Many musings this morning and soft, happy thoughts swirling around my brain. Feeling centered and grounded and really connected to my life after:
- a wonderful weekend in the countryside with W, followed by
- an evening with Ad in which, unasked by me, he cooked a fabulous dinner and we discussed ways to make this whole commuting/work thing viable for me (you know, so I don’t quit a job that is terrific in so many other ways), and
- a walk and a chat in the twilight yesterday with a delightful new friend, followed by
- dinner with the Boychild, my sometimes-difficult-but-heartachingly-sweet youngest son, who is growing into an amazing young man, followed by
- a candlelit bubblebath-for-two with W and an unexpected midweek sleepover in his arms, and finally
- a paddling with a wide leather paddle before work this morning that left me breathless and blushing.
Weekend with W
I’ve been posting about the weekend with W the last couple of days, and the last bunch of pics should post later this evening (if I can get my ass in gear.) I’ll probably go into more detail later about why we needed that time together, but suffice it to say that the “relationship bump” I mentioned is largely behind us – and as usual, though bumps can be painful, they are also an opportunity for growth.
Dinner with Ad
I’ve talked somewhat obliquely here (and rather not-so-obliquely in person) about my struggles with adjusting to the at-times hour+ commute I have now for my job. It is a huge struggle for me to adjust to, and after trying for 2+ months with little positive “adjustment” happening on my part, I had reached a do-or-die situation. Driving in to work on Monday I was seriously considering looking for something else. Yes, it’s that big of a negative to me, a lifestyle change that almost overwhelms the positives of the job (pleasant working conditions, great boss, friendly coworkers, fantastic benefits, excellent pay & a job that keeps me busy and engaged). I texted Ad as much when I got in to my office.
“What’s so different about when you worked at your other job?” he asked, referring to the six years before I started working from home full-time. “You had a commute then…”
Of course that made me start to question my “maladjustment” to this one. Maybe I was just being a baby? I decided to make a list of what makes this so different to see, objectively, if I might have a valid reason for feeling the way I do.
- An hour+ commute as opposed to 25-35 minutes
- A location not conducive to running the lunch-time errands I used to be able to do in the middle of the day (pharmacy, dentist, grocery store, Target, nail salon, etc.)
- A more rigid schedule not conducive to taking extra time at lunch if needed to do those errands
- A more rigid in-time and out-time (before I could arrive anytime between 7:30am – 9am and leave anytime between 3:30pm – 5pm); now my hours are strict (8:30am – 5pm)
- A half day off every Friday and the ability (because of accumulated PTO hours) to take miscellaneous days or half-days off frequently, which I haven’t earned yet here
- A very lenient out-of-office policy because I didn’t have to clock in or out, as I do here
- No gym or yoga studio nearby, which means I have to drive 30 minutes before I can get to one if I want to take a class after work – which means I won’t.
What all that means is that the things I don’t especially like to do, but that need doing, used to get done “in-between” or right after work, so I could get them done without taking too much time away from the things I like to do: hike, walk, dine out, stay at W’s, blog, write smut, meet with friends, run, garden, play. I don’t have that opportunity here. So I get anxious and stressed out about all the things I should be doing while I’m doing the things I want to do: “I should be cleaning house/doing laundry/buying groceries/planning & cooking meals/working out/walking Felix…” instead of staying at W’s/walking without the dog/spending time with friends or family/going to an event/getting my ass beat/going on a date/blogging/writing-reading-living-smut.
This makes for a very unhappy Jade.
While I was clarifying all this with Ad, the obvious solution came to me.
I took this job because of many things – (only) one of which is that I make considerably more money than I ever have before. Now, I’m not willing to sacrifice my quality of life for money. It’s supposed to make my life better, damn it. So why not use it to make my life better? And why not stop saying “should” and just accept what is??
- I made an appointment to get an estimate for a weekly housecleaning service.
- I resolved to let go of the guilt I have for not preparing home-cooked meals every night. If I can manage one night a week, great. If not… ~shrug~ So be it.
- I found a YMCA on the way home.
- I am going to try to eek out an extra half hour in the mornings on weekdays for either walking or writing.
- I am going to take Felix to doggie daycamp at least twice a week.
- And, having resolved to these things, I am not going to resent Ad for not doing them, just because he could (he works 5 minutes from home and gets off work at 2pm.)
This last part might be the most difficult part of all, unfortunately.
