Looking back at my 2014

If you have followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I tend to make new years resolutions, which I then discuss in my blog a year later (see 2011, 2012 and 2013). At the end of last year the husband and I separated and frankly I was not in the state to sit down and think about my new years resolutions. Nevertheless I thought about my 2014 now and want to share it with you…

I recently learned that we are living in the Chinese year of the horse. Apparently this means that everything is turned up-side-down and there are lots of changes. When I look at the past year, this is exactly what happened around me – couples separated, friendships ended, old friends came back, new jobs, new pregnancies, new babies, new moves, etc. Hang on just a little longer – the turmoil will be over soon…the year of the goat is just around the corner and with this everything will settle again.

  • As you know, I love to eat and always try to lose weight. Most people lose weight after a separation – obviously I am the exception – you may congratulate me on gaining weight over the past year. Yeah me. This obviously needs to change in 2015, and I plan to start every minute now. Hm, maybe I shouldn’t just have eaten that chocolate cake.
  • I quickly learned that most people are free to meet on Saturdays but Sundays are a different story. I spent one of the first Sundays in spring when the kids were with their Dad walking around for hours through the Viennese Prater, listening to music, feeling very lonely and literally crying my eyes out. Meanwhile I am better at being alone, although I still tend to plan something every night I am without kids, which leaves me tired all the time.
  • I got my driver’s license when I was 17 and had a little 4 seater which I proudly drove around Vienna packing more girls in than humanly possible. When I met the husband at the sweet age of 19, it naturally happened that we took his car more often than mine and after a while I stopped driving. Every time I wanted to drive again I got stomach cramps and started hyperventilating. This resulted in me not driving for the last 14 years. After the separation the husband nicely offered me to use his car when the kids are with me, probably thinking I wouldn’t use it. But after doing the trip to and from hockey training two times a week with two kids and all their bags in public transport for a couple of weeks, I quickly got over my fear and started driving again. Since then we went on holidays by car, I even drove up a mountain in pouring rain (and down again) and I drove in the snow. And I only had one tiny, little accident…
  • When living together with another person both make compromises. Which is great. But now that I live by myself (at least part-time and kind of for the first time in forever), I started to decorate the apartment the way I want to. It is colorful and girly with lots of photos on the walls and might be too much for a lot of people, but I love it and it is my home.
  • I also finally got my balcony, which was added to the house just before the summer, which I love and frequently use.
  • I started doing things around the house, which I never did before, like hanging up a mirror or changing light bulbs. There is no need to look behind the mirror though – it looks great from the front…
  • I ran 10 k – ok I admit it was only once and I ran because I was so mad, but still…
  • I traveled to the Netherlands by myself to visit friends and I finally went to Berlin, which has been on my list for ages.
  • I wanted to find a job that I love and that fulfills me – and I did. And although I have to get used to working a full-time job and being a Mum, I am sure everything will settle in the year of the goat.
  • I learned to let go of an image. I am not as great a housewife as the husband is. I love having people around but I just don’t love to prepare food for hours and make small hors d’oeuvre. Who cares? Everyone is as happy with ham and cheese rolls or pizza, as long as we have fun and are together.
  • The husband and I had the courage to end a relationship in which we were unhappy and continue as friends and parents. I am very proud of the way we get along and the way we handle everything with our kids, who are happy and feel loved.
  • I met and kissed different guys and had some great and some less great experiences. I now know there is more out there and I am looking forward to fall in love again.
  • I took up writing again and although I don’t have as much time with the new job as I did before I will keep writing, cause I love doing it and I love to entertain people.
  • I often heard women cut their hair after a break-up. I have to admit that my hair is very important to me and although I thought about cutting it often over the past year, I needed the security the long blond hair gave me. In December I was finally ready and made the cut and although many say it is still long, it now is 25 cm (10 inches) shorter, which was a big step for me.

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Over the past year I came to appreciate friendships and sisterhood even more. I want to thank my girls who have always had my back and who were with me this past year. The girls who I can call at 6 am when I lie awake because of a panic attack again, who laugh with me so hard that I nearly pee my pants, who cry with me, who show me what I achieved, who – even when they live on the other side of Austria (Europe or  the world) – are always there for me. I love you – even when you scare of guys because you think they are not good for me (and ok, you might have been right on that one)…

For 2015 I will not make resolutions, but instead I will put up a glass jar to collect reminders of great things that happen to me and that I make happen over the next year.

