Aug 24, 2016

The Heart of the Matter....

Hi LucyUncorked readers! 
Long time no blog.  Yeah, LucyUncorked has been on a hiatus.  Kind of a long hiatus.  I've been so busy being employed, unemployed, happy and miserable, that I have been lacking in content.  Having trouble moving thoughts from this noggin to the laptop.  
I guess I would call it more lacking in direction.  I'm not sure where to take my blog.  That's a horrible feeling.  Horrible.  It feels like failure to me.  Writing is the one thing that comforts me and helps me process confusion, and when I can no longer put those thoughts together, it's frustrating and painful.  
What do I want LucyUncorked to be?  An uber-filtered, gorgeous, happy blog like the rest of the million "style/lifestyle" bloggers? Sure, that would be great in that I'd love to be compensated for my blog posts, receive free products, and all of that fun stuff.  But then I would look exactly like everyone else. Do I want that?  I've never been really great at fitting in.  I like to put my money on the risk, not go with the sure thing, basically avoid the status quo.  (which, while awesome, can land you in some pretty lonely spots) 
Has that always turned out positively for me?  No, but I just can't see myself fitting in to a heavily filtered, everything is fine, look at my great life, kind of world.  (ha ha, don't even get me started on how funny my "OOTD" (outfit of the day) blog would be!) 

Do I want LucyUncorked to be a blog all about me, my struggles with clinical depression, my struggles with being single in my mid 40's, and my struggles with my weight and self confidence. Ew, no.  That sounds miserable to me.  Even I don't want to share all of that ugliness.  

What is the right balance?  What do people want to read? Do people even care? I have no idea.  

I'm struggling between providing inspiring and beautiful content, using every filter available to me, only showing you the beauty and love in my life, or being real and authentic.  The ups and downs of this girls (and hopefully other peoples) complicated life.  And there are ups.  Lots and lots of ups.  It just seems right now I'm stuck in a valley. 

Great, so that's settled.  Lucy dislikes artificial people and fake content. Lucy likes real, truthful content.  Warts and all. (I actually don't have warts, I just like that saying)  Except I also like to make people laugh and smile.  And who wants to tune in to a sad blog.  I want to make people happy, make people think, and definitely make people chuckle. But I also want people to know that they are not alone if they are feeling like I am. 

Except then I worry.  I worry about putting it all out there.  I worry about potential employers reading my content. Coworkers. People seeing me differently.  I worry about people judging me. I worry about offending someone.  I listen too much to the naysayers.  I get sad when those closest to me don't read my blog.  I worry about nobody caring.  I worry about not being a good writer.  I worry about not knowing what the hell I'm doing.  I worry about anything and everything there is to worry about. 
When I knew how to enjoy the moment. Boothbay Harbor, ME

There's been a lot of change in my life lately---job stress, pet stress, financial stress, friend and relationship disappointments, my spot in my family, wondering if I've living up to my potential, What am I supposed to be doing?  How did I get here? Is this it? Am I seriously just a recruiter? Is that it? Am I really going to die without having made any significant mark on this world? Yeah, so stuff like that keeps the Ambien next to my bed.  Hopefully other people think about these things as well.  

So I guess I am looking to you guys.  I want to hear your input.  What do you want to read?  What would make you tune in to LucyUncorked? I'd love to get your thoughts and opinions because what you think is important to me.  

Thanks for taking the time to read this and give it some thought.  Conversation and dialogue remains my lifeline and I am grateful to you for providing that.  
Until next time--

Feb 13, 2016

Make No Mistake

Hello LucyUncorked friends! 
Happy Galentine /Valentine's Day weekend.  Cheers to a ridiculous Holiday! Hope you and your loved one(s) are staying warm and cozy & letting each other know you love them!  

