Wednesday, June 29, 2016


The past two weeks have been a roller coaster of ups and downs, unpredictably alternating between exhilaration and stomach-churning. It's not surprising, really, when you consider that twenty-three years of something that was once quite wonderful came to an official end. Endings can be difficult and this one certainly fell into that category. I mourned that ending, but that, too, is over.

After getting furloughed in early May, I spent the next six weeks in a professional funk. Unable to find a full-time position with benefits, I took whatever jobs I could find to keep money coming in. There are these pesky things called bills that don't stop coming in just because you lose your job. The landlord and the car insurance folks don't care about your employment status. They want their damn money, honey. So, I kept telling myself, "Chin up, girl, it's only temporary", while I worked two part-time jobs that I didn't love. In fact, I'll admit that I really disliked one of them, but it was money and a momma does what a momma has to do. Even my sweet baby girl found a full-time job. (When we figured out that she was earning more at 17 yrs old than I could make at 48, I really felt good about myself.) After a particularly bad day at the restaurant, when I came home with empty pockets because not a single beer drinker came in, I was just plain worried that we might end up living in our car. I didn't sleep much that night.

Monday morning, before I left for work, I applied online to an ad on Craig's List. The owner of the company called later that afternoon, but I wasn't able to answer because I was looking at an empty restaurant, wondering how Lauren, Bear, and I would all live in my car. Thankfully, the night was busy and I made great money and went home feeling more positive about our future. I returned the call on Tuesday morning and was asked to interview.

I'm proud to say that I accepted a new job with a nice little business about ten miles from home. I'm excited to go back to a professional setting and work with professional people. The pay can't compare to federal government pay in DC, of course, but it's good for the Keys. The best part is that it's consistent and reliable and there's potential for growth. (I'm not talking about my dress size, either. That's a given.) We will not have to live in a car!

In celebration of my new gig, I dumped the crappiest of my part-time jobs toute suite. Sayonara. Adios. Au Revoir. Good riddance. That felt really good. I wanted to quit twice, just to experience the joy more fully, but they wouldn't take my call. Huh. Odd.

So I go into the 4th of July weekend full of positivity and hope for the future. On this Independence Day, my freedom has new meaning. My life has new meaning. I am free. I am independent. Every choice I make will be my own. I will do only what I want to do. If it makes me unhappy, I just won't do it. What a fucking concept!!!

Embrace your personal freedom, readers!!! Celebrate Independence Day with a bang. (You may interpret that however your little ole heart desires.)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tears from above

Yesterday, I did one of the hardest things I've ever done. I divorced the man to whom I'd been married for most of my adult life. A man in whom I'd placed all my trust, love, and devotion. When we got married, I knew it would be forever because we both understood the importance of working hard to keep a relationship strong and healthy.

Unlike all of the other couples waiting in the courtroom for their time before the magistrate, we sat next to each other. We waited together while others exchanged sneering, snarling looks across the room. We took turns crying while the other held it together.

When called to the front of the court room, we stood next to each other at the podium, rather than on opposite sides of the aisle. We provided the court with a dissolution agreement. Nothing was being disputed; there wasn't anything for the judge to sort out or settle.

"Ms. Lavell, since you were the petitioner, will you please tell the court why this marriage can't be saved?"

I began to cry. "Not without crying."

The judge looked like she, too, might cry. Doug was way ahead of her. "Irreconcilable differences?" she asked with a sad smile.

I nodded.

Less than two minutes later, it was over. The judge told us that sometimes people turn out to be better friends after divorce than they were while married. We walked out together, just as we'd walked in.

Outside the courthouse, we were greeted with a torrential downpour. I'd left my car windows open. My cloth seat was a soggy, wet sponge upon which I sat while I cried all the way home with the windows still open.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


I've done a wee bit of attitude adjusting since my last post, although rest assured I still have one, but today it's more positive than it was a week or so ago. That's due in part to Lauren who always brightens my day with her unconditional, adoring love and cuteness. Some is due to friends near and far who tickle my funny bone, which we all know is my favorite cure for whatever ails. Then there's Ireland. She's there, waiting for my inevitable return.

Lauren and I have been tossing around the idea of when to go. I'm working two part-time jobs (while faithfully searching for a full-time one with benefits), and now that school is out, she too is working two jobs. While we'd really like to touch down in the Motherland this summer, it's just not a realistic goal. We talked about going at Christmastime, but that presents a host of other challenges that make it less than ideal. So....we've settled on a spring break visit!!

March 2017 = Ireland

Buy the t-shirt while they last. It promises to be one hell of an adventure!! It will be our last trip of her high school years. Whoa. That in and of itself is a milestone, but add to that recipe for greatness that we're doing it in the Emerald Isle and shazam!

But that's not all!

We're going to first fly to Italy or Spain or France or (insert name of EU country here), buy euro-rail passes, and explore some new places for a few days...just to broaden our horizons and build the anticipation. Then we'll fly to Eire (Ireland) to be cradled in her green embrace.

With that beautiful daydream in mind, I'm off to sling fish sandwiches and beers all weekend in a dive by the sea. We can't go without the dough.

Have a helluva great weekend, readers. May you dream big and bold!