Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Eastbound and Down


-The list of places to eat is longer than the list of things to do.

-The weather in Memphis is going to be perfect.

-The mayor of Memphis asked to follow me on Twitter.

-The amount of pictures taken on this trip may exceed ridiculous. I'm more than okay with that.

-Every time I type ridiculous I have to have spell check fix it.

-Chris Tomlin just came up on my Justin Bieber Pandora. What?!

-I am putting off packing because it's my favorite part of trip preparations.

-I bought 3 pairs of pants and 2 shirts for less than I paid for 1 hoodie. And that was $20. WHAT UP.

-Since only 1 of you entered the gas station t-shirt contest, I'll be making some killer playlists. ***EDIT*** I had a hand delivered last minute entry. So now 2 of you will battle it out!

-The laundry fairy is real.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

reflections on being a d-word: addition/subtraction

Kristen and I talk a lot about how much we've both changed through the process of divorce. It's hard not to look back on who you were before, who you are now, and look at the difference. One thing both of us have tried reeeeaaaaaaallllyyyy hard to do is to empty our lives of the things that don't add to our lives.

That has taken the shape of a lot of different things. I canceled my entire TV service. I took up exercising like a trainer regularly. I'm back at yoga. I'm going to counseling. I'm attending a weekly support group called Divorce Care. I've made face-time with friends a priority. (And I'm talking face-to-face, not via iPhone.)  I've tried to evaluate my life and find the common denominators that subtract life. Things are hard enough right now! I don't need something else trying to drag me down into the pit of despair! Sometimes that has meant setting boundaries and saying no to some responsibilities. Taking care of yourself isn't selfish. It's healthy. It's necessary. And the rewards are so much better than pleasing people and being able to talk about the latest episode of Glee. There's a lot of noise in life that just doesn't matter. I'm trying to keep that volume down.

You know what? It feels really good. When you take away the things that are subtracting from your life, it leaves all this room that you can fill with things that give you life. I replaced watching tv with practicing yoga. I replaced eating alone with a support group. I replaced depression with counseling. I replaced a damaged self-esteem with motivation. I've made some new friends. I've discovered some new hobbies. I've re-dreamt some dreams.

Kristen has shared several posts with me from this blog called Zen Habits. Before you start telling me that's new-age and meditation doesn't work and blah blah blah...I'd encourage you to read the post on scarcity. I identify with it right now and I hope these lifestyle changes stick around. I think a scarce life can bring a lot of joy.

I will close with 5 things I like about myself. This is a practice I'm trying to do daily that I borrowed from this blog. (The sociologist in me is LOVING her experiment! I've noticed the longer I go without looking in the mirror, the better I feel about myself.)

1) My fingers and toes.
2) My comedic timing. (*cue drums and cymbal)
3) My hair.
4) My eyes.
5) My random freckles.

I hope you can do some addition and subtraction in your life. I know it's made a huge difference in mine.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

reflections on being a d-word: sleeping

I want to talk about divorce today. That doesn't happen every day so I figure I should take advantage of it.

I'm not sleeping well right now which means thoughts are running and spinning and echoing more than normal. Not sleeping well isn't new to my life in 2011, but it's especially annoying right now. Sleep has always been a favorite activity of mine. Growing up, I shared a room with my sister.  Now, you need to know that the only person in my family that enjoys getting up in the morning is my Mom. The rest of us have our own personal rituals for waking up, but we are all the same in that we'd prefer to not talk to anyone until we've been allowed to be awake for at least 30 minutes. (An hour preferably.) I won't speak for my siblings, but I am still very much this way. I lay in bed for about 30 minutes after my 3rd (final) alarm goes off.  I get up, get ready, drive to work, and usually don't need to talk to anyone for about the first hour or hour and a half of my work day. I was lucky that the 2 roommates I had in college also followed a similar ritual of waking up. Okay, waking up has very little to do with sleeping. Focus Cara!

One of my favorite memories about being married to my husband was our morning routine. When we first got married, I got up before he did and would get ready and leave for work (usually before he was even awake, much less up and around.) After my seizure, he was the one getting up and leaving for work while I was still in bed. Regardless, the days we would get to be at home in the mornings together, we had this silent language...this rhythm that we danced to while waking up. We would get up, he would make his coffee, I would get my juice. We'd make our respective breakfasts or I would make us pancakes or waffles. We'd usually have music playing or CNN on. We'd eat and drink. Maybe exchange tired faces and a laugh or two...but not really exchange words until we both gave the signal. I have no idea what the signal's just one of those things you figure out when you live with someone. You speak a silent language.

The first house we lived in together had one bathroom and we were up and around maybe 3 days a week at the same time which meant we had to share the bathroom. In my head, I can see us in that bathroom doing this sort of choreographed dance you have to do when sharing a bathroom. It was a pedestal sink too so there was no counter space. Lots of juggling. That silent language came in handy.

Since overcoming my fear of staying/living alone earlier this year, most nights are great. I fall asleep quickly, sleep all night, wake up contemplating calling in sick so I can continue sleeping....etc. I've noticed though that the times over the last 8 months that I've stayed with someone on a trip or someone has stayed at my house, I sleep on a completely different level. I sleep hard. I sleep deeply. I sleep soundly. I wake up feeling completely rested. I know the majority of that is because I feel safe, secure, and connected. I'm not alone. I tweeted the other day:
Immediately after tweeting it, I knew exactly why I stall going to sleep. It's because I have to face the fact, nearly every night, that he isn't there. He's not coming home. It's on me. I have to handle whatever happens in the night. If OG&E shows up with chainsaws and cuts my power and I think a horror movie is about to unfold...I'm going to have to suck it up and start slaying some dragons. Ah HAH! Here is the real issue. It's not that I don't think I can do it. I know I can do it if I have to. Key words: if I have to.

I didn't get married to avoid having to slay dragons on my own at 3am. But it's a nice bonus. Especially when you marry someone who's as tall as a dragon.

This week has been really interesting. I've been more introspective than usual and almost constantly processing. I realized my voice-mail still says my old name. I signed a credit card slip wrong. I nearly had a panic attack thinking I'd left my wedding ring somewhere. I was out running errands and thought "well I'll just ask him to do that." It was like I had temporary amnesia and my brain decided to take a week off of being divorced. "Oh, okay, well we'll just go back to being married," my brain was telling me. I had a Jim Carey moment from Liar Liar where I looked at myself in the mirror and said "PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!"

I miss that silent language. I miss the choreography of living with someone. I miss that underlying rhythm of sharing life.

The question I've had the most over the last few months has been, "If you knew then what the outcome would be, would you still have gotten married?" This question doesn't bother me and it's an easy answer.

Yes. Every day, every minute, every second. Yes.

The person who divorced me, is not the person I married.  That's what makes it so easy to answer.

I look forward to sleeping like I used to. Someday.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Memphis or Bust

I know we said that you were going to pick where we went on our road trip....but we decided we'd rather go to Memphis. (And the fact that nearly everyone said we should go to ABQ made us want to go to Memphis even more. We are such rebels.)

So it's Memphis or Bust.

You can follow our hilarity via tweets @wearethekellys. That way we don't annoy you with our constant reports of having fun and inside jokes on our individual twitter accounts.

If you know of a place we MUST stop and see between OKC and Memphis, let us know. We're trying to go all Elizabethtown on this road trip.

Also, you're welcome to submit playlists or mixed tapes for us to listen to on our adventure! The best DJ mix will be rewarded with a gas station t-shirt. You know you want one.

17 days and counting.