how to safely invite your ex over while in the tub-web

How to safely invite your Ex-wife over while bathing in a big tub and other insights from tarot readings and playing the lottery

Tonight is one of those strange evenings. It’s been a long, relatively difficult week.

It has been a good week too.

It is a Saturday night, just after midnight. I just stepped into a large garden tub to soak and relax.

I left the bathroom door unlocked, and my ex-wife is driving over to pick up her puppy.

how to safely invite your ex over while in the tub with her puppy in the house

Initially, I locked the door, because neither of us is looking for ‘one of those encounters’. Correction: I am not.

Putting Words in People’s Mouths

I am working at trying to avoid making statements like the above statement. I have an overdeveloped sense of empathy. Speaking for my ex-wife’s intentions is not my goal. Letting other people put words in my mouth that never came out of my mouth is something I am working to stop as well.

Speaking for my ex-wife’s intentions is not my goal. It is a bad habit.

Letting other people put words in my mouth that never came out of my mouth is something I am working to stop as well.

This is a part of setting healthy boundaries.

An hour before I got into the tub, I coaxed my younger daughter to go to sleep. I’m staying at a friend’s house in the guest room, while they are out-of-town. My place undergoes fumigation due to the gift that kept on giving from Saving Snuffles the Cat.

My daughter felt spooked in the big dark house with foreign sounds. So when I got her to go to sleep, I turned on the light in the bathroom where the tub was.

I filled up the tub, and shut the door and turned on a nearby closet light to keep things from getting too scary on the off chance she might wake up.

After I got into the tub and locked the door, I realized that my daughter might wake up and panic because a closet can be spookier to any child who just watched Monster’s Inc the day before as Mya had.

So I hopped out of the tub, and puddled my way to the door to unlock the door just in case she’d panic and come looking for me.

 

In addition to getting my daughter to go to sleep. I had to sing my ex-wife’s puppy to sleep as well. Her puppy is about 3 months old and I had temporarily crated her in the kitchen in a cloth crate.  This was near the door where my ex would pick her up and at the opposite end of the house.

This made strategic sense for a number of reasons.

Tactically not so much, the puppy felt scared alone. So like my three children from years ago, I found myself calmly and quietly singing in a low key to the puppy until she fell asleep too.

A sleeping puppy is far better than a frightened, barking, shrieking puppy that has learned how to roll a cloth crate over and over again like a Zorbing ball on a hill.

Later, I realized that stationing a sleeping child somewhere is probably more than ample for the lack of anything happening that I wanted.

Plan A – Chips, Dip, Lottery Tickets and a free book

Earlier in the week I set out to follow a plan. It was not a very good plan. I recognized it as a very unlikely plan the moment I put it down in text. Some of you may have read this plan earlier on this website.

The plan went something along the lines of:

  1. buy a lottery ticket,
  2. write a book,
  3. by some potato chips and French onion dip,
  4. eat the potato chips and French onion dip,
  5. when the lottery Saturday night, and
  6. give the book away on Sunday to help people.

I made this plan earlier in the week when I (felt like I had) run out of other options. It came to me in a moment of intuition.

It wasn’t as elegant as something an Underpants Gnome might come up with, but my plan was defined. 

The Elegance of the Underpants Gnome Business Plan

Planning to win it big!

Like anyone who plans to win the lottery, I instantly seized on the plan and proceeded to move forward with executing the plan. In the back of my mind, my experience working in finance and accounting and studying statistics and calculus and many other practical disciplines informed me that my likelihood of succeeding in this plan was infinitesimal.

The funny thing about intuition is that it doesn’t necessarily follow the practicalities of probabilities. It follows feelings.

Practicalities get things done.

Feelings get us doing practical things.

I am rarely one to settle back and rely on just a single plan.

Creating my Plan A, enabled me to get a good nights sleep. It settled my mind and allowed me to let go of the anxiety that was threatening me and my rest.

I should mention that my girlfriend Sharon, whom I am in love with, helped me arrive at this insight. She provided some prompts as she performed multiple Tarot card readings for me.  At the time I got the impression that the readings did not make a lot of intuitive sense to her. The strengths or lack there of in my Plan are my responsibility alone.

The insight and motivation and love and empathy that Sharon provided me with were beautiful and I am sincerely grateful and appreciative.

Anyway, weak signs or not, my sense of imagination was equal to the task, even when I was at the end of my rope.

That is how I came up with Plan A.

The next morning, I got to work opening up opportunities to create a Plan B and a Plan C and many of those opportunities started to unfold as the week progressed.

