Elevator Etiquette (for laughs)

So this particular entry is really just for laughs and doesn’t really fit my usual categories but maybe you agree with me. Does it seem to you that lately nobody knows what good manners are anymore? And then there are those who don’t seem to know how basic things like elevators work. This is something I must take for granted. It seems simple enough: elevators are boxes on cables inside buildings that you get into to go up or down instead of taking the stairs. Well, I have a few gripes about how people don’t seem to get more basic manners or maybe just exactly how elevators work, but instead of being angry and ranting, I decided to simply list a few things to keep in mind. Maybe you know someone who should read this and forward it to them. 🙂

  1. Pushing the button to call the elevator once is enough. If I’m standing there waiting for the elevator and the button is lit up, there is no need for you to step in front of me and stab at the button ten more times. The elevator moves at one pace and it’s coming. Just relax! lol
  2. Hold the door for people! If you are on the elevator or the first one on and there is a group of people filing on or maybe they’re just a little slow, don’t let the damn doors close on the people. Find the “Door Open” button and hold it or trigger the sensor to keep the door from closing if at all possible. There’s no reason to watch an older person with a walker struggling to get onto the elevator and then get thrown off balance by the closing doors.
  3. If you’re by the only set of buttons, you are the designated operator. What does this mean? Well as people get on and you are crowding the buttons, ask them what floor they need and then push the button for them. Conversely, you can always get outta the way! lol The other side of that is, if you get on and I ask what floor and I’m pushing buttons, there’s no need to shove me out of the way to push the one you want. I promise I’ll push it if I asked. That said…
  4. Know where you want to go! I work in the medical field so people are always getting on the elevator for various floors that hold multiple suites and doctors’ offices and other businesses. No, I’m sorry that I don’t have the huge building’s directory memorized or have never even heard your doctor’s name. You need to know what floor you’re going to before getting on the elevator and don’t get mad at me when I don’t know where you need to go. lol I know my area and a couple of others. That’s it.
  5. No need to be rude or ignore people. I get it that maybe you’re tired or cross or just don’t feel like a long conversation. It’s a short trip in an elevator and I’ve felt that way on many days. But it makes my day when someone just smiles and says something like “hello” or “have a good day”. It takes so little effort and can make someone feel a little lighter. However, I also know that sometimes we can have things on our mind and not be paying attention. So I try to let little snubs go as I realize they might not be intentional. Or hell, maybe they don’t speak English and, as that’s the only language I know, they just didn’t understand me. But also…it is a short trip so don’t start a conversation that won’t finish when you or I need to go. lol
  6. Don’t crowd the door so people can’t get on or off. If I’m waiting for the elevator to open onto my floor and there’s a huge group around the door, it’s very hard for me to get off. Typically it’s better to let those on to get off before trying to stampede onto the elevator and run them over.

That’s it. Six short rules to try to keep in mind when you’re getting on or off an elevator. Not too difficult when you think about it. It’s just things that maybe people have forgotten. Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear from you.

Learning to Take Financial Control

Growing up, my family didn’t have much money. Vacations consisted mostly of the five of us (my two sisters, myself and my parents) loaded into the station wagon, luggage in the back and driving to Florida or North Georgia or somewhere else within the limit of time that we could put up with each other. I don’t remember my parents ever talking about saving money, I didn’t get an allowance and I was never taught anything about planning for retirement or investing or any of that stuff. It’s funny because I started working as soon as it was legal for me to do so, right at 15 or 16, and I started spending my money as I made it, saving a little here and there but mostly just buying what I wanted or contributing to groceries or, once I had my car, saving for the insurance premiums.

So when I got married at 20, as he was older than me, I thought he knew how to handle money because of his age and expected experience. Boy was I wrong! Didn’t realize I had married a big spender with big dreams and a very modest income. In the end, before I walked out, I was working two jobs just to keep our heads above water and he was spending as fast as I could make it. When I would bring up concerns or beg him to stop spending or demand to know what this or that charge on our credit cards were, or when I tried to set a budget or adamantly refuse to apply for another loan or credit card, the ex was very good at making me feel like I really didn’t understand finances. He would try talking me into things, bullying me, and guilt-tripping me. And I admit, y’all, that there were lots of times when I questioned whether I knew what I was talking about or not.