Anywhoo--as most of you know, I am currently consulting at LEGO (we're hiring, btw!) and now have a 30 mile commute to and from work. (which I am strangely enjoying) Because I am spending more time in my little rebuilt Volvo, I have been listening to a lot of Pandora Radio. (I had to break up with Sirius because of way too many technical and customer service glitches) In fact, as I write this, I am listening to the "Loves Stinks" Radio station. It's hysterical.  Currently playing."She Hates Me" by Puddle of Mudd.  

So, I've been listening to all sorts of music. On one particular day, I heard quite a few Taylor Swift songs and I noticed something.  She always seems to reference her exes as "Mistakes".  Mistake this, Mistake that.  I got to thinking......Have I made any relationship "mistakes"?  Or even just dating, or casual seeing "Mistakes"? Hmm...bring on the 35 minutes of self reflection on 91 North.  The reflection now happens every time I hear a Taylor Swift song--but I do have a lot of relationship and/or random history to get through.  

Mistake seems so......harsh. Harsh and negative and ouchie. I look back through the decades of boyfriends and dating and I think.....would I consider any of the men who have wandered in and out of my life as a mistake?  

Let's start with my high school boyfriend.  Definitely NOT a mistake.  Not only was he a nice Irish boy, he was way more responsible, captain of the football team, and boy, did he try mightily to keep me on the straight and narrow.  Nice guy and his mother LOVED me.  I believe he is now a happily married CPA living somewhere in Massachusetts. No doubt I would have driven him insane and I would have poked my eyes out if we had lasted.  Fond memories there. 

College was more of a collage of casual.  Lots of funny stories.  No mistakes are coming to mind. People I wouldn't have kissed sober? Yes, plenty of those. Guys with mullets?  A few.  But still, nobody sticks out as a mistake. I guess the closest I came to mistake was a fraternity brother who had a long term girlfriend and a raging drinking problem. For some reason, I loved him. I think he loved me.  Just behind alcohol and that Alpha Phi sister.  Meh-that was a blip, but I learned I don't like trying to charm spoken-for men.  Taught me that I deserve a little better than that. Look back at those college experiences and recognize I was super self-unaware and really a bit clueless.  I had a problem liking guys who liked me...I think maybe I was just.....scared. 

The New York decade...Like the mecca of fabulous people.  A never ending fountain of smart, ambitious young men, usually in suits. (I'm dating myself, obvi) Good times.  I spent a lot of this time with one guy in particular. He was tall, smart, employed and I dug him. He ended up moving to my neighborhood, which made things convenient. Huge bonus was that he came with awesome friends.  I mean, I loved his friends.  I loved him, too--but was, of course, petrified to let him know.  Frozen, scared, self-unaware girl.  I was so focused on being the prettiest, most fun, most agreeable version of myself, I kind of got lost.  I remember clearly a moment when he told me, "I wish you would just say what you feel!". Hmm, if I did that, therapists across the East Coast would have nothing to think about. We had some really fun times and lots of laughs, but I was largely unable to communicate my feelings.  I was focused on him, to put it mildly. I pissed a lot of my girlfriends off during this time. The ones that stuck around for me are, simply put, saints.  He ended up fucking (sorry, but there's really not a better word) a friend of a friend in the bathroom of a NYC bar while I was there, so needless to say, that situation ended.  But did I mention his friends? They were a great group of fun and talented guys, and I am happy to say I am still in touch with many of them. I smooched a few of them, too.  Those were definitely not mistakes.  They were tons of fun. A silver lining.  And tall guy went on to stay in my life and he's a married father of two living in New Jersey. Married someone more Catholic than even my family, which I found super funny.  I was even invited to the wedding.  I didn't go, of course---that would have been weird, but was he a mistake? Nope, not him either. 