Things were looking up with my business, and some new opportunities were showing up on the new job horizon as well.

I did not intend to leave any stone unturned!

Thursday afternoon as I drove home from the mountains of North Carolina,  the temperatures were about 81° degrees.  This rapidly changed to sweltering heat as I approached Charlotte, North Carolina where the temperatures were 102° on my arrival.

I made a mental note to myself that it would be wonderful to have a car that had air-conditioning that worked!

Unfortunately, my AC had stopped working a couple months earlier.

Regardless of the heat, I did not deviate from my plan. Along the way I did purchase a lottery ticket.

Again, my education led me to believe that the seven dollars would have been better off saved and invested.

The wisdom that I have gained over the last year about my emotional health, taught me that the seven dollars was an investment in my hope for the future.

The seven dollars may or may not generate any additional monetary outcomes with the North Carolina education lottery system.  Like many poor people, I could’ve viewed myself as a victim to a poor tax.

Sometimes we have to live to fight another minute.

The reality is that I needed a little extra hope that day. I was not going to settle for just a lottery ticket, but I did need to take that leap of faith in my intuition and myself to get through the minute and the hot hour and the day a little better.

That evening, I also purchased a great big bag of Lays potato chips and a plastic tub of French onion dip.

Chips and Dip

Even before my trip, I was already starting to get better business leads and opportunities rolling in. I was not going to let go of Plan A. I was not going to let go of Plan B or C either!

Happy on Facebook

Each day I continue to work on my book. I am making progress, and getting close to having something that is ready for editing.

E-book standards have dropped in my opinion, and if I wanted to I could probably publish an e-book and offer it up for free tomorrow on Sunday.

Don’t text your Ex!

Just received a text from my ex. The puppy has been picked up!

I am very happy about that for two reasons.

Why did I have my ex-wife’s puppy in the first place?

I do not intend to get lost on a tangent, but it was nice hanging out with a puppy this evening. The puppy is young and needed a whole lot of attention.

There were times when the puppy was a troublemaker.  I love dogs and puppies too, and this was not a problem.

Frankly, the puppy lifted my spirits. Earlier in the day, I started to feel slightly overwhelmed. The feelings were not without justification. My delayed supper could have been a major contributor as well.

There is nothing like a puppy to melt your heart and lift your spirits. This is probably why I readily agreed to help watch the puppy without a moment’s hesitation.

That’s not true.  There are other reasons.

I like to be a nice person and help people. Sometimes this gets me into trouble, and sometimes this distracts me from my purpose in life and sometimes this is my purpose in life.

My ex-wife has made a great deal of progress on herself over the last year. I want her to find success and happiness. I was able to help in a small way by watching her puppy during a pseudo-professional emergency involving wine and paint and a student with a puppy phobia….

Anyway, I’m still working it out. I’m not going to analyze it to death.

The puppy and my ex-wife are gone.

So as I sit here and relax in the tub, and no longer have any angst about being interrupted.

I work hard to let a lot of things go. 🙂

This is something that I have to work on regularly. It is not a one and done type of thing.

As I sit here dripping sweat, I’m letting go of a lot of toxins and other things from my system. Mentally I’m letting go of even more, toxic thoughts, toxic history, toxic guilt and more.  Goodbye, thanks for the life lessons, good riddance to the toxins… Right down the drain.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and I will await to find out if my Plan A will be the only plan that I need.

Even if Plan A succeeds, I will fulfill my responsibilities under Plan B to help my clients.

We are taking a website live this weekend for a school system in San Francisco. I can’t wait to see this web site live.

If I follow Plan B, this will be an excellent example in my refreshed portfolio of work. I am proud of the results that we have achieved on this particular website.

I completed the majority of work last March. I am doing some final steps to set the website live and establish a more robust donation system working with First Data.

I do not know if I will follow through with plan C which involves a new line of work.

I probably will.

In fact, if Plan A does work out in any form or fashion, you will probably never hear about it from me.

At this point, I’m going to turn off my headphone microphone, and shutdown Dragon Naturally Speaking (Mac Dictate version) and my laptop and finish relaxing. I do have a long day ahead of me tomorrow, no matter what happens.

Enough about me…

I don’t care what your Plan A is or your plan B or your plan C. I am not judging you and working hard not to judge myself.

I do hope that you do not give up hope on yourself!

Keep looking for whatever it is that helps get you through the minute or the hour or the night or the day or the week.

There are wonderful and loving and beautiful people in the world out there. You are one of them, and I am rooting for you to do amazing things.