To new beginnings. I am ready. Bring it on.

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New situations

After separating from my husband people had opinions on everything. But mostly other women told me they were afraid of the moment a new woman would enter their kids lives. Being a child of divorced parents myself, I never worried about that. As you know I count myself lucky that the husband has a nice girlfriend, who likes my kids and who likes me. I know it could be very different…

Every kids-free week, I spend one afternoon with the kids to half the time until we live together again. In general we do something nice like go for cake or read books or play games. Yesterday the kids and I went to a store where we looked at toys they could write on their Christmas wish list. After that we went to Vapiano where the kids had pizza and pasta. We chatted for a while and also talked about The Husbands Girlfriend (shortly THG). As my kids feelings are very important to me, we talked about whether it was ok for them that they had two homes. Surfer Dude immediately said that that was fine. Princess girl started to say: “I would love…” and I expected her to say “I would love for all of us to live together.” But instead she said: “I would love for you and THG to be my Mummies. I really really really really like her!*”

And suddenly it was there. That panic my friends had talked about. I felt sucker punched in my belly and even now when I write that I feel like crying (ok, there are actually a couple of tears running down my face but that might also be because it is 6 am and haven’t been able to sleep for the last 1,5 hours…).

I swallowed and thought:”Quick, think! Stay positive.” While I felt like jumping up, running around like crazy, waving my arms around and screaming: “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, but you are MINE!!!!! I AM YOUR MOTHER!!! You were in my belly, I felt you move, I gave birth to you, I fed you, I held you when you were sick, I hold you when you cry, I wipe your bum, I love you so much it hurts!”

But on the outside, I calmly breathed in and out, took a sip from my wine and said: “That’s great honey, we are lucky that your Daddy has such a nice girlfriend we all like, and that likes you so much as well! But I am your Mummy. She can be your THG (obviously I said her name).” Surfer Dude added: “She is our stepmum!” Princess girl looked up, smiled and said: “Yes, our stepmum.” And I nodded in agreement. I asked her if she had told THG that she really really really liked her, and she said: “No, I didn’t dare.” I then encouraged her to tell her when she feels like it, cause I can imagine that THG would be very happy to know that my favourite girl likes her loads.

New situations sometimes need some getting used to.

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*She actually used a German word that is very hard to translate into English, it is more than like but a little less than love. The dictionary translates it with “being fond of”, but I think that is not strong enough.

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My husband. His girlfriend. And I.

My parents divorced when I was 7 and my Mum and stepfather divorced when I was 17. Having lived through two major break-ups, I always wanted to have the perfect relationship. The one that lasts a lifetime. We now know that not even Barbie and Ken made it…

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Every guy I met from age 17 on was immediately put on the spot and I wondered whether he was “The One”.

When I was 19, I met The Husband. Even before we started dating, I knew that if we would start a relationship it would be different from the ones I had before (if you can call dating for a couple of weeks or months relationships, but hey – as a teenager you do and heartbreak can be pretty tough then too! Oh the hours we cried listening to “November Rain” on repeat…).

Right from the start our relationship was intense. We moved in together immediately and played house pretty fast. We worked and studied and spend every free moment together. There was little time for friends. Over the years we lived in three different countries and were the most important people in each other’s lives. We got married and had two kids. And for a while it was perfect.

But over the years we grew up and apart. He is still the perfect man to be the father of my children and he is still one of the closest friends I have. We are family. He will always be my first love. But he is not the right man for me any longer and neither am I the right woman for him.

As with every break-up it was not always easy and there was anger, hurt, resentment and disappointment. But now, nearly one year later I can honestly say that we made it. I am proud and grateful for having been in a relationship for nearly 15 years (or to be exact 14,5 years as someone recently pointed out to me :-)) but now it’s time for the next step in our lives.

So when he told me he was dating an attorney I was pleased. I admit I was a bit pissed off when he revealed a couple of weeks later that she is someone we had both met through the kids (I was so pissed off I ran 10k and as you know I do have a hate-love relationship with running). I was pissed off because I liked her and I wanted her to be MY friend – and not his!

Am I jealous that he has a girlfriend, they do family outings with their four kids and that he is very happy? Hell, yes! But not, because I want him back. But because he has someone, and I don’t.