New York part two--the dawn of internet dating....Even MORE ways to meet men. I loved that about New York. So big, lots of inventory, and new products coming to the shelves daily.  Relationships began and ended...all happening every day. You'd never know who you'd meet. A few random standouts--the guy I met at a fundraiser who spilled a glass of red wine down the front of my white t-shirt...He was cute, funny and most definitely mortified.  We went for a nightcap (with me looking like I had a bullet lodged in my chest) and I didn't give him my number. He literally got my number through a friend of a friend.  I liked the gumption. I went out with him for awhile.  When I told my parents about him they thought I said his name was "Monsignor" so that's what we ended up calling him. (however disturbing that would be) Funny because he was totally Jewish and told me on my our first date that Jesus was just a really good carpenter. I laughed and recognized right then that his Mom, from Israel, was never going to dig me, so best I approach this with a lighthearted attitude. He was cultured, fun, liked doing stuff in the city, and was five years younger than me. Seemed like a big gap back then. He loved Phish, lived in the Bronx, and (yikes) had black satin sheets.  (for real--I can't make this up) He was quite the conundrum but not a mistake.  

Then there was Suitor.  I was never in to him, but he was so.......NICE. I mean, he just dug me. I, unfortunately, did not dig him.  He planned elaborate and thoughtful dates. Was a Giants fan. Came from a nice family.  My friends knew him.  I yawned.  He didn't drink, so I drank more. I didn't even give him a chance, really. Not that right timing. Funniest part of this story is that he ended up marrying my sister's husband's cousin.  Yup--I would see him at parties and family events.  Not regularly, but enough to be reminded that I was not nice to him.  Not proud of my behavior during that time, but it all worked out for the best.  He's happily married, lives in Maine and has three kids. Again, not a mistake. Taught me a few things about treating people how you'd like to be treated.

Connecticut has been slow.  Not as many funny stories. Probably because when I moved here in my early thirties, everyone was married.  Lots of CT on CT marriages here.  It took me awhile to get used to the homogeneity.  I mean, people married people from high school up here.  I didn't really get that, and I also thought they were all crazy for marrying so young. I've met great friends here, but boy, I would not recommend this place for a single girl from the City.  I did work at ESPN for a time, though, and you cannot beat that environment for meeting men.  Most of them were just starting their careers and were 100 years younger than me, but it made me happy to be recruiting and moving men in to CT from all over the country.  CT residents, you can thank me later. 

My most recent situation also has not been a mistake. Not a completely traditional or normal relationship, maybe not a relationship at all. Who knows.  A former co-worker and good friend. By the time we started our thing, he had wisely moved to New York. So, we've never lived in the same place.  Which I find positively ideal and loved my independence. He understood me, put up with me and definitely did not put up with my bullshit.  But, I guess part of me was finally ready to have a plus one, and former coworker man did not want to go public with a plus one. I don't know, I guess--sometimes I wanted that plus one, and sometimes I didn't.  But I think overall, I wanted that security and commitment more than he did.  Not marriage commitment, just stability commitment.  It made me feel badly that our mutual friends didn't even know we had been together for like 3 years.  That dragged on me.  Brought up feelings of inadequacy.  So finally, it was just time for it to end. He continues to be a dear friend.  I'd say we are both in good places.  I learned a lot. Definitely not a mistake.  

And finally, those random funny events/stories/situations that have come up in the past few years....the cook from Cheesecake Factory, the wedding photographer, the dude from St. Kitts. (my friend Sally will have to let you know if I am forgetting anyone--she is usually with me) All brought laughter and fun to my life, so again, no mistakes there.  

It's been fun reflecting on this so close to Valentine's Day. I'm a lucky girl for sure. Holy Moly, I've been lucky. I've met some of the nicest guys, and have learned so much.  While I don't have a Valentine this year, I continue the search for the perfect balance of commitment, companionship, and adventure. Oh, I know it will come.  I am positive.  I just keep my ears and eyes open for fun and frolic, and the men often follow.  Happy weekend to all...and remember.....#NOMISTAKES

Until next time.....

Dec 31, 2015

A glance back, and a jump forward....