 

Addendum

Today is Sunday afternoon. My kids are all here with me or at least coming and going. Zoe is creating some beautiful jewelry and day-dreaming about purchasing a new laptop as hers is 6 years old and acting cranky. Corbin has a day off of work and is off chasing Pokemon in a park like I used to chase girls and places to skate-board at his age. Mya is playing with her dolls.

I am working hard on Plan B today!

 

For those of you who may have really been looking for a How to about taking a bath safely while your ex-wife or ex-husband or ex-whatever comes over…

I only offer up my own lessons, but if you searched for this and came here… Ask yourself why are you searching for such a thing?

My quick lessons  on How to safely invite your ex over while taking a bath

  • Don’t text your ex
  • Lock your door
  • Consider whether puppy sitting is really for you
  • Station a mutual child between yourself and your ex
  • Put the puppy close to the door and take a bath at the far opposite end of the house
  • Just don’t take a bath, a bad stink can go a long way!
  • Don’t confuse this with a good stink

Grief Feeding Anxiety & Depression Feeding Life Sabotage

Its late in the morning on Sunday. I’m sitting on my porch after a rainy night, a rainy week. The sun is out and its windy, but not yet warm. The sun and the wind are blowing away the last of the rainy weather in preparation to start up the pre-Memorial Day weekend roaster.
I’m feeling …. Too much this morning, but none of it heavily. I’m feeling a bit depressed, a bit anxious. I’m feeling a bit depressed looking back at the past of a long marriage that ended just over a year ago. I’ve had lots of reminders of this the last week, many interactions with my ex-wife, the mother of my children. These were positive interactions and some of the best examples of our potential to be co-parents in the future. This is something that I want, but it does not come quickly nor easily.
We do not get training in life in how to be a good divorced coparent. Some people, I hesitate to call them lucky, might have been able to see their own parents become good coparents and set an example. Even when this happens no one wants this for their future, because that infers that we have to get married and then get divorced and then become good coparents.For what its worth, I do think there is a big difference between being ‘coparents’ verses being ‘divorced parents’. In my mind, coparents work together to raise their kids. Divorced parents in my mind are single parents that individually take care of their children, sometimes alternating and sometimes negotiating or through lawyers organize some things. 

The difference I suppose is working together for the good of the children verses working individually or working together out of forced legal obligation.

The Conscious Uncoupling movement offers up a way to help make coparenting and ending relationships more positive and more healthy for everyone involved, but its very new and through the ever snarky media has been much maligned without any actual critical evaluation of what is involved.

Today, this morning for myself, I have not gone through a conscious uncoupling experience. I’m doing my best to try and move from being a divorced single parent to a coparent someday.

As I started going through the detachment from my ex-spouse, whom I still loved, I worked to detach with love. I was codependent and didn’t realize it until after we decided to divorce, but I did need to detach for my own health and well being. 

I did not want to detach using anger to fuel my break away from her. I did not feel that would serve me well and I definitely did not feel that it would serve my children. I did not feel that it would be healthy for them to see their father go through a process of ‘hating’ their mother. I do not hate their mother. I never have. I never will. She is a wonderful person. She is not perfect, but I have never dwelled on her negatives. We all have our negatives. I am no where near perfect. 

I do not think I am very bad either. I like myself. I am happy with who I am. I am happy with where I am going. I am happy with how I am getting there. To use a rock climbing analogy I feel like I am part way up a mountain, climbing up a cliff at the moment. A year ago as I climbed, I suffered a bad fall and injured myself. I am still healing from that and part of that healing involves the fear of the fall or the event itself. But I am on this cliff now, climbing and when I look back that takes my focus away from the handholds I need to maintain now. I can see this cliff that I dangle from is very difficult, but I can also see another section higher up that is inverted and even more difficult!  

My past fall and the setback it caused, represents my occasional depression. Some of that depression is something I am feeling this morning. As I dangle from my handhold now and wonder whether I can keep hanging on and move further up, this represents a piece of my anxiety about my future. Will I slip and fall?

As I look to the inverted ledge that I have to navigate in my future, that too adds to my anxiety about the future. 

Will I be able to do something even more difficult than what I have already done?

Sabotage

I need to do some basic things today. I need to do some work. I need to move myself up and forward. I have no time to reflect and dwell on the past and feed my depression. I have no time to be distracted by my anxiety over what might happen in the future.

Yet, these are real feelings. They are in touch with real pain that I have. Shutting this pain and these feelings out is a mistake as well. If I attempt to simply block them, this is the seed of a problem… I’ve done this before, ignoring this type of pain and it came back to bite me in the form of divorce.