But here I am, left his carcass over 2 years ago, all my bills paid on time every month, some money in the bank and I’ve even taken the money I got from our house sell and invested some of it. I’m not rich by any means, but I have an awesome credit score and I don’t have this gnawing ache in the pit of my stomach when I get the mail every day or the phone rings or I go grocery shopping. I don’t have a running total in my head to make sure I have enough to buy food. So obviously my instincts were good, and I’m learning more about how to plan ahead for the future and balance what I need or want now for what I need and want later.

The cool part about this is that I am learning to dream for things I want again. Vacations that I never thought I’d be able to afford (and I’m talking like a week at Disney not a two month long European cruise) are not only possible, they might actually happen more than once in my life. Things that I never allowed myself to think about buying or doing, are within my reach if I’m careful and plan. That’s such an awesome feeling! I don’t want so much money that I don’t need anyone or anything. But I am happy to have self-confidence in my abilities to deal with my finances and occasionally spring for something a little more self-indulgent.

I love feeling like I can help people who need it without depriving myself of my own needs. Not that I minded in the past but it’s nice to not constantly worry about it anymore. It’s nice to know that I’m not crazy or a little (and this might not be PC so forgive me if it offends because I’m not trying to) slow and can’t understand basic finance stuff. It’s nice to have the validation that I can take care of myself, mostly, and that just because I’m younger than some people, maybe not as experienced, or I’ve never had enough money to think about whether to invest in the stock market or put it in a CD that I can learn and take control and be in the driver’s seat and come out okay in the end. I will admit that I’m grateful to know how to do without and count every penny, but I’m also grateful that I don’t have to be quite that careful anymore…at least for now. Life is always subject to change. lol

Celebrating the Close of a Long Chapter

Ok so I left my husband in May of 2015 and hadn’t gone back to that house except to move some things when I got an apartment in July and to drop something off. Both of those times were within the first couple of months after I left. We finally had it out and he bullied and dared me into filing for divorce in May of 2016. It was final in September and in the divorce agreement, he had agreed to buy me out of the marital home, and I would no longer be responsible for any money going towards that house. He was supposed to buy me out by the end of the year (2016).

Well he had a couple of health issues, and I am not an unfeeling person so I made some payments to help him out until the time he said he would not only be able to take over all expenses with the house but get me the money to buy me out. One thing I will say for my ex is he is a very smooth talker…a born salesman. He will make you believe just about anything and feel sorry for him with the best sob stories. But it’s all BS and eventually people figure that out. When I called him on his bluff and told him I wanted the house to sell as he hadn’t been able to buy me out (as was the agreement in writing), he first tried asking for more time (which I wouldn’t agree to), then he started to threaten me and get nasty. I wasn’t going to throw him out of his house! (Ironic since when he wanted money from me it was “our house”.)

I had been nothing but reasonable. I think helping him out with payments about 9 months after I was supposed to was more than generous, but as long as we owned the house I was still tethered to him and that wasn’t the arrangement we had agreed to. I pointed all of this out in an email and said that technically, if I pushed and wanted to be nasty back, I could ask the court to force him to reimburse me for what money I had put in since the divorce. That’s when he hit the roof and decided to try to bully me more. I was ‘trying to destroy his life’ and ‘stealing’ from him. I was not going to get any more money out of him. I was not going to force him out of his home. I would get my money when he had it and not before!

So I hired a lawyer. I had let him sweet-talk, bully, threaten, override, walk-over, and push me around all of our married life and he was still trying to do it. No more. I was not going to be pushed around anymore, and I was going to force him to give me what he promised just once in the time that I had known him. I called his bluff and, even though my lawyer informed me that I had the right to ask for more if I wanted it, I kept my demands to what we had agreed to and to be reimbursed for the money I had put in after the divorce. I would have let that go without resentment or anger if he had simply been reasonable and done as we agreed.