But I am also lucky. I am lucky that we get along, we can laugh and make the best we can for our two kids. The kids spend one week with me and one week with him and we make that work. I am lucky that my (still) husband has a lovely and smart girlfriend, who adores my kids (she doesn’t know them as well yet), who likes me and who respects the kind of relationship the husband and I have with each other. So when I met her for breakfast last week – just the two of us – we spent a great morning together. We chatted and we laughed and we are definitely going to meet up again.

Two years ago my Mum married for the third time. Some people were shocked, but one of my sisters’ friends said: “That’s so beautiful! Your Mum met three men in her life that she loved enough to marry.” I think that’s the best way to view it. And I am sure there is someone out there, who is perfect for me as well. Maybe forever. Or maybe only for a while. Either way is fine…As long as he takes me to Paris…Or New York…That would be fine too. Maybe both. And an island! I wanna go to an island too!

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Yet another kitchen disaster

What is it with me and the kitchen?

I admit I haven’t been cooking a lot since the husband moved out. The kids get a warm meal in school and I eat at work. Therefore there is no major need for a cooked meal at night. When we want something warm, I cook pasta or scrambled eggs. And sometimes I make vegetable curry or a salad. I am also not opposed to take-away 🙂

What I do make every day though to get those vitamins in, is a green smoothie. I mix spinach or cale or swiss chard with fruits like apples, grapes, berries, bananas and the likes. As I don’t have a blender I mix everything with the hand-held blender. And that works just fine.

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Every day I think to myself: „don’t leave the blender standing in the plastic bowl, it’ll fall at one point“. So far I was lucky. But my luck had to run out at one point.

The other day I mixed spinach and almond milk together and turned to grab the grapes. I kind of knew already before I turned that the time had come…

I was torn between taking pictures first or trying to remove the spinach from the wall, therefore what you see in the pics is the disaster minus the spinach running down the wall…

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When preparing for this blog post I kind of remembered that I wrote about my disasters in the kitchen (and household) before, here are links to some of my finest moments…Another kitchen disaster, The joys of cooking, This time my disaster is a cake and Just a normal day in the life of superwoman.

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Love and Hate are closer together than we think.

I love hot showers. And by hot – I mean H.O.T. – no, not in a dirty way (okaaaaaaay, these too…) but what I mean to say is, I love hot water. People who take a shower with or after me (no, this time it is a different kind of blog post…) tend to complain about the water temperature. So having had only cold water four times over the last 6 months is something I truly hate. When I stepped into the lukewarm shower the last time, I started to think about things I hate – and love.

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Here is my (obviously un-finished) list. Feel free to share yours with me too!

I HATE…

…cold showers.

…a shower curtain sticking to my body.

…shower curtains in general.

…drinking lukewarm water (in this case I prefer cold).

…the fact that chocolate makes you fat.

…the fact that wine makes you fat.

…the fact that everything I like to eat makes me fat (well, you know what I mean).

…ordering food and then it tastes like shit.

…running out of drinks.

…blind dates.

…running.

…not getting a job interview because I am a mother.

…being stuck in a job that I hate.

…being dependent on men to repair stuff in the house.

…guys not writing back on whatsapp.

…being able to see when people were last online on whatsapp.

…clutter.

…some people’s kids.

…and their parents.

…people who think they are better only because they have some kind of talent or just because (Hello, your shit smells too!)

…people not liking me.

 

I LOVE…

…hot showers.

…warm summer rain.

…kissing.

…kissing in warm summer rain.

…eating chocolate and drinking wine.

…eating.

…running (yes it’s kind of a love-hate relationship).

…meeting new people.

…dancing.

…singing to songs on the radio.

…getting a job because I am a mother.

…summer.

…the sun on my face.

…watching the handyman/builder.

…reading.

…writing.

…riding my bike.

…the smell of freshly cut grass.

…sex (good sex. If it’s only okay sex, I just like it and don’t love it).

…laughing.

…loving.

…buying stuff a.k.a. shopping.

…making people laugh.

…making people happy.

…honesty.

…color.

…my apartment.

…my balcony.

…quotes.

…traveling.

…the smell of a baby.

…handing back a screaming baby to its Mama.

…the people around me.

…being the Mom to my monsters.

…the bestest girls.

 

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Do you tinder?

When I first became single after having been with the husband for nearly 15 years, “good” advice came from everywhere.

The bartender in the gym – who I never saw before (and haven’t seen since) – looked at me with big haunted eyes, pointing a finger: “Mark my words! You will be surprised! The dating world out there has changed! It is cruel. It ain’t as easy as you think!”

