me and doesn’t look awful on me. I can wear almost all of my dresses and they no longer make me look like a stuffed sausage. It was a good day.

I’m not planning on buying anymore clothes, regardless of how cute they may be, until I’m able to buy something in a smaller size. I’m so looking forward to that day! It’s a long process but I’m in it for the long haul.

4.5

That’s how far I’m running now. 4.5 miles. Last time I discussed this I was running a full hour. Surprisingly my time has not changed much. It took me an hour and 5 minutes the first time I did it, an hour and 3 minutes the next time, and today it took an hour and 1 minute.

Today was my first day strapping on my Hoka One One brand running shoes. The mobster swears by them. I’ve been making due with my Skechers and Filas up until today. I did cut about a minute and a half off of my time so maybe they’re working.

I think I’m going to stay at this 4.5 mile mark for a while. I am seriously dying after about 50 minutes. Today as I ran the last half mile I was saying out loud, “OMG! I think I’m going to die!” Thankfully no one was outside. That would have been embarrassing. 45-50 minutes is probably my sweet spot. I feel like I can run that amount of time fairly effortlessly. I suppose it’s good that I’m challenging myself. Push just a little further. But I’m pushed about as far as I can go right now. I’m sticking with 4.5 miles for a little while longer and then maybe in another week or so I’ll add on a half mile.

Honestly though? I don’t want to spend hours 3 days a week running. By the time I warm up, run an hour, and then walk back home I can easily be out for 90 minutes. On top of a full workday? Does not leave a lot of time.

Thankfully I do feel like I’m recovering more quickly after these runs. Right after running I would be so exhausted; I could barely climb the stairs. Once I sat down I was down for the count and found it difficult to move. I used to feel it the next day; I was so sore and stiff. Today I was climbing stairs pretty easily and I’ve had plenty of energy. We’ll see what tomorrow brings and if I’m stiff as a board after a good night’s sleep.

I dropped to second place at work on the Weight Loss challenge last week. I’m still in the top three though, and the top three “losers” split half the pot so I’m fine with being #3. I prefer #1, of course. I keep hoping the others will lose their drive and I’ll emerge victoriously.

Normally results are posted Friday afternoon; unfortunately that wasn’t done this past week so I have no idea what the results are. I’ll probably find out on Monday whether or not I’ve reclaimed my #1 spot or if I’m still in the top 3.

I do know that I have lost approximately 23 pounds since I stepped on the mobster’s scales back in February. I wasn’t doing anything back then; since I began the weight loss challenge it’s more like 22 pounds.

I’m still finding food to be an issue. This was so much easier when I was staying at home and could eat when I wanted and what I wanted. I’m sticking with it so that’s good, but I’m finding it a pain in the ass.

We got Chili’s to go tonight and my mom got the chips and salsa. Oh my God! I love their chips and salsa. I could make a meal out of their chips and salsa. Alas, I cannot have chips and salsa.

Oh, I know; I know. I’m supposed to phrase it as, “I don’t eat chips and salsa.” That’s supposed to be empowering. It’s not that I can’t eat it; I choose not to. Which is a bunch of bullshit because if I could eat it and still lose weight I would!

Anyway, I did not indulge. I stayed away from them although I did give them several longing glances before she took them downstairs out of my sight. Instead I made do with my side salad that somehow had 6 grams of carbohydrates even without the damn croutons and the shrimp fajitas, minus the tortillas and with way too many peppers and onions. Now I’m sitting here full but not fully satisfied either.

Here’s my other dilemma, and it’s probably the biggest one. Rationally, I know I did not put on the weight overnight, and therefore I will not take it off overnight. Rationally, I know I am doing an incredible job. Seriously, I see everyone posting memes reminding each other to try on your jeans every now and then to make sure they still fit after weeks of lounging around inside the house and wearing pajamas all day; I’m wearing a pair of jeans today that were too tight a few months ago. My fat pants are almost too big for me and the other two pair of pants I broke down and bought are both loose on me. Rationally, I know you have to start somewhere and you keep building on that success (or loss, as it may be in this case). No matter how much you want to lose you have to start with that first pound. I get all of that.