Well the end result is that yesterday the house sold, my half of the money plus what I had put into that house since the divorce is being wired to me today and I am finally free. We had no kids thankfully, so I have no reason anymore to fear him, talk to him, take his calls or emails. I’m closing the book on a very painful and long section of my life and it’s looking nothing but up! I feel lighter…a weight has been lifted and so much of my stress is gone. While I’m not rich by any means, I have a little nest egg for emergencies and to invest for retirement or what-have-you. I admit that I’m honestly thinking of taking a nice vacation as well. I’m happy and feel like I could fly.

Independent vs Stubborn to a Fault

So today’s topic is a little bit off from my usual stuff but I want to put this out there. I’m in my mid 30’s with a birthday this fall that puts me closer to the 40 side than the 30 one. I’m not much for numbers and for the most part, other than wondering where the heck my life seems to have gone, I don’t mind getting older. I’m young at heart and I have a lot of fun without being stupid…most of the time. lol

However, while I enjoy my life and independence, I really hope that as I get even older, I won’t be like a couple of my grandparents or many of the patients I have. I hope I will remember the lessons that they are teaching me now that a younger person does not offer assistance to say that they can’t do some things or to make them feel bad but because the younger person sincerely wants to help and sometimes…well, we can’t do things without help.

Case in point: when my family talked and decided that it was no longer safe for my grandparents to drive anymore and took the keys to their car, they had a fit. They tried begging, threatening, wheedling, pulled the ‘I’m-your-parent-and-you-do-as-I-say’ routine, tried the ‘it’s-my-car-so-give-me-the-damn-keys’ so many times it stopped being surprising…everything they could think of to be allowed to drive. But here’s the thing, the last time my grandfather drove he almost hit somebody who was walking on the side of the road! And my grandmother was driving on the wrong side at least part of the way before she realized it! It just wasn’t safe for them to be behind the wheel anymore…not for them or anybody else. So we stood firm and even got almost mean about it when we told them no. I hated doing that to them but it was the responsible thing to do for society and them.

I hope that when I’m old and I really need assistance I will be humble enough to accept my limitations and accept that help. That could come in the form of another person or a walker or cane or wheelchair or whatever! I’m trying to take good care of myself now so that I’m not a burden on others in the future but the truth is, when we use these things, it keeps our independence. If an older person falls and breaks a hip, that makes them even more reliant on others for help. If they had used the tools and people they needed to begin with, so many things might have been prevented. Those who offer to help, genuinely want to and don’t mind.

That said, I also want to note that if you are a caregiver of someone with health issues or who is older, you need to remember to ask for help yourself. One person can’t do it all and you will burn out quickly if you try. Find resources to help you…friends, family, programs, whatever you need. But make sure you take care of you so you can also take care of those dependent on you. That’s one thing I am learning. I have to stop and take care of myself sometimes and that’s ok. I used to feel guilty but not as much anymore because I know I need that just like everyone else. We’re all human and we need rest and food and fun like everyone else.

Feel free to share your stories and advice with me! I’d love to hear from you.

Too Many Stressors at Once!

I know that everyone has stress in their life. I usually handle it pretty well but lately, I’ve been hit with a lot of huge stressful situations at one time. One of the only grandparents I have left is in the hospital and from what I’m hearing, it sounds like they are giving up on life and probably won’t be with us much longer. I am going to have to move soon because the house that I currently live in is going on the market. I rent at the moment. Also, still dealing with the ex-husband over money he owes and the house we owned, and that has a contract on it, underwent an inspection and appraisal this week. I’m supposed to get my half of the equity when it sells and then I can finally be done with the ex-husband forever if I can help it.

I could deal with any one of those separately and I could even handle two but all of them?! I’m really starting to feel it. Now while the ex and the house situation is looking like it will resolve itself soon, I am so afraid something will mess it up and I’ll have to keep dealing with the ex-husband for months to come.

As for my grandparent, they have had Alzheimer’s for a long time and I’m torn, even having been in the medical field for over a decade, between hoping they get better and get to go home and hoping they will go peacefully there in the hospital. I don’t want them to suffer any more and I know that their home isn’t really the best place for them at this stage of their illness. The guilt over which way to feel is an added stress.

