Passing the Time

I really appreciate everyone’s kind comments and support. The breakup thing just sucks. I was in the angry place for the past month and that’s giving way to the sad place. I’m finally starting to grieve it. I am reminded of a Sex and the City episode from Season 1. Charlotte says it takes half as long as the time you dated to really get over the relationship. Well, we were together for 2 years, so I guess I have a year to get my head back on straight again.

So what does one do in that year? What do we do to pass the time? I’ve decided to get back in shape. I used to be in phenominal condition. I even worked out with my trainer friends at Golds Gym. Indeed, a big part of the conflict in my previous relationship was that I was really unhappy with my physical condition and appearance and wanted to work on that. He did not want to allow me adequate time or space for proper exercise. And I mean to tell you, it was a BIG problem. He had no use for working out and got pretty miffed if I took time away from him to do so. He hated that I would get up at 5AM to work out because that meant I needed to go to bed sooner. I’ve never met a man that DIDN’T want his girl to work out.

So I’m training myself as much and as hard as I am currently able. It feels good to see strength gains and endurance improvements. However, after 5 whole weeks of working out 5 or 6 days a week for a minimum of 75 minutes, I saw zero change. I know this because my job has a health coach we can see once a month. She comes to campus and weighs, does site measurements and calculates body fat. I had zero change. This was really disappointing. So I had to accept the dieting part of the equation is necessary. I dug out my Weight Watchers stuff and put myself back on the Points program. I am not thrilled about this. For those of you who don’t know, Weight Watchers is a meager, strict diet. But, it does work. And it’s considered safe. This bullshit tagline of “Stop Dieting and Start Living” is so ridiculous. It’s absolutely a diet, but that’s reality in  world filled with so many temptations. It’s so disappointing to realize how little we actually need. Even with the long, arduous workouts, I’m still only allowed about 32 to 35 point a day which is about 1500 calories. If I don’t work out then I’m down to 22 points which is about 1100 calories. Food diaries start making me feel obsessive, but there’s no other alternative. If I don’t write it down and watch it, I’m going to over eat. I just love food!!!!!! I don’t eat junk and I certainly don’t eat fast foods. I’m so careful about it. But, whole foods are calorie heavy and you really have to watch it. So, I’m sweating and starving. But I’m determined!

I really do live in a small town. Honestly. We have one stoplight. One stop light and and a dozen fattening restaurants. The next closest town was recently voted as the 8th fattest in the nation. I moved from a top ten fittest to a top ten fattest. It is like moving to Mars!!!!!!!! Gyms are not plentiful and what’s available is either dirty and over crowded or totally inadequate. It’s sad. This is why it’s such a fat area. I’m considered pretty overweight right now, 30 pounds above ideal, and I look like I’m svelte compared to most of these women. Being a fit person in a small town like this really does make one feel like an outsider. Exercise just is not at the top of the list.

So what am I doing about it? I have a very nice space in my basement that I have for a workout room. I had purchased an Octane Elliptical about 5 years ago and it came with me in the move. When I got into the house I bought a Life Fitness treadmill. My next piece will be a spin bike. I firmly believe you must have professional grade gear, at least one piece, at home. It is expensive, but it’s an investment in your health. I’ve collected different dumb bells and kettle bells and things over the last few years. My most recent purchase was a Suzanne Somers over the door resistance band exerciser. I love her, and like this newest piece. I swear by exercise videos. I have a bunch and rotate them around. I just dug out my Tony Horton Power 90 this week. I forgot how hard that is!!!!!!!!!! I’d like to get myself conditioned enough to do his PX90, but that is a few months off! I get my videos from Collage Video. I also see things in Target, but by and large my source is Collage. Target has great dumb bells, yoga mats and other odds and ends. I really like just going downstairs and doing my workout before I shower for work. I have an iPod and rotate the music. Sometimes I watch TV shows. I’ve found Amazon has TV shows by the season on DVD used for really cheap. I’m watching the Sex and the City shows now. I just finished season 1 this morning. You must keep yourself entertained or it gets boring. So I switch up my tapes and music and so forth. But it’s still all about the sweating. If you’re out there sweating and starving too, consider this a place to vent and get some support. We Shiksa’s need to stick together.

