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  #251  
Old 11-19-2014, 03:44 AM
icesong icesong is offline
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We've been playing MtG too! it's more fun than I remember it being back then...
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Other Dramatis Personae are detailed in my blog.
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  #252  
Old 11-19-2014, 01:49 PM
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PokéGirl: "I think I'm going to stop buying Magic cards."
Me: "Why?"
PokéGirl: "Because if I'm going to waste my money on something, it's going to be Pokémon."

Can't argue with that logic.

She did, however, assure me that if other people buy her cards, she will happily accept and play (which means I don't have to take her Christmas present back).

It *is* fun! Chops and I played the other night, and had some really long, evenly-matched games (after putting together a couple decks). PokéGirl and I played Pokémon last night with some decks she put together - a little more work to be done on the decks (not enough of the right kind of energy cards), but they were pretty good and evenly matched! Yay, kid!

Nerd Mom, GO!
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Dramatis personae:
Me: 47/F, Monogamish? Divorced with 2 kids, 2 cats, a tarantula, and a 1930s house with many projects.
Chops: 48/M, Partner of 7 years.
Spinner: 53/M, Friend I went on a couple dates with. Divorced, Mono, "just friends".
Xena: 48/F, Chops' partner of 7 years
Curls: 51/F, Chops' partner of 2 years


Supporting Characters:
Choplet: Chops' son
DanceGirl: My oldest daughter
Pokégirl: My youngest daughter
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  #253  
Old 11-19-2014, 03:32 PM
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Oh, so after spending last season mucking about with the wood stove, we come to the eventual realization that the smoke/smolder/how-do-I-work-this-thing problem was that the firewood that wasn't quite as "seasoned" as we would have liked. I finally had the funds to get the chimney guy out yesterday so I could USE the wood stove (delayed due to sending sis money for a couple months). I bought a couple bags of Enviro-Bricks and stuffed the stove with those last night.

Wow.
Very little smoke, and when they go, they GO. Nice and toasty. Only downside: none of the "wood stove" smell. Still, no smoke and soot means a cleaner house and a happier me. And DanceGirl doesn't like the wood stove smell anyway (which I don't get - it's such a comfy, homey smell - but hey...). I just ordered a ton. The pallet should be there at the house when I arrive. Go big or go home...

Of course, with Chops and I both nursing some neck/shoulder pain, it probably doesn't behoove me to schlep bags of compressed wood from hither to yon, but I'd rather not leave a whole pallet of it in my driveway for days on end. Guess I'll be getting some weightlifting in tonight.

Relationship stuff? Chops' mom inadvertently found out about Noa when Xena accidentally outed the info. She gave him hell up and down, and told him he should watch "Sister Wives" so he could know just "how much these girls go through." Like he doesn't know already with my big mouth...

*shrug*

I keep Chops informed if it's something that needs to be said. I remain in a state of "meh" about Xena, which is fine with me. Hanging out with her from time to time is fine, but I don't seek her out. We all got together last weekend (me, the kids, Chops, and Xena) for a bit, and I sort of felt like an nth wheel. Chops separates himself from the kids naturally anyway (the "I don't want to interrupt your time with the kids") thing, and so he gravitated toward being with Xena more of the time (and she seemed to be fairly out of her element where we were, so there's that). It felt odd, but it was short-lived, and I was occupied anyway, so "meh".

I figure "meh" is *way* better than all the emotional processing I would have done a couple years ago. Win!

Still, a PSA from your friendly neighborhood extravert: the desire to not be approached by vendors does NOT mean I'm not an extravert. It DOES mean that I don't know how to end a conversation about a product that I do not want, without feeling rude, so I'd rather avoid the situation altogether. I like talking to people, so breaking off a sales pitch feels wrong and rude, even though I hate sales pitches because it's just fake conversation. Blah.

PSA over. Back to your regularly scheduled program.
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: 47/F, Monogamish? Divorced with 2 kids, 2 cats, a tarantula, and a 1930s house with many projects.
Chops: 48/M, Partner of 7 years.
Spinner: 53/M, Friend I went on a couple dates with. Divorced, Mono, "just friends".
Xena: 48/F, Chops' partner of 7 years
Curls: 51/F, Chops' partner of 2 years


Supporting Characters:
Choplet: Chops' son
DanceGirl: My oldest daughter
Pokégirl: My youngest daughter
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  #254  
Old 12-23-2014, 10:36 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Default Happy Holidays, all!

