Monday Memes 25

Love. Funny how love “changes course” and gets redefined as relationships flourish – then sometimes flounder. I am lucky – I kissed a LOT of frogs before I found my Prince (he found me, actually!) but it was worth it. I love you, MSW.

In the beginning, it’s like:

love fearlessly

However, sometimes we “make a mistake,” or the dreaded “It’s-not-you-it’s-me” moment arrives and then this happens:

lovers to nothing

However, if stars align (as mine have), you find your true love – “The One” – and life is more like this:

define loveI wish each of you reading this the good fortune I have found…

Advertisements

Really? Now, Already?

You know that trite adage – “When one door closes, another opens?” Well, in my life, doors AND windows are flying open. I have so much happening right now it is hard to keep everything straight. My “pocket file cabinet” is nearly at capacity…

still to do

I mean:

1. I have four more days till my brick and mortar storefront closes. There are utilities to be terminated (thanks, Scott!), “arrangements” to be made, debts to be collected, debts to be paid – all of it. Ugh.

2. My recent promotion at “my day job” is going well but the expectations of my immediate supervisor are proving to be greater than I had imagined. It will all work out (and I do love that job) but there ARE only 24 hours in every day.

3. My goal of continuing to do interior design after the storefront closed seemed questionable; I have two design jobs “in process” but worried about gaining more. Turns out, now I have two MORE on the line, and maybe another prospect after that. Sweet.

4. I spoke with Pop-pop tonight and he had a good day today. For that, I thank The Universe (and respectfully ask for many more – and consecutive, please!)

5. My Beloved MSW continues to be the best hub-bub a gay could ask for (love you, Sweetie!) I will admit, though, that arranging one full-time job, two “part-time” jobs and classes for school – all with ONE car – takes some coordination and calendar effort but, hey – better than just sitting home doing nothing, right?

So, yeah – today is looking much brighter than the preceding 2-3 days, and I am glad. I do hope my life returns to some sort of normal rhythm soon – and listen, it can be a rhythm traveling at the speed of sound but I would like the “peaks and valleys” to all level out a bit. Universe? You still listening? Thanks in advance!

Waiting for Stage 5

A week from today, the business that I helped co-found, co-create and co-own will be, in the physical sense, gone. Closed. No more. Nada. And that makes me beyond sad…

In her (now iconic) 1969 book, “On Death and Dying,” author Elisabeth Kübler-Ross outlined the five stages of normal grief that happen when the loss of a loved one occurs. These five steps are, in order:

1. Denial and Isolation

Entering the state of Denial

2. Anger

Shô's_anger

3. Bargaining

a sign

4. Depression

depression_by_3rd3m

5. Acceptance

acceptance

With all due respect to anyone that has lost a loved one, I believe that the shuttering of my retail store is probably just as devastating – perhaps even more so as it impacts my income. I seem to be frozen at Step 4, and keep asking The Universe to grant me Acceptance.

I spent some time at my soon-to-be-closed store this afternoon, clearing boxes out of the basement and getting ready for our final big “Move Out” one week from today. The basement is now all but empty; a few boxes of records and old client files remain. Upstairs on the main “selling floor,” our once beautiful showroom has been cannibalized by bargain hunters, leaving behind a broken assortment of mismatched pillows and furniture, rugs with no “room settings” and some random art on the walls.

I started crying today as I sat alone in the store, no music, no people, no future. It was a great six and half year run, but now it is almost over and I am sad. I hope depression gives way to acceptance soon. I keep reminding myself that there are many positives in my life – my Beloved Martin, a handful of great friends and a supportive family. I also have a reasonable job, and will continue “doing design” as a freelancer. I guess I just never really realized what a sort of physical anchor the brick and mortar store was in my life, until today…

A Dream Redefined

As a young gay boy growing up in the middle of nowhere (Shelby, Ohio), I always had a vision of what my “grown-up” life would be: I’d have a fabulous job, have fabulous friends, live in a fabulous city, wear fabulous clothes, take the train to work (I’d be too fabulous to drive) and – well, I think you get the picture. An experience-hungry gay teen in a town of, like, 8000 people (most of them my cousins), dreaming of a fantasy life in a major metropolitan area. I always thought my life would look like this:

Commuters on a TrainYeah, that handsome guy on the left would have been me (like I EVER looked like that), taking the train into “the city” to my job (no doubt in advertising or public relations), stealing a peek at the uptight lady-in-a-power-suit’s New York Times. These didn’t even exist when I was fifteen but I am SO sure I would have had a kale smoothie – with an energy boost – for breakfast, I would have “worked out” at lunch (maybe racquetball for 45 minutes?) and then I would have taken the train home to my handsome “boyfriend” in the tony suburb we lived in outside the city – I’m thinking it would have been like a 40 minute commute, each way. Once home, I would have popped some great-but-not-overly-pretentious wine and my love and I would have watched the shows we taped on the VCR the night before. Bliss.

Fast forward thirty years into reality…

I do have a job I enjoy – two jobs, really – but to be honest, I am making about the same dough I made when I was twenty-five. Instead of a smartly-cut suit, I wear a logo’d polo shirt and khakis to work every day, and my sleek attache case has been replaced with my brown bag lunch. I did make it to a “big city” – well, actually, I live in Cleveland, Ohio, the 45th largest city in America. I love smoothies, but the kind made with peanut butter, honey and bananas. Exercise? YUK! And I do not live with my boyfriend – I actually live with my legally-married HUSBAND (although we prefer the term spouse) and my commute from work is a seventeen minute bus ride to a mildly tony suburb of Cleveland. There is no wine; I quit drinking more than a decade ago. And the VHS has been replaced by On Demand/a VCR.rtabus

Is my life what I imagined/hoped it would be? No – it’s even better!