Hey Uncorked friends.  It's me. I'm baaaaaack.
SuperGirl LEGO Keychain
Did you think I gave up on my blog? Not a chance. I can understand...I haven't written a post since the end of September.  Truth be told, the post I wrote about "Facebook Fine" and my friend Jon's untimely death was so well received, I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed and frozen.  I've spent the last three months trying to think of something that will resonate with people, get people talking, thinking and sharing, and I've just come up empty time and time again.  Funny, all I want is for people to read my blog and enjoy it and once that happened, I hid from the world.  

But here it is, New Years Eve.  The end of 2015.  Woot.  At least for me it's a Woot.  I mean, if we are being honest here, it wasn't my best year.  No, not at all.  I disappointed myself on just about every level this year.  Personal, professional, you name it.  I take full responsibility.  I really did nothing to help myself right the ship, pick myself up, stop the insanity, however you want to say it.  So, I am ready for this year to end.  The last quarter in particular was a bit of a free fall.  My first car accident since I was 17 years old.  Astronomical weight gain.  Sugar addiction. Hibernation. Not taking care of myself.  Financial troubles. Dark times. 

I mean, there were bright spots.  My new consulting job at LEGO.  I'm finishing up week four and am happy.  
My dog Percy, who seemingly loves me no matter how fat or poor I am.  My family, who supports me & understands that there is something larger at play and that depression totally sucks. My friends, who seem to like me no matter how miserable I make myself.  

I've learned a lot over the past few years. I've learned that I can't exactly out-run or out-wit clinical depression.  It's a beast and the minute it's not managed or respected, that shit goes crazy.  I need to pay more attention to the beast in 2016.  I need to respect that he's there, and hammer out some sort of truce.  Without a truce, I run the risk of losing. Losing friends, losing jobs, losing the love for myself.  Losing big. I can't have that happen in 2016.  

I need to take better care of myself.  It's a known fact by now that I have a rocky relationship with food.  I need to start eating for nourishment again and stop eating sugared cereal by the box.  The emotional over eating serves no purpose. It's hard to explain to outsiders. If you don't understand, you are lucky.  It literally makes me sick, mad, guilty, shameful and doesn't even take the hunger away. It's awful.  I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.  I lost 85 pounds in 2013/2014. I don't know if I've gained it all back  yet, but I am certainly on my way.  What a waste.  A ridiculous waste of energy, resources and happiness.  I can't go back there.  I know there shouldn't be, but for me there's a direct correlation between my weight and my happiness. I've said this before, but I am not a happy fat person.  I don't love myself, and I don't expect others to. I meet more people when I'm thinner. Not because I look better, but I feel better.  I am literally a different person. Ask any of my friends. They've seen this phenomenon play out time and time again.  I need to feel good, and look good for me.  That's the "normal" Lucy.  This, whatever this is, is not the normal Lucy.  This is a Lucy that hides. Hides from everything, but mostly, from reality.  

So yeah.  I've got some work to do.  Lots of work.  Not exactly thinking that 2016 is going to be the funnest year (yes, I know that funnest isn't a word, but I like it anyway) but it is going to HAVE to be a year of focus and work.  Work on myself.  On my wallet.  On my career. On my relationships.  
Truth be told, I am scared shitless.  Because that's a lot of work.  And sometimes, I prefer that things come easily.  Call me lazy, but big reward with minimal effort sounds great to me.  Except that it never happens.  Greatness and reward comes with work, and I need to work hard.  I need to right the SS Lucy and get back to fully and happily functioning in this world.  I need to take care of my health, not so I look good (although, bonus) but so I don't make myself sicker. Depression is in itself a plateful of ill, I don't need any other diagnosis to bring me down.  
So, I am not going to hammer out resolutions where I feel like I'll fail if I fall off the horse.  Because I know I'll fall off the horse time and time again.  I will promise this.  I am back on my HMR Diet program starting on Saturday.  This most likely means no alcohol (again) for me for the time being.  I've been told that sober Lucy is not half as fun as Drinking Lucy, but drinking and dieting don't work for me.  I need to clear my head.  I am also exploring the Dave Ramsey "Total Money Makeover" plan. Anyone ever done it?  It's strict, and I expect there to be some big changes to my lifestyle.  If you don't want me living with you or sucking your tax dollars up, I need to do this.  I need to better plan for the future.  Because my rich husband obviously went to someone else.  (ha ha, I kid. I don't need anyone, but sure would be nice not to worry) 
I have a few  years to go before I hit my next big birthday.  I want to look (inside and out) drastically different by then.  I don't want to have panic, worry, self doubt or self hatred. Buh-bye. 
The happier I become on this journey, the more fun I will be. Don't forget about me toiling away over here in the corner.  I still want to do stuff, see people, laugh and prosper.  It just might look a little different this year.  This isn't meant to be a bleak post, I am excited, ready and looking forward. It's time. 