Yet, right after I’m done patting myself on the back for continuing to lose and celebrating 23 freaking pounds gone, I’m sighing heavily and telling myself, “I don’t know why you’re so happy; you’re still fat.”

I still have a double chin. I still can’t wear cute, form fitting clothes. I’m still not going to be dressing up in lingerie any time soon. I’m pretty sure I still can’t wear my original work clothes. I’m still not down to the weight I was when I was on the divorce diet. I still haven’t achieved my first big goal. And I still weigh more than the mobster.

Don’t worry. I keep going and I do applaud my efforts. Most of the time I try to ignore that critical voice. As I said above I do know that you’ve got to take it one step at a time. I can’t lose 50 pounds without first losing 10, and then 20. I’ve broken it down into little pieces. I mark my achievements at each level. I have lots of little goals along the way.

The mobster keeps asking me what my ultimate goal is and I’m still not sure. Right now I think it’s somewhere between 130 and 140 pounds. Some days though I think to myself, “That’s not enough! You’re not even 5’4. You should be down around 120 pounds.” Then I think, “Are you fucking crazy? I haven’t been 120 pounds since college! Maybe since high school. You’re insane!” Other days I think, “150 sounds good. I could be good with that.” Really, I’m just winging it. I may get to 150 pounds and think, “Wow- you’re still a fat ass. You need to lose another 20 or 30 pounds.” Then again, I may get to 150 pounds and say, “Yep, this is as good as it’s gonna get.” Or, I could get to 150, 160 and decide I’m not going to lose anymore; I’ll just maintain for a little while. After a month or so I’ll take it up again and attempt to lose the last however many pounds.

Right now I’m trying to focus on the positives. I’m running 4.5 freaking miles! I can run an entire hour without stopping. It’s not taking me as long to recover. I’ve lost 23 pounds. I can wear jeans I haven’t been able to wear in a while. My fat pants are almost too big. I’m doing this.

P.S. I call one pair of my new pants my fat pants because of this. When I could no longer comfortably wear my old work clothes I went out and bought 3 new pairs of pants. With the brand I normally buy I can wear a size smaller than what I normally take but with the weight gain I was wearing the size I normally take! I found 2 pairs of pants that were that size. I wanted a third pair but the only other ones they had were the next size up. Those are my fat pants. At one point, my fat pants were tight! Now, there are times I have to keep pulling them up because they’re falling off of me.

One Hour

I ran a full hour on Sunday. 4.23 miles. I’ve been doing 45 minutes. I don’t know why I decided to up it. Something to do, I suppose. It really puts a damper on your night though when you run on a work day.

I got home around 5:30, changed my clothes, and I was outside walking to warm up around a little after 6. I ran for an hour and then walked the rest of the way home, which took me about 20 minutes. By the time I got home, showered, and put the shrimp in the toaster oven it was almost 8:00!

Tuesday was unseasonably warm for us. I think it was in the 70s when I went running. I did another hour, which I probably shouldn’t have seeing as how this was my first time running in warmer weather. I think this one was only 4.21 miles. I didn’t care. I was exhausted. Those last five minutes took forever! LOL

Here’s a funny thing: I’m actually kind of enjoying it and looking forward to it. I mean, on one hand, it eats up a huge chunk of my evening. And I’m always worried that I’m not going to make it the full time. It’s like this weight that hangs over me. Will I be able to do it again? Will I wuss out? On the other hand when I’m out there running, especially when I’ve gone 30 or 35 minutes, I keep telling myself, “Just think… 2 months ago you couldn’t even run 20 minutes at a time. Now you’re up to 45 minutes (or an hour)!”

It’s a lot like the first time when my running partner and I had finally conquered the 3 miles and we would talk about how running for 90 seconds used to be a challenge.