Moving, for any reason good or bad and for any distance long or short, is always a pain in the @$$ because no matter how close or far the new place is, everything has to go with you! I just moved about 6 months ago and here I go having to move again. I’m good at packing and I like to do stuff like that myself but it does feel a little overwhelming right now with everything I have to do.

So why am I writing about all this here? Well for one thing, it is somewhat therapeutic to get it all out. But also because I think overall I might be handling it pretty good considering. Everything in my life that I go through makes me stronger and I see it. Do I believe that ‘everything happens for a reason’. No I don’t. Sometimes it just is. Sometimes it’s life. Sometimes it’s other people causing us issues because of their decisions or actions. I am actually able to sleep and go to work and while it is messing with my WW goals at the moment, I’m not doing as bad as I have in the past when faced with majorly stressful situations. And I’m definitely going to give myself credit for that. I am trying to maintain a positive attitude instead of a ‘woe is me’ one. I’m trying to remember that stuff happens. I’m trying to take deep breaths and a couple of minutes of quiet when I can to center myself and find peace before dealing with the next hurdle. Because I know I can.

Facebook Relationship Status

Ok so in a couple of my previous posts I have mentioned that I am divorced. I have also alluded to my boyfriends…as in plural. So what does my Facebook relationship status say? lol “It’s complicated”. Perhaps now would be a good time to mention that this is sort of a ‘not for younger readers’ post. I’m not going to get explicit but some of you parents out there might not want to have to try to explain things like this just yet.

Perhaps I should start with a few terms that you might have heard before: polyamory, dominant and submissive, bi-curious…yeah I think that might cover it. So quick refresher on my personal background. I come from an extremely conservative family and I married someone in my very strict church who turned out to be a real narcissistic a-hole, divorced him and now I’m not living according to the way I was brought up and chose a different path for my life.

So what path are we talking about here? Well, I guess you could say I started exploring myself in all ways when I left my ex and that includes in a sexual nature. I’ve always had a little attraction to a woman here or there but never acted on it. I will admit to having wondered what it might be like to be with someone who understands how my body works more closely than the guys out there. I’ve never acted on it and who knows if I ever will. However, I’m not closed off to the possibility so therefore, I suppose you could call me “bi-curious”. In any case, even if I never end up exploring that side of myself, I will always be able to appreciate the beauty of the female form and certain females especially.

So on to polyamory… I have 2, count them 2, boyfriends and yes they both know about each other! lol And while maybe they aren’t ecstatic over the fact that they share me, they are ok with it and we are actually working towards, possibly, all living together at some point in the future. Whether or not that works out remains to be seen and is a topic for another day. BUT! Both know they are special to me and the other is special to me as well. Without giving their names away and exposing anything, we shall call them “West-Coaster” and “Native”. Take that as you will and I will talk more about them in the future.

For now, it’s enough to say that I actually started out dating West-Coaster online and we hit it off as just flirting and then he told me that he is very much a believer in polyamory. He had a girlfriend when we met and even though she’s no longer around, he was just as sweet and attentive to me as he was to her and I started thinking…well, maybe it is possible. I will be happy to talk about how that evolved more in the future and will but for now, I’ll just say that my view of polyamory has changed a good bit. I believe it’s absolutely possible to care for more than one person at a time and care about them both just as strongly, even if differently. Not everyone is cut out for it and I’m not talking about someone who just can’t control their sexual urges when faced with the next potential partner. I’m talking about real, true, deep feelings. I love both my guys and they know it.

Now for the last term…dom/sub. I have indeed a dom/sub relationship with one of my boyfriends. I am West-Coaster’s sub in matters involving the bedroom and usually when we’re flirting. I never really saw myself in such a position but I find I quite enjoy the change. I play at being more dominant with Native but for the most part that’s just on occasion and want to change things up a bit. So what does that mean? I divorced my ex because he was an arrogant, selfish dude and then I turn around and put myself as a sub and let a guy dominate me? Well sorta. I can say that it’s NOTHING like 50 Shades of Gray so don’t ask. lol I will go into more details in the future (not graphic details but a little more explanation of how the relationship works) but it’s nice to be able to say that I have two guys who love me and want to take care of me, in multiple ways. I’m happy that I’m accepted as a flawed human being who is still a work-in-progress and still exploring who she is.