As always, I can't thank you enough for your support, kind words, and friendship. I have great people in my life, and my foibles are in no way related to them....they are all brought on solely by me.  Thank you for indulging me and reading and sharing my blog. Plan on seeing a lot more posts from LucyUncorked. You are going to be witness to turning my frown upside down. 
I wish everyone reading this a happy, healthy 2016 filled with laughter, love and time to enjoy each other.  Happy New Year.  xoxox

Sep 25, 2015

Everything is Facebook Fine....

Today, I want to write about my relationship with Facebook.  And its two faces.  For those of you who know me well, you already know that I am an Over-Poster.  And it was WAY worse a few years ago, judging from my TimeHop App.  I share a lot.  Strangely, it's how I keep my sanity.  I live so much inside of my head that sometimes it's helpful to know that people go through the same experiences.  Or, that I've made them laugh.  Or, that they are just there and listening.  A lot of my friends/family don't understand my oversharing, but I just feel that if I have no secrets, then I have no secrets.  Makes things easier for me.

One of my very favorite things about Facebook so far has been the ability to reconnect with fabulous people from my past.  People from my childhood.  My youth.  My first friends. People I knew when Atari was the latest and greatest. People who had Big Wheels and metal lunchboxes and polyester pants. People I had lost touch with long ago.  Facebook is great for that.  If not for Facebook, I would not be in touch with a ton of friends from my childhood.  Keyly, Andrea, Michael, Ellen, Kathleen, Cathleen, Jackie, Jon, the list goes on and on. These were the people whose yards I played in, whose Moms were my Brownie troop leaders, and with whom I disappeared for hours on end, much to my parents dismay/delight. (side note: did our parents really care if we disappeared to downtown Ridgewood or Citizens Park for like 8 hours? I think not).  I left the Ridgewood school system (and the folks above) after 8th grade. After 9 years of public school in a wonderful town, my parents decided that they should continue paying exorbitant taxes to live in Ridgewood, but all three of their kids should experience single-sex, Catholic High Schools.  Um, okay.  I just remember not really having a choice.  Off I went to the Academy of the Holy Angels. And I loved it. It was the best choice I never made. (see previous blog post about being a hot mess in 8th grade).  It was awesome, but slowly, I lost touch with pretty much every one of my Ridgewood friends.  Life marched on. High School friends. College Friends. The After College Move to NYC. The Parents Move Away. Marriages.  Divorces. Kids.  Each and every step (well aside from the last 3) took me further and further away from my roots.  So, I am eternally grateful that Facebook brought me back in touch with these wonderful people who are now scattered across the United States.  It's fun to be a little part of their lives.  And they still make me laugh.  And I view them as the people who probably knew the purest version of Lucy.  Before things like insecurities, the scratches and dings, the inevitable ups and downs of life, the good, the bad and the ugly--mold and fashion us in to slightly different versions of how we "were".

Three weeks ago, on September 5th, my friend Jon killed himself.