Hey all,
Just wanted to wish everyone a great holiday season, whatever you celebrate.

Chops and I will be wrapping gifts tonight, then he leaves at the crack of dark to do his Christmas Eve traditions with his daughter. I'll do some of my own with my kids, and head down to his place with Xena on Christmas day and bring Cards Against Humanity with me. It's already strange without Mom around, and I'm sure that's adding to the holiday blues I've been feeling lately, but my sisters and I have been closer this year, my grandparents are still with us, and I have great friends and extended family. I know I'm lucky in that regard, and it helps to remind myself of that every so often.

Wishing all of you some nice times with your loved ones. Diet hiatus time, everyone!
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: 47/F, Monogamish? Divorced with 2 kids, 2 cats, a tarantula, and a 1930s house with many projects.
Chops: 48/M, Partner of 7 years.
Spinner: 53/M, Friend I went on a couple dates with. Divorced, Mono, "just friends".
Xena: 48/F, Chops' partner of 7 years
Curls: 51/F, Chops' partner of 2 years


Supporting Characters:
Choplet: Chops' son
DanceGirl: My oldest daughter
Pokégirl: My youngest daughter

Last edited by YouAreHere; 12-23-2014 at 10:41 PM. Reason: Had to remove the nose from my smiley, or it wouldn't look like a smiley!
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  #255  
Old 01-05-2015, 07:57 PM
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Default Resolution Time...

New Year's Resolution time.

Yeah, I hate them too. It's nice to have all these grand ideas that fall by the wayside in practice because we don't know how to implement them. Hence, my resolution.

Balance.

That "New Year's Resolution" mode? The one where we take on all sorts of things that we want to do for ourselves, or need to do, in addition to the things going on in our lives already? The mode that is doomed to failure after we either get caught up in life and don't have the time we thought we would, or we fall into old patterns? Welcome to my life.

This holiday season was another rough one. Two years now of a crazy, overwhelming whirlwind. I think after a couple years of this, I have a bit better perspective of what's going wrong here. Let's take a stab at it...

Historically, I have always loved the holidays. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I enjoy just spending the time with loved ones without all the shopping/gift-giving hullabaloo. I love decorating for Christmas. I love taking pictures of the kids in front of the Christmas tree. I love baking. I love the parties and the people and the lights and yes - the music (after November, thank you very much!).

Except, for the last couple years, I have been completely overwhelmed. So much so, that my enjoyment of the holidays has been replaced with an urge to just detach, period.

What the hell happened? A combination of more demands on my time, the pressure to find/make the time to do the things I *want* to do, and the "quality time" aspect of both my relationship with Chops and my kids. There just aren't enough days.

The two-days-on / two-days-off schedule with Chops is tenuous at times, anyway. When it's going smoothly, without perturbation, it's usually fine. I've accepted that my "Quality Time" nature makes it so that the time I do spend with him is spent WITH him, engaged with him. I don't like to do housework, etc. when he's here, because our time together is scarce enough as it is. So, the housework and other errands and "need to's" get pushed off for the days he's not here.

I do the same with my kids. I get my kids every weekend and a couple hours one weekday night, and those hours are theirs. I like to spend that time with them, and not off doing something else (okay, so my oldest is 13 and doesn't want all that time with mom anymore, but I still like to leave it open). If I'm out for any reason when they're home with me, I get anxious about spending too much time away from them. Again, our time together is limited; I really don't like to cut into it.

So, doing the math, that's an average of 3.5 days/week with Chops. It's 2 days (and one night) with the kids.

Sometimes, there's overlap, but it's not as nice as you'd think. Chops tends to distance himself from the kids when he's here with them, so I don't have to choose between the two of them, or struggle to find activities for all of us to enjoy. Except, it forces the choice for me. Bah.

With the most overlap, I basically have 3 days left during the week to do what I need to do... and outside of the holiday season, that's usually plenty. The problem is, I end up feeling like my "Quality Time" with either Chops or the kids suffers, because we don't get the one-on-one time. I either feel distant, or I get all time-hoardy and need more Quality Time when we are able to be alone.

With the least overlap, I end up with two days to myself, which is pushing it.

Within that time, not only do I do housework, catch up on reading / TV watching, write (boy, have my blogs suffered), but it's the time I use to get together with friends. I will occasionally attend something on a night with the kids or with Chops, but I try to avoid it as much as possible.