Final note:  Is Chelsea Clinton not the most fabulous shiksa? She was truly lovely in her wedding gown. Congrats to super Shiksa Chelsea on her marriage and, of course, spectacular wedding.

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Why can’t we be friends?

I just had an email exchange with the man I broke up with about a month ago. He still has some of my things and I still have some of his. We need to have an exchange of properties.  So he asks me about getting together for this. He also says he wants to still be friends.

How does he expect this to happen? I think you can only be friends after the end of a relationship if A) there are children involved and you’re forced into it or B) you didn’t really love them all that much anyway. We, thankfully, don’t have children involved. But I must tell you, I loved this man deeply. Judging by the emotional reaction I just had writing to him, I apparently still have deep feelings.

I know from personal experience these feelings don’t ever, really go away. I had a great love in my 20′s. He totally ripped my heart out and left me broken. It took me years to get ahold of myself again. I didn’t really love anyone again until this time around. I just couldn’t go there. But (tell if this sounds familiar) I thought this new man was “different.” I thought that he was emotionally mature and in touch with his feelings and would never treat me in a hurtful manner. He, in fact, encouraged me to go deeper and deeper into my feelings for him: to bring up feelings of love that even exceeded what I felt those 20 years ago. I trusted him. I believed him. I swam out past my limit and have been left to drown.

He is a darling, sweet man, but a man addicted to activities. Music shows, jam sessions, and finally the music festivals are his biggest weakness. He could give up food and water (and perhaps even sex) before he could give up a music festival. So he made his plans to attend something called the Rainbow Gathering and because he wanted to attend for an extended period of time, he abbreviated a trip we had been planning for the last two months to accommodate himself. He did all of this without ever talking with me about any of it. He simply decided what he wanted to do, set the schedule at his practice to reflect it and then told me. The office manager knew before I did.

We were already in a really shaky position. We’d been working through marriage counseling books. I had been seeing a therapist for private sessions, since he wouldn’t do couple’s counseling. I needed what she offered even if he felt he didn’t. We had broken up 3 times in the last year. We’d only been back together for 3 months when he pulled this latest stunt. I decided that this would be how the rest of my life would got and it wasn’t what I could live with anymore. I finally reached a place where I had accepted being alone for the rest of my years and that was preferable to the constant fighting and hurt he was inflicting. I live in the a rural area and there are SCADS of unattached middle aged women. It is unlikely I’ll meet another love, especially when one considers how heavily red neck the area is. And shiksas don’t exactly get excited by red neck men.

The marriage counseling books recommended to me are written by Dr. Willard F. Harley. This is the one I poured over the week my beloved was away. It showed me how inappropriate his behaviors really were. It showed me it would be impossible to maintain a healthy relationship so long as he was insistent in engaging in his independent activities. It’s called Love Busters. If you’re unsure about where you are in your own relationship, I would highly recommend this series of books. It helped me to learn what constitutes a healthy, loving relationship. I finally have had to admit to myself that I didn’t have that. I wasn’t being supported and respected. I deserve that much. We all do. I’m better off to focus on improving myself and enjoying my life alone than to be held back and feel unhappy constantly doing things I don’t want to do to please somebody else who never feels obliged to give back. Relationships are give and take. It can’t be so one sided.

So, I don’t really know what else to share with you on this post. It wasn’t what I’d planned on talking about. It is what happened this morning. This is sort of my online journal, so it’s what I’m putting out there for today.

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What’s in a name?

I’m sure by now, you want to know about the title. What’s up the Shiksa thingy? What is a Shiksa? Here’s what wikipedia says about the matter:

Shiksa (Yiddish: שיקסע, Polish: siksa) or shikse, is a Yiddish and Polish word that has moved into English usage, mostly in North American Jewish culture, where it may be used as a pejorative term for a non-Jewish woman, but is now often used satirically. Not all gentile non-Jewish women are referred to as shiksas, only those who are intervening with Judaism in some way, e.g. dating jewish men, intermarriage, etc. Typically, although not exclusively, “Shiksa” refers to an attractive woman, the type who more easily can tempt Jewish men and boys to stray away from women of their own faith.

So why am I calling myself “Shiksa?” Three months after I moved into my house in rural central Virginia I met a man. And not just any ole man. Leave it to me to move to a place where cows outnumber people to meet a Jewish man from Queens NY. A Jewish Chiropractor on top of it. It was love at first sight.