I’m out there. I’m doing it. I mostly like it. It’s leading to good things… I think…

Mini rant: People, for the love of God, research which side of the street you’re supposed to be on! I have so many people walking towards me because they’re on the wrong damn side. You walk/run into traffic. Or against it. However you’d like to phrase it. In other words, you should see the cars coming towards you! I even Googled it because I couldn’t believe so many people were doing it wrong. I thought maybe I had it wrong. I didn’t.

I think I almost prefer running on crappy weather days. Not as many people. On those nice days you’ve got everyone out since no one is allowed outside except for exercise. Families. Strollers. Dog walkers. Kids on bikes. It’s a zoo sometimes. But you run when it’s 40 degrees out or there’s the slightest bit of rain? Pretty dead.

I’m still doing the low carb thing. I have not yet found my sweet spot. Some days I have a hard boiled egg. Other days I take an Atkins bar. Before that if I didn’t have time for breakfast I would eat my carefully counted out 24 almonds. If I get up early enough I can do frozen sausage patties and fried or scrambled eggs. I really like to sleep as much as possible though. Plus, I end up with 8 grams of carbs for breakfast so if I add on those almonds as a mid-morning snack I’m up to 12 carbs before lunch.

It’s really hard with all the precautions they’re taking to bring any kind of salad that I would bring from home. I prefer to bring everything individually and put it together as one giant salad at work. For now, lunch varies. A lot of string cheese. I’ve been doing deli meat rollups. I’ll throw a pickle in. Some sugar free Jell-O. Sometimes I have tuna fish salad. Sometimes I have cottage cheese.

Dinner is typically a meat and a vegetable. I’ve been eating a lot of asparagus. I don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s out of season.

It seems like it was a lot easier when I did this the first time around. I was a stay at home mom. I could pull out my George Foreman grill and grill up a thin ribeye or sauté some shrimp in garlic butter. I remember making cheese quesadillas quite often. I also seem to remember being full and satisfied a lot more back then as well.

Don’t get me wrong. When I’m done eating I feel full. It’s just that I generally am not thinking, “Wow! That was really good!” I’m one of those people who needs to enjoy my food, not merely tolerate it. Plus, there are times I will feel full, stuffed even, and then 2 or 3 hours later I’m hungry again. It’s a challenge for sure, especially being downtown and around tempting food all the time.

I am actually at the top of the leaderboard for our weight loss challenge. I’ve lost 7+% of my body weight. My total still stands at 16.8 pounds. Unfortunately, I have not budged from that since Friday.

It is so hard to focus on the here and now instead of looking towards the future and how far I still have to go. I know many “experts” say it shouldn’t matter how long it takes. I myself know I didn’t put it all on overnight so it’s not going to come off overnight. Yet it’s disheartening when I realize even with what I’ve lost I’m still not back down to where I was after the divorce diet. I’m not sure I’m even down to where I was before the divorce diet. Maybe.

Oh well. I’ve just gotta keep going. I have small goals all along the way. Still haven’t settled on an ultimate goal. The stupid BMI says I should weigh no more than 130 pounds. Aside from the fact that it will take me over a year to get there I haven’t been under 130 since college. I don’t see that ever happening again.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.

The Change Progress

My word for the year is change. When you think about it it’s not a novel concept. As Patty Loveless once sang: Life’s about changing. Nothing ever stays the same.

I think that throughout the year I’m going to revisit this topic of change. After all, even if I had remained in the same town my whole life, went to school with the same people, remained friends with the people I met when I was 4 or 5, dated the same guy forever, got married and never divorced, and never changed jobs I would still be faced with change. It’s not just about me. Some of those classmates may have moved away. Some of those co-workers might have got a different job. Some of those friends might have got married and moved to another city. Life’s about changing. Nothing ever stays the same.

That’s enough of my existential crisis. When I chose the word change I was thinking more along the lines of changing my life. I was thinking about things like my health, my job, my children, my financial situation, my living situation, my goals and dreams. That kind of cream puff stuff!