A walk and a chat with a new friend
W and I met this wonderful new (to us, and semi-new to the StL area) couple at a munch recently. Turns out they are exploring poly. Turns out they think a lot like we do about it as a concept, though her specific feelings about her partner playing with others is much more akin to W’s, while his are somewhat more similar to mine (though probably without my angst and anxieties.) We all (Ad, W and I) got together with them for a Saturday night card game and really hit it off, and then I invited them to my UNbirthday party and got to know and like them even more.
Then W’s and my little relationship bump happened, having to do (as you might have guessed) with playing with others, specifically (of course) him doing so.
During this time I had a glass of wine with the “him” of the couple and we talked a lot about relationships in general and ours and theirs in specific, and, eventually, about my continuing struggle with poly, and the work I have done to overcome my failings in this regard. We quite clicked, it was a really good talk, and I came away feeling refreshed and newly optimistic about my own process and growth. I met W at a local bar afterward to tell him all about it, excited that my earlier discussion had given me such a new perspective. Unfortunately, W was still reeling from our earlier bump, and it took us a while to reset. By Friday night at the Balloon Glow we were beginning to find each other again, though, and continued that positive trend throughout the weekend. so then last night my new friend and I got together for a walk and a talk, and it confirmed what had initially drawn me to her in the first place: intelligence, compassion, a willingness to dig deep and a warm, giving heart.
And the fact that she is someone actively poly that I can talk to about it, not just in terms of our own relationships, but in general.
I know a few poly couples/triples/groups, but I’m not close enough with any of them to sit down and just talk with them about this stuff; none of my close friends are poly. And although my newly-forming friendship with L from Tryst is one in which I do feel comfortable talking about the particular challenges and joys associated with poly relationships, she is far away. Too, while she understands our version of poly, she hasn’t had to face the particular complexities of a relationship like mine.
Sometimes, it’s nice to know someone that’s “been there, done that.” Or is “being there, doing that.”
Dinner with my son
As I probably mentioned, I am now officially an empty-nester. Well, except for the dog and my pseudo-father-in-law. Heh. But my last child has moved over to his father’s house in order to be closer to the school he is attending. I don’t get to see him often, so every time I do I am newly bowled over by what a nice human being he is growing into. He loves school now (he is in technical college to be a welder) and is doing fantastically – an amazing change from his experience in high school. And he is back to talking to and with me again, something he had stopped doing for the most part in the last year. All the good things I loved about him are coming out as he matures, and I couldn’t be prouder of him.
A bubble bath by candlelight
I asked W if he wanted an overnight visitor when I realized I was going to be in town late doing dinner with the Boychild. He said sure, which I was thrilled about, because after my walk with G and dinner with my son, I had so much to share with him! And we shared it the way we share these things best: in a bathtub filled with bubbles, by candlelight, sipping American Honey. It was an absolutely perfect end to a wonderful day.
A paddling in the morning
“May I have a whacking before I go to work?”
I asked this as I rolled out of his warm bed, knowing he wouldn’t say “no” but not knowing how seriously he’d take it.
I was fully dressed in a knee-length, cute-but-conservative dress and cardigan, wearing flats, my hair tied in a braid, when he approached me, holding the heavy, wide leather paddle that Ad had brought over for my UNbirthday spankings.
I eyed it, then, “Dress up or down?” I asked.
“Down for the moment,” he said. “We’ll see how loud you yelp.” I think I may swallowed a snort. The paddle looks and sounds like a big brute, but it’s got a bigger bark than bite.
Or so I thought.
At the first blow I yelped and nearly choked on the jellybean I had popped in my mouth the moment before he started. (I don’t know if he’d seen me do it, or realized that it was kind of a smirk on my part. “I’ll just sit here and eat candy while you paddle me with that big ole paddle…hahaha…”)
I looked over at him wide-eyed. It was his turn to smirk. “I think down will do,” he said.
Then he paddled me.
I kind of like the image of me bent over his table in my sweet work dress while he swung that huge paddle at my ass.
And swung it, and whacked me, over and over, until I was gasping and had tears in my eyes.
“Thank you!” I said when he stopped, and threw my arms around his neck. And no, I wasn’t thanking him for stopping.
All day long I’ve been grabbing my ass surreptitiously, seeing if it still hurts.
I am sitting here at home with
inserted up my rear and inspiring me in the most delightful way, because W told me when I went home after the weekend that I was to wear it three times during the week. Time and place to be my choice.
I wore it to the ice cream shop with Ad the other night. And now, when I’m blogging about sex and stuff it also seemed like a good idea.
PS – No, my bottom is no longer tender. Sad Jade!