Forty-six years old. a wildly creative genius.  Funny, gifted, smart. I had known Jon for so long, I couldn't remember when we actually met. We went to Ridge School together.  Summer camps in Maine. Ski Camp in the winter.  GW Junior High.  And then poof. We go to new schools and completely lose touch. Maybe I saw him over some Thanksgiving breaks, drinking with our fake ID's, who knows.  It's a blur.  I reconnected with him several years ago on Facebook.  He was living in Austin, and we bantered about all things political, musical, etc.  Like all of those Ridgewood friends, I enjoyed having him back in my life, if only through Facebook.  It was comforting.  I knew that he and I shared a lot of memories, and both of us could recollect very few of them.  He was fun. I followed him on Facebook when he moved back home to Ridgewood to be with his dying father.  I followed him when he sold his father's house. And I followed him as he moved to Pittsburgh.

And this is where I press the new Facebook Dislike button.  I had no idea.  I had no idea about Jon's struggles with alcohol.  Addiction. NO IDEA.  And now I am really sad.  Could I have helped? Could I have made him laugh one more time?  Could I have made a difference? I feel like we all put out our lives to the Facebook masses, but only our carefully curated lives.  Not the, "Holy shit, I need help" lives.  And we all have those lives.  The "I hate my husband right now" lives.  The "I gained 100 pounds and feel like shit" lives. The "I'm broke" lives. The "What is wrong with me, I think I'm crazy" lives. Whatever lives you may experience. Nope. No, no no.  I am just as happy, if not happier, than you are. See?  Right here on Facebook---smiling away.  Hey, look at our family! Here we are on vacation! I'm in love! Look how cute my baby is! I just lost 85 pounds! Look at me laughing! No worries at this end. Everything in my life is, as they say, AWESOME.

You see what I'm saying and I know you know what I'm talking about.

Except it's not awesome. At least not all the time. All of us, at one time or another, are in deep pain. Things go wrong.  Bad things happen to good people. Doesn't mean we don't love our lives, but let's at least admit that sometimes life goes off the rails a little bit.  But hey, I don't want to be the only one who has relationship issues or the money problems.  You will never know that there are some days I can't get out of bed because of debilitating depression.  You will never see the insecurity and self-doubt. Because you don't have any of that, right? Exactly.  Neither do I.

So, before I see you all for the first time since 8th grade at the Memorial Service tomorrow, you should know that Facebook is a perfectly perfect picture of my life. I smile ALL the time.

Except, let's face it, truth be told, most of you already know there have been some scratches on the surface of Lucy. I don't think there are any people at my age who are in "Like New" condition. And maybe, just maybe, we should all be a little more honest about our scratches. They are a very real part of who we are. 

One of Jon's creations. He did this in High School. 

I can't even imagine how much pain Jon was in.  My heart is heavy thinking about him and his last moments.  Oh, I get it.  I totally get how you get to that place.  And I'm not angry at him.  Because it is not hard to get there. But even being out on the Facebook peripheral of Jon's life, I am terribly sad. Sad that such a bright light has been lost.  Such a funny, creative spirit. Lover of the LL Bean Norwegian sweater and the Grateful Dead. Apparently a big lover of the Kentucky Derby.

It gives me comfort that he is free from his pain. Because I can't even begin to imagine the pain he was in. It gives me comfort that he is with his sister, Betsy, and his father, Dave.  I feel for his brother, David, his sister-in-law Elisha, and his mom, Jane, left here on earth without him. I'm glad I had those few years of Facebook friendship with him.  Grateful that I could get to know him a little bit as an adult. Hoping that I made him laugh at some point through Facebook. Hoping that he knew that someone else struggles with things.  Everyone's struggle is different, but I just hope he knew he wasn't alone. And I hope he now knows just how many people cared about him. 

How I will always remember Jon.
You will be missed, Jon. Rest in Peace.