First up, let’s review any changes being made in the name of health. What can I say? Change sucks! It’s haaaarrrd. It’s one thing to think it and another thing to actually do it. Thoughts versus actions. I have a ton of ideas on how I can lose weight but when it comes time to actually put down that Chunky Monkey ice cream and do a sit up… I am acting though. The mobster and I are training for a 5k. I haven’t ran since 2013. Holy cow! That’s a long time. I just typed that out and realized it’s been 7 years. Crikey! 

I have finished Week 1 of the Couch to 5k program. I did this once before when I lived in Utah. I actually ran several races. Perhaps I should say multiple races because there were at least two Santa Fun Runs, a marathon relay, a Halloween run, a Thanksgiving run, a St. Patrick’s Day run, a 9k, and a few others. Then I just stopped. Well, technically I hurt myself at the St. Patrick’s Day run somehow. I twisted my ankle and I just never got back into it. It was frustrating to go from running 5 miles back to running less than 1 or 2.

I have to say the first day I hated it. I was in such a bad mood. I went to the gym later, around 7 or 8. I was tired and I didn’t want to leave my house. My clothes don’t fit anymore so while I had this new pair of running tights (which are still uncomfortable when I sit) my old shirts paired with it made me look like 10 pounds of flour stuffed into a 5 pound bag. But I did it. Change.

Funny story. I was telling the mobster how I got off track a few times. The program this week is jog 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds for a total of 20 minutes. I went 30 but that’s not important to this story. I just wanted to brag.

“You need to get the app on your phone,” he tells me.

“I have the app on my phone,” I reply.

“So how did you mess up? She tells you when to run and when to walk.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Did you not see the start button?”

Pause. “No.” I then look at the app on my phone. “Oh! Well that would have been helpful information!”

Yes, I did not realize the app actually counted for you. I thought it was just like the old website which outlined the program for you. No, it’s not. This one you actually click the start button and she counts down with you. That was very helpful the second time I went.

I didn’t hate it as much the second time but I also rewarded myself with sushi. Picasso and I went out after I got back. We didn’t eat until almost 8 pm that night.

The third night I really didn’t want to go. I was tired. I’ve been doing double duty at work. I’ve been going in early. Plus, I’m lazy. And unmotivated. Nonetheless, I went. It was almost 8:30 before I got there but I walked and ran. This time I actually felt good about what I was doing.

I realize I’m not dropping 30 pounds overnight; quite honestly I’m not expecting any major changes from this program. I’m expecting to be able to work my way up to running 3 miles. Period. But I did feel a slight sense of accomplishment. The plan right now is for me to run a 5k down in his town in April, and then in June he’ll come up and run a race up here in my town.

Both of my kids are experiencing their own type of changes. Picasso dropped orchestra and dropped his cello lessons. I wasn’t expecting that. Yet again I watched a child do something they had once loved, not realizing it was the last time I would see them do that.

It happened the first time when Rock Star competed at the high school state gymnastics meet. I had no idea at that time I would never see her compete again. I thought we’d continue to live in Virginia, she would continue to go to her high school, and she would finish up with gymnastics in another 2 years.

This time it was watching Picasso at his Winter concert. They played one of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas carols and it was simply amazing. They played lots of other things as well, but that stood out for me. I didn’t know that night that I would never see him play again. He’s turning in his cello as I write this, and finishing up his last lesson.

He also managed to make an appointment with his high school counselor, hence dropping orchestra. I was proud of him. Turns out he can do hard things! Of course, as he put it: I walked into orchestra and I just felt depressed. I guess that was the push he needed.

While he was in there dropping orchestra he also found out he had all of his required math credits so he dropped his pre-calculus class. I had been telling him he needed to drop it ever since his report card came out. He ended up with a C for the semester, but his last grading period he had an F. He went from an A one grading period to an F the next. Geez Louise. I even managed to find a tutor for him but he had no interest in talking to her.

On a more positive note he is enjoying therapy and even though they are still in the talking phase he believes this guy will be able to give him the tools he needs to meet his problems head on. So that’s progress.