So when I first thought of doing this blog thing, I thought I would write about what it was like dating him. I was pretty crazy most of the time, let me tell you. Notice I just used the word “was.” We broke up a little over a month ago. Or rather I broke up with him. I had my last straw and decided I was better off on my own than constantly chasing after a man who seemed half crazed on his own adrenaline most of the time.

He was a wonderful man. He’s just not good for me. I have been left exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I never met anyone so addicted to activities in my life. He absolutely had to do everything. Just thinking about it makes me tired. So I told him he needs someone into the same level of craziness that he’s into. He needs someone who doesn’t mind sleeping in the car in 90 degree heat, who doesn’t mind having her dinners at 11 o’clock at night and purchased from gas stations, who is ok with sleeping on the ground, pooping in communal trenches and  going  without a bath for days on end. Not that I did those things. He wanted me to. He was angry because I wouldn’t. You can see why I’m exhausted.

Girls, I’m 45 years old this year. I think I deserve better. If it ain’t Sheraton, then I ain’t going. I told him he needs someone a whole lot younger who will enjoy all this craziness.

I’ve dating since I was 15. This is my 30th year. Most people retire with a pension after 30 years of service. What do I get? Another broken heart and a soul filled with disappointment and hurt. I think I’m over the whole scene. I told him I wouldn’t date anymore after him and that I would embrace becoming a celibate being (I once went 4 years in my 30′s without sex and it really wasn’t that bad). It bothered him a whole lot more than it bothers me. I can do so much more with my life and my energy than be worried about a man and what a man wants. I don’t think I can bear the disappointment of it ending badly again.

So I’m writing this blog. I’m writing it to help myself to feel better. I think of it as a Bridgette Jones kind of deal, only about a real person. Oh and someone not having sex or chasing after men. This actually makes for quite a unique blog if you think about it.

So I’m just going to share what music I’m listening to and what books I’m reading and movies I’ve watched and stuff like that. At the end of the day, it what I know about and that supposedly is what makes for a successful blog.

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Hello world!

Well, here I am. Everyone says, “You should have a blog.” “OK,” I say, “what should it be about?”  “You should write about what you know and people will regard you as an expert in your field, and soon throngs of people will be banging down your door. Throngs of high paying customers who want only what you can provide.” You wanna know what I say to that? I say it’s bunch of friggin’ bullshit!!!!!  Maybe it does work for some people in larger markets, but up here, I have yet to figure out what actually does work.

So by now you’re dying to know what it is I do, right? I’m a free lanced photographer. I had a nice business photographing children and families before I left the hustle and bustle of Virginia Beach for the quiet retreat of the mountains. I wasn’t getting rich on it, but I was comfortable. I didn’t have a blog about it, either.

Oh, but I wanted something else. Something slower paced and with a lot more quiet than I was getting by living near the east coast’s premier jet base. That’s Oceana for those of you who don’t know.  Yes it was thrilling and it was patriotic. And I admit my heart does skip a beat over  seeing a man in a military uniform. But it was also REALLY loud most of the time. And I started to wonder what it was doing to my health to live in rain of microscopic jet fuel debris. It just couldn’t be a good thing.

So I thought I would just transfer my skill set and my talents and within two years I’d have a nice business supporting myself. Right? Wrong. =(  A funny thing called the recession was brewing up during all of this. Guess what? When people can’t afford electric bills and groceries they don’t call the photographer any more. I don’t care how cute the kids are. I’m a luxury item and I have been eliminated. Plus, this is a really poor area. And you wanna know the truth? The people who do have the money are so cheap that it’s not worth working for them. So I took a job.

I’m lucky. My current job is with a super nice private college. I catalog and keyword the school’s photo collection for my job. It’s not glamorous and it’s not really very much fun either. But it’s a paycheck. I have benefits including liberal leave and health insurance. My co workers are super people with great personalities and even better senses of humor. I am truly blessed to have this in an economy where so many are suffering. I offer sincere gratitude for my blessings, which are many. And because it’s part time, I have free time to shoot new work. I can explore my work as art for art’s sake. I’ll post stuff here.

My banner is from my recent trip to Monticello. If you haven’t been, then you really should go. Thomas Jefferson ROCKS!!

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