We have to deal with these feelings and emotions and pain. Otherwise when we are trying to live, these things might creep up on us and surprise us and cause us to slip or trip or fall very hard right when we needed to move safely.

So that’s what I am doing right now. I’m raising this up in my consciousness. I’m dealing with it in part by writing about it. I’m chasing away my inner storm by casting light on it with my inner sunshine just as the sun outside is burning off the storm clouds from last night. Each breath I take and each word I write helps to blow the remaining clouds even further away.

I am working through the grief cycle. Its been over a year since this started for me. The grief cycle takes as long as it takes. I was married and in love for twenty three years. It might take me twenty three years to fully put all this grief behind me. It might take twenty three more days, or twenty three months or however long it takes. In the meantime, this does not stop me from living, from moving on.

I fell in love again this last winter. I did not stop loving my ex-wife, but that relationship was not my love. The relationship burned up over night (from my perspective) but the love did not. I fell in love this winter with a new person in my life named Sharon. We have been building a new relationship with each other every since. 

I view these two relationships of mine like growing a forest. In the first case, I grew a beautiful forest for twenty-three years. It burned down in a forest fire and there are only smoldering remains of tree stumps left.

Near that forest, I am growing a new forest with Sharon. It is full of beautiful new growth, new trees and plants and is full of light and good things. 

The two forests exist near each other in my heart. I can even look upon both at the same time. I can love the beauty of the old forest before it burned and the grief of that destruction for what was lost will be with me for a long long time. I can love the beauty of the new forest and the hope that it represents and the beauty of all the good it offers in the present.

Getting Through the Day

Each day I work through these feelings. Somedays I have to work through them more than others. Some days I am so busy as a single parent that I can barely focus on putting my shoes on and other days I the emotions or feelings build up to the point where I have no choice but to confront them, to work through them and deal with them. I have to raise them up and take them on and clean the wounds and dress the wounds and allow them to heal. I have to work my soul through physical therapy, through psychic therapy. It takes effort.

In the meantime, I also have to rebuild my life around me. That is what I have to do next. I have work to do for my clients. I have work to do on my business as a WordPress Consultant and Web Presentation Architect and as a Writer. I have work to do on my household and with my family, with my children and parents and brother and my wonderful friends and clients, all of which are part of the family that I am growing in yet another forest in my heart.

I can only do one of these things at a time. I can gaze out from my cliff at the vast collections of forest around me, all the relationships. I can walk through those forests and care for them pruning and weeding and watering and growing them each.

I can rarely work on them all at the same time, but I can care for them. I do care for them.

Writing this warms my heart, just as the sun is finally starting to rise to a point where its rays now touch my skin, starting to warm my shoulder and back. In the reflection of my iPad I can see the wind chimes that my son purchased for me for my birthday. I am reminded that his language of love is spoke with gifts. My language of love is spoken by doing things together. I need to remember to consciously speak his language of love back to him. This is part of the way that I can help care for this section of forest.

So many forests to care for. So much life sustaining beauty and purpose that can be added to my life when I do these things well….

I breath in deeply and out again, blowing away more of the minor depression and anxiety whisps that were in my system when I first put my fingertips to my keyboard. I feel infinitely better. I’m ready to move higher up this cliff as I reach for another handhold and lock my fingers on it.

This is going to be a very good day. I’m going to make it a very good day. I trust that you will make your own day very good and care for the forests in your own heart!

🙂

Today, The day I get my shit together, again!

Good Morning! Today is the day that I get my shit back together, again.When I started this week, I had no idea that my shit would fall apart.


Life has a way of making us adapt. This week I have learned a great deal. I learned that I was carrying something that did not belong to me. Something I picked up about a year ago.

It was a truth, and it was a truth that I could not carry any longer.

Let me get back to that and unveil how this all came to be this week.

I entered the week fully recharged and energetic to take on the world. I cleared a milestone on a large project early in the week. Tuesday evening I went to a support group meetup for people that are going or have gone through a divorce or separation. For me, it has been almost a year. I went thinking I would pay it forward for the people in the group that were fresh into things.

I felt confident that I had my shit together. I could help others.

During the meeting two things happened simultaneously.

First, my personal life intruded on the meeting as I received angry text messages from my ex-wife accusing me of violating her personal space, coming onto her property and working on her broken down van without her permission. This flabbergasted me as I did no such thing. It upset me as not only had I not done this, but I couldn’t conceive how she would even think that I would want to do such a thing. I am not a secretive, sneaky random mechanic that enjoys or even is capable of working on someone’s broken vehicle when they least suspect it.