Meanwhile, Rock Star is applying for nursing school. She won’t find out until late March/early April.

Yet another change and this one happened before I decided upon my word of the year. My niece and nephew didn’t come up for Christmas Eve this year. We didn’t really expect them to because she just got married in September. If she wasn’t coming up we didn’t think her brother would come up by himself. She surprised my mom though by asking about our Christmas Eve plans and if they were still invited. About two weeks beforehand she asked us about dinner plans on the 28th. That is not Christmas Eve. But we adjusted. We had a nice dinner out with them. It was just different.

Yearly reviews at work were this week. I got a stellar review even if we’re handicapped from the beginning. I shall explain.

We’re scored on a scale of 1-5 but they’re not allowed to give 5’s. Why they don’t just get rid of the 5’s I don’t know. Probably because then they wouldn’t be allowed to give 4’s. Basically a 4 is your top score. I got a perfect 4 for my goals and achieving them. I got a 3.85 as far as my competencies go but again I’m hobbled a bit because on one of the sections they’re only allowed to give you a 3! We have to take these online courses and that’s one of the competencies. I did all of mine and I passed all of them. But apparently that is expected so the highest you can be scored is a 3. So, my end result was a 3.93 out of 4. Couldn’t have been better. My supervisor did ask me what my future plans were. I was honest. I told her I was looking for whatever would pay me the most. Now I wait to see what my raise will be for the year.

As evidenced by this long story I haven’t yet taken steps to make a change career wise.

One huge change I hope to see this year is the end of this legal battling. I want it OVER! I thought we were off to a good start but I found out earlier this week my case has not yet been filed. My lawyer’s legal assistant got in contact with me and asked for an updated spreadsheet with Jerry Lee’s payments and a promise to get it filed “soon”.

I asked what we were filing for- just legal fees or legal fees and spousal/child support arrears. My lawyer thinks we should go for all three. I’m a little nervous about what the judge may decide on the arrears for child support. I asked if it was possible to go for legal fees and spousal support only and also asked her what her opinion was in regards to how the judge might rule. We’ll see what happens.

In the meantime I have no idea what’s going on with the garnishment case. Apparently they like everything to be a big surprise. It will be a surprise when I find out how much he will be owing for child support. It will be a surprise when I find out whether or not he owes me back support and how much (assuming my attorney doesn’t get there first). It will even be a surprise when I finally find out how they will be paying me, or if they’ll even contact me to let me know the outcome. One surprise after another! FYI: Today marks one year since I turned my garnishment papers in.

I’m hopeful (maybe stupidly optimistic is a better description) that everything will be settled by June. I know that seems a long way out there but my lawyer hasn’t even filed the case yet. The last time she filed a show cause it took 3 months to get a court date. Ergo, if she goes to court in February (fingers crossed!) we should get a court date sometime around May. As for the garnishment case the county should have it but they still have a little over 2 weeks to file the case. I have no idea what happens next. I’m assuming a court date is set but who knows when that might happen.

I changed my hair color. It’s red right now. My mom hates it. I’m still getting used to it. I may change it back to blonde. I don’t know. Change is supposed to be good, right?

I’m still not playing hockey. I guess my first step would be skating lessons. I still haven’t learned to crochet or knit.

I have been cooking more. I actually have some meals in the freezer! I went grocery shopping today and I should be able to put together enough meals for about 3 weeks. I originally planned meals for every day but that’s way too many. It’s hard to cook for only two and we end up with a lot of leftovers.

I tried some new recipes. I didn’t like them. I tried a new Shepherd’s Pie recipe and I was not impressed. I also made a lasagna soup and it was terrible! It’s hard to ruin soup but I did it. The soup itself was very bland and then the pasta was added which only made it worse. The pasta shells tasted like paste! I looked to see if the box was really old but it doesn’t appear to be. It was just bad all around! It’s made me a little nervous for a few of our upcoming meals because they’re all new recipes. The bacon cheeseburger pasta was not a hit either. Same thing happened to the pasta once again. Maybe it’s because it’s added at the end? I’ve never had a problem with pasta in the crockpot before. Is it possible I’ve never actually cooked soup or pasta dishes in the crockpot before? Nah.