So have I rambled enough to whet your appetite? Let me know what you’re thinking…what you want to hear about, know about, questions, concerns, comments, suggestions…well you get the picture. lol In the meantime, have an awesome Friday!

Change is a Part of Living

So this might seem a weird subject but I wanted to address the subject of change. Humans, in general, seem to hate change. We resist it and avoid it, make excuses and even sometimes flat out refuse to go along with it. I’ve heard people say things like they can’t change their circumstances, their physical issues, their financial status, their marriage, their job, the chronic illness they are fighting…and the list goes on and on. One of my favorite excuses is that the person is too old to learn something new now.

Here’s the problem: Life has to change! We have to adapt and grow to keep on living. No one can stop change. It’s all around us! Technology changes, the environment changes, the weather, seasons, buildings, people…everything changes! And you have to be ready to roll with the punches or you’ll get run over! Make changes yourself or adapt or you will no longer be ‘living’ but just existing. Does that mean we have to like or enjoy every change? Nope and lots of times you won’t. lol But the truth is, so much is out of our control that we have to concentrate on what is in our control.

So if you can’t change something that’s changing or that’s out of your control (like that chronic illness or financial circumstances) what can you do or change? Your attitude! Maybe a more positive attitude and acceptance is what you have control over changing! Maybe if you are aware of the situation and looking for ways to make the changes possibly down the road, it will keep hope alive for you and yourself moving forward!

Let me give you an example. I was in a pretty bad marriage. I didn’t feel that my ex cared whether I was around or not, we did virtually nothing together. I worked 2 jobs to support us and he spent money like crazy and kept our debt growing. I was taking care of family that lived close by and I felt so horribly stuck. Stuck taking care of family when I was exhausted with no support. Stuck in a marriage that I was terribly unhappy in. Stuck working myself into the ground not only at my secular jobs but in keeping the house clean and tidy since he wouldn’t help with that either. I drove over an hour to both jobs and I was a miserable person. I tried changing my attitude first. Maybe if I tried to be more positive and asked for help more I would get it or at least be happier. Nope. Didn’t get the help I asked for (in fact I was berated for asking and told to quit “bitching” all the time), and the positive attitude only kept me going so far. It helped but hard to combat the negativity coming at you from all directions when you’re exhausted.

So I tried talking to my spiritual support, my family, friends. None of them could really help me and I knew that. I wasn’t looking for them to change things for me, just to counteract the gaslighting that my ex was doing to me. (For those who don’t know, gaslighting is when someone makes someone else think there’s something wrong with them or their thinking…that they’re crazy, etc. Look it up if you haven’t heard of it. It’ll blow your mind.) They were supportive in the best way they could be. But finally, one day, I realized that I was heading towards one of two endings here. I had to leave the situation either on my feet or in a body bag. Yes, I seriously contemplated suicide for a few seconds here or there. Never attempted it and dismissed it quickly but I needed to do something.

So I told my ex husband I was leaving. I had had enough and I was tired of trying to change things on my own and him working against me. It was hard. I had married young and had never been on my own before. But I left and I never once cried about it or looked back. Did I immediately divorce him? No. I still held a small glimmer of hope that he might come to his senses and realize that I was serious. But finally, after many months of taking care of myself and growing as a person, I realized that there was never any going back.

Was it scary? Absolutely! I had been married for over 15 years! I had no place of my own and couldn’t really afford one at first. But it was the best decision I think I’ve ever made. I’ve grown tremendously. I have been able to make changes, big and small, that have allowed me to be a happier human being and healthier too. I’m truly happy now and I continue to make changes that are in not only my best interests but in the interests of all those I care about and am around. I have hope and can see a future where I don’t feel trapped anymore.

So embrace change. Find ways to adapt or make your own changes, even if it’s just in your attitude! I hate getting up early in the mornings but I embrace that as part of my new job that allows me to take care of myself and spend time with my bf’s who are also on day jobs. If you need help in creating new pathways in your life or even just your brain, share your story with me! Let’s see if we can figure out something, anything that might help give you some hope and at least a smile for today.