Add the holidays to the mix. Now, there's gift-buying, decorating, card-writing, gift and card-sending, phone calls, parties, baking, and the various travel to/from holiday get-togethers with family: Yule, Christmas Eve with the kids, Christmas Day, post-Christmas/birthday.

It gets overwhelming, and rather than engaging even more (so I can get everything done), at some point, I just detach. I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted. Sitting down to write is just too much work. Reading? Too much work. I feel distant from Chops. I just get completely steamrolled.

I end up enjoying myself at the various events, at least, but there's always something "not getting done."

This year, I also had some things to wrap up with my mom's estate before the year closed out. And my bathroom renovation remains unfinished. Oy.

So... balance.

Clearly, ignoring all the housework / projects / etc. in favor of "Chops Time" isn't working out so well. We've discussed doing these things together, rather than just parking our asses in front of the hookah or an episode of Top Gear. Or, at least, in addition to doing so. The bathroom reno is restarting, if only because having one bathroom got old months ago. The only good news here is that procrastinating got me the tile I wanted, cheap. Yay?

Time with the kids isn't going to change in the near future. I want to be there with them until they no longer want that. My youngest is also a Quality Time kinda kid, and enjoys sitting with me, getting back rubs, etc. I plan to hang onto that as long as I can (which may only be another couple of years).

Work.
Work will bleed me dry if I let it. At the end of 2014, I had a significant design review that I needed to get done by the end of December. It went well, and I'm proud of my work, but again - working late leads to less time to do the rest of the stuff that needs to get done. I'll need to start considering taking regular vacation time again, just to nip away at the things hanging over my head.

Other? Planning ahead to make time to see friends. Planning ahead so things like the holidays don't hit me all at once.

Balance.
Making the time to do the things I want to do. Setting aside time each week to just read, write, sort through mom's photos, etc. Knock something off the "want to do" list, rather than the "have to do" list, since this stuff is important too. Exercise! Very important, and completely fallen off the priority list.

So this New Year's Resolution is a pretty tall order, but it's something that I need to do, before I end up suffering from a breakdown.

But hey... look. I got something written.
Onward and upward.
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: 47/F, Monogamish? Divorced with 2 kids, 2 cats, a tarantula, and a 1930s house with many projects.
Chops: 48/M, Partner of 7 years.
Spinner: 53/M, Friend I went on a couple dates with. Divorced, Mono, "just friends".
Xena: 48/F, Chops' partner of 7 years
Curls: 51/F, Chops' partner of 2 years


Supporting Characters:
Choplet: Chops' son
DanceGirl: My oldest daughter
Pokégirl: My youngest daughter
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  #256  
Old 01-05-2015, 10:00 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Awww hugs! I can relate. Even though my kids are older and I don't have to shop for toys and clothes and do all that wrapping and getting things under the tree at 1AM, Xmas really stresses me out.

However, I always cut back without guilt if I need to. Cards pretty much fell by the wayside when my ex h and I first separated. I was proud this year, I sent 4!

Last year before all the Ginger debacle and the flood, I put a lot of lights outside on our bushes and door, and it looked so magical, but I didn't this year.

We had one friend over for Yule ritual and feast. Only my son for Xmas for a cpl days, then he left, then he came back for New Years weekend.

There was one party we were invited to and declined. We managed to make candy though, rum balls (my recipe) and peanut brittle (miss p's speciality).

I was thrilled with how simple it all was, but still relieved when it was over. Thought I was out of the woods. Then miss pixi had a death in the family and she needed to go to NY stat! Oy! And we have to get to Fla to finish cleaning out my dad's condo this month too.

But anyway, I did simplify the winter hols at least.

I think it is very wise to include Chops and the girls in house care projects. More balance! Some leisure, TV, backrubs, sex... And some work! You got that big strong guy, put him to work. That's what men are good for, imo. Fucking and lifting heavy things.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags (poly, F, 63)
Pixi (poly, F, 41) my nesting partner since January 2009
Master, (mono, M, 37), Pixi's bf since April 2013
BigGuy (poly, M, married, 43, dating me since late summer 2018)
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  #257  
Old 01-05-2015, 10:20 PM
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Thanks, Mags!
I forgot to mention that this year, we also battled the Stomach Bug... PokéGirl came down with it Christmas Eve night, so it made playing Santa a bit tough, between stuffing stockings, putting together an air hockey table, and nursing the poor kid who was getting sick into a wastebasket. Holy moley.