No other new changes I can think of right now. It’s been slow but steady. I’m looking ahead to Week 2 of the Couch to 5K program. 90 seconds of jogging/60 seconds of walking. Bring on the change!

Spaghetti Sam Turns Four!

Hello! Is there anybody out there? That was the title of my very first post, published on this day in 2016. Interesting fact: While I didn’t officially begin my blog until January I actually wrote that post on October 15th of 2015.

Four years. Wow! That’s a lot of writing. 863 posts to be exact. Amazingly enough I have 320 followers. That seems absurd to me. I had high hopes that someone beyond my group of friends would read this. At this point in time I’m pretty sure most of my friends don’t read my blog and a lot of people I’ve never met do.

I’ve had a total of 153,718 views and 35,180 visitors in my four years of blogging. I don’t think I’m ever going to become rich off of this. Can’t even really make a living off of it, to be honest. Yet, still I write.

2016 was my most prolific year- 325 posts! Of course, I didn’t have a job back then. I had also stockpiled posts starting back in October, I had over 100 Blast From the Past posts as well, and well, Jerry Lee was in rare form back then. It was always something.

I wasn’t blogging back on D-Day but in the span of about one week I went from, Oh my God, my husband is having yet another affair with his cousin (those are words that should never be spoken!) to Seriously? He’s been sending that bitch money all summer? That motherfucker told me he was sending his mom money! to adding up just how much he had sent her (thousands) to Jesus Christ, I can’t believe he took out a $5000 loan on his 401k to Are you kidding me? He’s got a bank account with her? to He bought phones for her and her daughter? And I’ve been the one going online and paying their damn bill? to WTF? What do you mean he’s interviewing for jobs out of state?

That was in a single week, folks! A week. And it just kept going. An engagement ring! Promises of a new car! Puppies for everyone!

I went public for the first time that day in January and approximately one month later he moved out of our house and out of the state without saying a single word to me or to either of his children.

Five months after my first post he lost his job and cut off all support.

I spent the next month trying to figure out what I was going to do and if I could somehow stay in Virginia. When it became apparent that that was not going to be possible I bit the bullet; I sold off everything I could, packed up our clothes and a few belongings and moved back to Indiana with my tail tucked between my legs.

I applied for and received Medicaid, free lunches and free textbooks for my kids. I lived off of savings while I looked for a job.

Then I took my shitty little seasonal job at Target, unloading trucks, “bowling” all of the items on pallets, and stocking shelves, before taking yet another shitty little seasonal job to have a little beyond just the basics.

Finally, on January 9th, one year and one day after I first went public I began my full-time job at the bank.

It was a wild ride there for a long time.

I published 258 posts in 2017. Not bad considering I worked 2 jobs most of the year and had to be up at 3:30 in the morning.

I met the mobster, fell in love, and I finally got a divorce from Jerry Lee. I also went down to working a single job instead of working 4 am to 7 am and then working my full-time gig. I said goodbye to my beloved Beau. I still miss that big ol’ hunky monkey.

2018 and 2019 both took a dip with 130 and 146 posts respectively. Thank God for that big push in November or my 2019 stats would have been worse than the year before.

2018 I switched over to my current job. My daughter graduated high school and began college. Jerry Lee modified child support on his own. Prorated Rock Star’s support right down to the half hour she graduated. I threw the mobster a surprise party for his 50th. Jerry Lee and Harley got married. He didn’t bother to inform his kids. The mobster, my kids and I all flew out to Utah for a wedding. The mobster met the majority of my friends from out there.