I have a man that completes me in every way, after a lifetime of false-starts and failed relationships. Today I left my job at one of our city’s most-revered public institutions, walked past our world-class art museum as well as the permanent home of our world famous orchestra, thru the campus of a prestigious private college and waited at the bus stop outside the campus cathedral. While I didn’t get to “steal” a Wall Street Journal or Times read, I sat next to a lovely lady that was chatty, obviously an immigrant and just super delightful and polite. No one did any break dancing on the bus, and no one gave me a card that said s/he was (insert disability here) and selling these cards to make a living. I stepped on the bus at 5:38P; at 6:05P, I was in my PJ’s, missing my Beloved (he works tonight 5-10P). I called a couple of friends and then made a cup of instant coffee with “fancy” flavored creamer. I am now waiting for my Beloved to get home from work. It’s been a great day.

Dreams are great but seldom turn out to be all we imagined them to be. If, like me, you get lucky – your life will be even better than you imagined! I had a rough draft for my life in my head, one which I thought was perfection. The reality is, my life is honestly more perfect now than I could have ever dreamed.

Would I like to “hit” The Powerball for $160 million dollars? You bet but, all in all, I am pretty blessed. Thanks, Universe! I appreciate it!

Mid-Week Scorecard

I know, I know – Wednesday is supposed to be “Hump Day” but my weeks have always run Monday thru Sunday, so Thursday has always been “mid-week” for me. Get over it…

Lots of “stuff” is going on in my life right now, so I wanted to take a brief moment and review/score the events taking place – please, enjoy…

Work:

Good – I recently was promoted to floor supervisor at work, which – while still an hourly position – entitles me to “full-time” (40 hours per week) and benefits (like vacation and health insurance).

Bad – The retail store I opened with a business partner is closing after 6.75 years on Saturday, 30 August 2014. I am more than a little sad…

StoreClosingSign2

Personal:

Not-so-good – It is confirmed my father has urethral cancer, along with the possibility that the cancer may have spread to other nearby tissue/organs. If the store closing makes me sad, well, this is BEYOND sad…

On-the-bright-side-of-bad – My father’s health team is working hard to manage his illness and they are incredible. Also, my father feels better and is in better spirits now than he has been for weeks. Finally, my immediate and extended family and circle of friends have all been amazing in their support and love. If gray clouds have silver linings, this cloud’s lining is STERLING silver.

clouds and sunFamily:

Good – While my Dad’s health is a less-than-ideal situation to bring me and my siblings together, it does ring true that families “circle the wagons” when a crisis presents itself. I have been amazed and inspired by my little brother and little sister, their devotion to and love they have for our father. Thanks, Bro, thanks Piglet! I love you two.

Bad – Other than wishing my Dad’s health was better, I have no other “bad” in this category.

fingersRelationships:

Good, no GREAT My hub-bub, Martin, continues to be my ROCK thru all the madness in my life. He is the most wonderful, loving, supportive and understanding mate a guy could ask for. I love him.

Bad – Not one thing.i-do-i-love-youNote: This image is a bit of an inside joke between me and my Sweetie; see, we “sneak off” and buy 49 cent ice cream cones at Mickey D’s all the time, well, not ALL the time. But sometimes, often…

So, I have to say, while it would be easy to think my life SUCKS, I guess when I look at all the “good stuff,” I am pretty blessed. Could I be thinner? You bet. Could I be hella’ more wealthy? God, yes, please… But all in all, I am a pretty lucky guy. I’m not sure exactly “how” to score my life but, at the moment, I would definitely give it at least an A- (I could be richer, LOL!) Thanks, Universe – keep up the good work!!! Signed, your biggest fan, Tim  😀

08-08-08 (Happy Anniversary)

Tonight is the eve of my sixth anniversary with my beloved Martin. It is also the eve of our one year wedding anniversary (yup, we are two of “those” – gay men who are legally married). We also celebrated five years of being “registered domestic partners” in early May of this year – he’s “got me” every way possible…

hearts

It is a significant day for us – my Sweetie loves ANY reason to celebrate (and I do, too!) but our anniversary is special. It is significant that we are in a committed relationship bound not only by our love and commitment to one another, but also by law. I never thought that, in my lifetime, I would be legally married to the man of my dreams. I was wrong…

We will probably observe the day quietly, just the two of us, having a simple dinner out and/or maybe a movie in… See, there is no one on earth I’d rather be with than Martin – and I like to think he feels the same way about me.

I have to admit, I definitely imagined my life being a little bit different at my age than it actually is but the ONE thing I got right was marrying Martin.

Martin is the joy of my life, and I thank The Universe every day for him. Happy Anniversary, my Angel. Lots of love to you…

Do You Hear What I Hear?

silence

I spent a much needed day today with my Beloved MSW at our favorite beach – the weather was not too bad, the beach not too crowded and the water not too cold. We went for about four hours, just laying in the sun, saying nothing, reading magazines, bobbing in the lake water and hunting beach glass along the water’s edge.

It was a perfect day.

I worked six days in a row last week, and am looking at six MORE days in a row in the coming week. My life is busy right now, and sometimes the “noise” in my head – clients, customers, heck, just life in general – gets a little “loud.” So, second only to spending time alone with the guy I love today, the fact that I was “disconnected” for virtually the whole day (no phone, no email, no text messages) was flippin’ spectacular. I sometimes forget that not everything needs to be immediately addressed, and that sometimes the most important conversation you can have involves no words at all… Just “being” with the one you love is all that is necessary.

I’d like to thank The Universe for the “break from life” I enjoyed today, and respectfully ask that I have another many more soon…