I came down with it the day after Christmas, after spending a nice day with Chops and Xena. I initially mistook it for a hangover (heh), but soon realized that it wasn't. I was forced to cancel a few plans with that one.

When it rains, it pours, but at least it's done raining for the time being.

Glad you were able to simplify, despite the emergency moments (my condolences to Miss Pixi). Determining priorities is going to be key for me, I think, rather than "MUST DO ALL THE THINGS!"

I agree with you - I've been almost enshrining my time together with Chops, in a way. I miss actually *doing* things together, and I think the overwhelmed feeling just led to a huge funk. We'll do some more work on the house tonight. Getting sweaty with one's love (for various reasons) is always a good thing. And bonus exercise!

On another good note, Christmas with Chops and Xena went very well, and I think I'm easing off the negative feelings about hanging out with Xena a bit. I know it tends to go up and down, so I'm wary, but I'm thinking of getting together with her again to try the antiquing thing and see how that goes. Baby steps. At least antiquing is easier with a minivan.
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: 47/F, Monogamish? Divorced with 2 kids, 2 cats, a tarantula, and a 1930s house with many projects.
Chops: 48/M, Partner of 7 years.
Spinner: 53/M, Friend I went on a couple dates with. Divorced, Mono, "just friends".
Xena: 48/F, Chops' partner of 7 years
Curls: 51/F, Chops' partner of 2 years


Supporting Characters:
Choplet: Chops' son
DanceGirl: My oldest daughter
Pokégirl: My youngest daughter
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  #258  
Old 01-05-2015, 11:18 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I am glad hanging with Xena went better. I wonder why.

Thanks for the condolences! Her brother is taking it really hard, macho man style, getting drunk and yelling. The deceased meant a lot to him and the death was very sudden. Everyone is blindsided. Poor miss p, dealing with her crazy brother.

Can't wait til your powder room is all done up nice! I agree it sounds like you were enshrining your time with Chops. Good way to put it.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags (poly, F, 63)
Pixi (poly, F, 41) my nesting partner since January 2009
Master, (mono, M, 37), Pixi's bf since April 2013
BigGuy (poly, M, married, 43, dating me since late summer 2018)
Ravi (poly, M, married, 37, dating me since late summer 2018)
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  #259  
Old 01-06-2015, 03:54 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Oh! That is very much like what a lot of women do when they get married, like they think they have to prove their devotion, not to be distracted by mundane chores - so the husband sees the house running all by itself and takes it all for granted, never really seeing what she does to make it all work. Not saying that is your dynamic, but you do yourself a disservice to devote all "his days" to making sure it's all comfy, sexy, fun, special... and never any work or absence from each other.

I think that probably one of the best things you can do for your relationships is not to make the days he is with you all about BEING WITH HIM. I mean, of course you will be with him, but being while doing other things.

Be present with him in your everyday life! So, yeah, fold laundry together, finish that bathroom, have lunch with your girlfriends while he runs to Home Depot, etc. - don't spend the whole two or three days being glued to his side because it's **supposed to be special.** He's your partner, not your guest.

I hope you get my drift, I suddenly feel like I'm overstating it or not being clear.
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  #260  
Old 01-06-2015, 05:59 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Does he cook and do dishes? At least? It is odd he doesnt act in the least bit like a step dad... avoids the girls! Doesn't he ever drive them somewhere for you, to an activity or sport or dance or a friends' or shopping for something they need?

Not critical. I've not been in your situation, and I know every family is different, but isn't there usually some kind of parental attitude or role a long term, often present bf of a mom would have? Not discipline per se, but general chauffeuring and caretaking?

madi and my son are really close good friends. Of course, he's 22 and she's 38, they are practically peers, but she's always taken a warm interest in my kids, so, well. I guess every family is different. Does Chops not LIKE kids?
__________________
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags (poly, F, 63)
Pixi (poly, F, 41) my nesting partner since January 2009
Master, (mono, M, 37), Pixi's bf since April 2013
BigGuy (poly, M, married, 43, dating me since late summer 2018)
Ravi (poly, M, married, 37, dating me since late summer 2018)

Last edited by Magdlyn; 01-06-2015 at 06:04 AM.
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