2019 I turned 50. I was looking forward to this new decade in my life. Then Jerry Lee lost his job yet again and decided to modify spousal support. I took an $11,000 pay cut this past year thanks to him. I decided I had had enough and chose to go through with the garnishment process. It began in January. Took the full 90 days for the first round of paperwork to get there and back. Then I found out my fate would be decided by a judge in Kentucky who would never meet me and who would probably use Jerry Lee’s actual salary instead of his imputed salary. I chose to withdraw my petition at least until I discovered he had been playing me for a fool, acting like he was sending what he could when the reality was he had had a job pretty much the entire time. I’m still in a holding pattern although supposedly Mississippi has now turned the case over to the county. Only 45 more days until something happens! Or, a more likely story- only 45 more days until I get to begin yet another countdown!

So far in 2020 I have posted 5 times, counting today’s post. The year is still new. My word this year is change. Hopefully when I write this birthday post next year there will be lots of positive changes in my life. I’m really hoping everything with Jerry Lee will be settled in my favor, too.

Thank you for reading! I’m here all year.

A Whole New Decade

Happy New Year! It’s 2020. Others say it’s the end of the decade. I say 2020 is actually the end. The new decade will begin next year in 2021. Sorry to rain on your parade. Nevertheless, isn’t this exciting? All those years watching the show 20/20 (which the mobster was on, btw) and thinking about how cool it would be when it finally was the year 2020. What would they call the show then?

I like to say that this will be the year of hindsight. The mobster says it’s the year of clarity. Yes, we are that obnoxious couple that laughs heartily at our own corny jokes.

I’d like to tell you I had an incredible New Year’s Eve. The fact is I don’t celebrate New Year’s Eve. I feel like it’s one of those holidays where everyone wants you to think it’s this amazing time and everyone is having fun. I’ve never really had an amazing New Year’s Eve. Most of the time it’s disappointing and at best, it’s okay.

I think one of my best New Year’s Eve celebrations was back when we lived in Olive Branch and had a fairly large group of friends. We went over to another couple’s house along with a few other couples and we played board games and ate delicious food. It was low key and lovely.

Two years ago I was with the mobster. We were at WinterFest up at Liberty University. That was another good night, but mainly because of who I was with.

Last night I fell asleep sitting up on the couch at around 11:30. I woke up around 3:30 and crawled into bed. No ball drop for me this year.

I also don’t tend to make New Year’s resolutions. I know they are rarely achieved. I know they are mostly forgotten within the first few weeks of the new year. When I do make resolutions I like to keep them something easy, like moisturize more, floss more regularly. Sadly, I can’t even get the hang of the flossing thing.

I do, however, like the thought of choosing a word for the year. Anne wrote about it on her blog earlier this week.

I’m not sure if the outcome will be any different because there is still a goal but I like it. I’ve decided that my word for the year 2020 will not be hindsight, as I originally thought, but change.

I need change. The post I wrote the other day turned into a pity party. It’s very easy to fall into that pattern when I think back to all the time that has passed. It’s been four years since discard and I don’t have an amazing new life. I have an okay life.

I mean, the mobster is amazing. I definitely have a fantastic new partner in my life but that is not something I control, if that makes sense. If he up and leaves me that one fantastic part of my new life is over and done. I’m back to my life being “eh”. To be clear I don’t think he’s going to leave me any time soon, if ever, but unlike something such as going back to school or getting a new job, I have no control over the outcome of our relationship. It is dependent upon him and his desires as well.

I am thankful for my children. I am thankful for my mom. I realize I’m very lucky to have a mom who is willing to house me and my kids and dogs. I realize I’m fortunate that I’m not dealing with kids on drugs or who are suicidal. They haven’t shunned me in favor of their father as some have experienced. All three of them are healthy, despite Rock Star’s recent repeat trips to the Urgent Care and ER.

I suppose I could heed Clarence’s words in “It’s a Wonderful Life”: Remember, no man (or woman) who has friends is a failure. I do have many remarkable friendships. That’s one of the things that has impressed the mobster. I do, and I’m very grateful for that, even if so many of them are so very far away.