Second, as a member of the group attempted to share their truth, a different member of the group interjected and tried to tell the first person to simply just let it go and be positive. I felt that his words broke the rules of the group that should allow anyone to share their feelings in turn and do so without someone else telling them their feelings were wrong. I am not a trained therapist and was not ready to stop him in time. Fortunately, another (new) member of the group, was a trained therapist and stepped in and did stop him. Damage was done regardless.

Later that evening it gave me a chance to talk with the lady who had been interrupted. We had talked before at past meetings, but we connected more this time. She was upset and I felt rightly so. I also could empathize with the gentleman who had interrupted her. His interruption was not a good thing to do, but he is human. Human’s make mistakes and I felt he had an opportunity to learn from his mistake.

Furthermore, his example taught me a whole lot about the power of a group, the power of employing active listening techniques and the power (negative power) of not employing active listening techniques. I needed that lesson. I think it may have been useful for every other member in the group to learn from the experience too.

During my subsequent talks with that same lady, I realized that we shared some commonalities in our separation and divorce experience. From my perspective, I realized that I had lost trust in my ex-wife and potentially that loss of trust was driving her to distrust me.

My loss of trust stemmed from my learning some things about her that I had not known during our marriage. She did things that hurt me during our marriage, but I did not learn about them until after we decided to divorce.

I am a recovering codependent. When I learned these things, I did not address them with her directly. I had many reasons for this. At the time, the most important one was a legal reason. We were trying to negotiate our separation agreement and my attorney advised me not to bring them up as that might antagonize our very broken ability to negotiate.

For codependent reasons, I also kept the knowledge to myself. I felt that if I told her what I knew, it would hurt her, embarrass her, give her more pain and neither of us needed more pain. I did not address it publicly either as I felt that if I did, it could have a negative impact on her career, which could then in turn harm our children. Anything that hurt the mother of my children, might hurt them and I did not want that.

So I bottled it up, and agonized over it internally for months. We finally finished our negotiations in October and by then, I had accepted our separation and divorce and decided it was not worth bringing up. What was the point?

I continued to carry the knowledge and the pain that it inflicted until this week.

Fast forward to today. My new friend from the meetup group that had been interrupted, shared a gif with me today. It details how a glass of water, when we hold it has a weight that is inconsequential. Yet if I hold that glass for an hour with an arm outstretched, it will feel heavy and our arm will tire. In my case, if I hold it for a week, a month, a year, the agony of the ache in my arm will be unbearable.

The lesson is that we do not need to hold things for long periods of time. We need to set them down and let them go.

I had held the truth and the pain that came with it, the pain of my ex-wife’s actions for almost a year. This week I let it go and set it down and did so by letting her know what I knew. The context and details of that communication are private, but I let it go.

Doing so, caused me to go through the grief cycle all over again. I felt anger, I felt depression, I cried at times and went through everything that I had gone through over the last 11 months within the space of a couple days. It wasn’t as severe, nor as stretched out, but I had to reprocess those feelings again in light of a new context. I apparently had to do this to heal or re-heal some wounds that had not set well the last time.

I went to sleep last night, emotionally and physically exhausted after learning of the death of Prince earlier in the day, which also triggered more grief. I paddleboarded up and down the South Fork River for the first time since last summer listening to Prince songs, which of course have lyrics that are very emotional. I raised and exorcised a lot of personal demons.

So today, Friday morning, I’m sitting here after going through that.

It rained a bit this morning. I awoke thinking, it will be a rainy day. I do not want to be stuck inside all day. I want to work outside. I want to find a beautiful place to recharge me and carry me through the day.

I decided to walk down to a park near the water, just a block away. I figured, I would find a place to write for a half hour until the rain came back.

I envisioned taking that experience of working in the park before the rain came, back and using it to fuel me through my day.

That is what I am doing right now. In the process, I wandered past a repaired fence post.


I walked past some rubber necking geese.


I walked out onto a dock and noticed that someone had left a coke can on the railing despite a recycle bin being twenty feet away.


I emptied and threw away the can. I did not rail against them for being lazy. I found my world as it was and made it a little better. I am thankful they gave me that opportunity.


I noticed beauty as I walked and took pictures to capture the memory.



  
  
I found a little pavilion with two picnic tables. They were dry and they overlooked the water and a small tree with finches chasing each other.


This is my office for today. Today the world ends. Today the world begins.

It does this with every moment, every second. I have found my office for the end of the world and it is beautiful. I hope you find yours today as well.

I am going to make an amazing day today and invite you to do the same!

Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…

🙂

Let’s go crazy!!!!!