I don’t want to give the impression that I have nothing to live for; however, there is much room for improvement. I want to be independent again. I realize I wasn’t ever truly independent once I married Jerry Lee. His job was what allowed us to live the way we did. It was never me. I can (and will) take credit for the fact that I was in the background doing what needed to be done and never prevented him from making those moves that afforded us a better lifestyle, but I never made the money.

I would like to either live in my own house with my own things once again, or live with the mobster, and know that if he leaves me I’ll be okay and can afford to be out on my own.

I would like to work at a job that pays me enough to live on. I realize that for what I make my car payment is way too expensive. We bought it less than a year before my life blew up. We took the longest loan with the smallest payment because we planned to use big chunks of his bonus check each year to pay it off. While the loan may have been for six years we planned to have it paid off in two or three. Nonetheless, it ended up being a $365 payment each month. That was fine when I was living on almost ten grand a month. Not so much when my entire paycheck for the 2 week period was somewhere between $550-$650.

I know this is long and rambling but my point is even dismissing my car payment I don’t have much to live on after the bills are paid. Once that is done and over I’ll have $640/month. Even paying off all of my credit cards still only nets me around $900/month. I have no rent or utilities to pay right now, so finding a place of my own with what I make would take every bit of that and probably more. My job does not pay me enough money to live on. Period. That needs to change.

I’ve mulled over career choices. I don’t know if going back to school for my Masters or a different degree is a viable option or not. I’ve given thought to going back to be a nurse, a forensic accountant, a teacher, a social worker, and a school guidance counselor. I’ve eliminated two of those.

Maybe 2020 will see me back in school. Maybe I’ll find something that pays more that doesn’t require a degree. Who knows. I just know it’s time for a change.

I need to lose weight. This isn’t the, “Oh, I want to fit back into my size 2 jeans,” kind of needing to lose weight. For the record, I was never a size 2, even at my thinnest. No, this is more of a, “I hate the way I look and feel and my blood pressure is out of control,” kind of needing to lose weight.

It’s the blood pressure thing more than anything. I used to have terrific blood pressure. I remember one time having my blood pressure taken and then the nurse took it a second time. Then she asked me if I was an endurance athlete because my blood pressure was so low. Even then I had to reply, “Do I look like I’m any kind of an athlete?”

I don’t remember for certain when it started to climb but I do know at my last exam before the discard it was higher than normal. But, the divorce diet led to a 20-25 pound weight loss and the next time I went in, which was December of 2015, my blood pressure was perfect. It’s definitely a weight thing.

My health is primary but I also hate the way I look anymore and the fact that I’m outgrowing the majority of my clothes.

The mobster would love to see me drink more water and less diet Coke. More change.

I still have running a marathon on my bucket list. Kinda tough to do when you don’t even run a mile.

I think about all the things I believe I would like to do- learn to play hockey, learn to knit and crochet. Wow- that was a shorter list than I thought. Still, those are things I could learn to do, even at my age.

Even in my current situation there can be financial change. Taking charge and making a huge effort to pay off everything I owe. Considering where I once was it’s not a lot. Considering how much I make it is a lot.

The big change I hope to see is finally having Jerry Lee garnished and finally taking him back to court for the court fees he owes. I’d like to have all of that behind me once and for all. No more need to text him to ask about payments. No more wondering when this would finally all be over. No more being frustrated over the shit he is allowed to get away with. No more having to do with hundreds, if not thousands, less whenever he decides he needs the money more than I do.

Anyway, that’s my word of the year- change. We’ll see if anything does change.

In the meantime I have managed to accomplish some things.

  1. I got Picasso into counseling. He had an appointment within a day after I finally reached someone at the counseling center.

    2. Rock Star has her sophomore year paid for. Yes, it’s due to loans but it’s paid for. And she will be applying to nursing school this upcoming semester.

    3. I got a new position in my department and I finally got to move over to my new desk. I don’t make much more than I did before but it’s a step up instead of a step down.

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping for some well-deserved change in the upcoming year.