A guy from my hockey club, who is definitely not a friend of mine (and who I know cheats on his wife) judged me by saying: “How dare you! You don’t give up a family!”

My GP asked me whether I was sure, because “you just have to arrange yourself with the situation. My husband is an idiot, but I work with it, we just live next to each other, I wouldn’t want to be single in this world.…”

A friend of my parents: “Try online dating! There are some good men out there! My friend just met a pretty nice guy via online dating.”

My therapist: “You seem to meet men! Where?? All other women I know complain that they don’t meet any guys!”

My grandmother on a daily basis (pointy finger again): “You idiot! You will be sorry! He is going to be snapped up in a second. Women just wait for a decent guy like him. But you – you will NEVER find another man! Men don’t want a woman with two kids! Beg him to take you back!”

And over and over again: “Do you regret it?”

The first six months of being single I just enjoyed my life and didn’t even consider any online dating platforms. I met guys when going out, at parties or at workshops and in general wasn’t interested in any kind of relationship.

Then  one summer night my sisters and I sat on the balcony with a bottle of red and talked about tinder. I didn’t know a lot about it, just knew it existed but had heard that it is mainly a sex platform. The idea itself already stressed me: “what if I don’t want to meet up, what if I don’t want to talk to them,…”. My baby sister (just 22) was pretty relaxed about the whole thing: “you just do what you like, you can always uninstall it again”. So I did.

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After the initial set-up I got the hang of swiping left and right and quickly got loads of matches. And I have to admit for a while it becomes pretty addicting…

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You see a lot on tinder. Here are a couple of my personal no-go pictures: guy with girl, guy with kid, guy with dog/cat, guy with gun (you’d be surprised how many guys post with guns), guy always wearing sunglasses, wedding picture – to name a few. If you are a man on tinder, please re-check your pics now.

Here are some examples of conversations I had:

“Hey Kat. Wanna bang?” 25 minutes later: “Hey Kat. Wanna bang?” (Ahhhhh, that’s so sweet of you, but no, thanks.)

“My dad has a company and I work for him for Austria. Maybe there would be a marketing position for you available…” Me: “Haha, would I have to work for you?” Him: “For, above, under, in front of…”

“I have my own business, I have a small plant shop.” Me:” I am not very good with plants. All my plants die. What do you produce?” Him: “Mainly hemp.”

“I am just looking for sex cause I am in a relationship.” Me: “Are you not afraid that your wife or some of her friends will see your picture and recognize you?” Him: “No, I used a stock picture”. (He was pretty pissed off that I did not want to meet up with him after he sent me his real picture).

Guy, 23: “You look beautiful. I am really good in bed. I can even make you squirt!”

At one point I came across a guy I dated for a couple of months when I was 17. We had a match and started writing to each other. I quickly suggested meeting up for “update drinks”. Him: ”What do you mean by update drinks?” Me: ”Duuuh, drinks where we talk about the last 20 years and what has happened to us.” Him: “Ok, sounds fun – but do we actually know each other??” Apparently I hadn’t made that much of an impression back in the days…

I also met up with a couple of guys from tinder and I now know – I hate blind dates. Not one has looked like he did in the pictures and 50% were utterly weird. Also – listen to your gut instinct AND you don’t owe them anything. If you don’t like them, get the hell out of there. Obviously I also met nice guys, who were fun, but these are rare and hard to find…

The first guy I met called me beforehand to schedule our meeting. I should have cancelled then, as I didn’t like his accent. When I saw him from a distance I knew I had made a mistake but he had already spotted me. He then proceeded to tell me that I wasn’t very smart. It took me a whole hour before I bailed.

One guy was all Fifty Shades in writing and then had a Mickey Mouse voice. Sorry.

My best friends ex, who hates me, added me on tinder and then asked me whether we should have sex now.

Then there is the guy who my friends and I call penis-man, the guy who sends me pictures of his penis.

One time I had a “kissing date”, where I met up with a guy for 15 minutes – only to kiss. There was no major chemistry, and I guess he wouldn’t normally be my type but it was a fun, one-time experience.

Then there was the guy who looked to be on the skinny side on his pictures but in real life resembled Munch’s scream..

You might think I am shallow and mean, but when going on blind dates you also meet guys you would never have met up with in real life.

My conclusion is that I want to meet a guy in person. I want to look at him and want my heart to start beating faster. I want to feel the click. Maybe it’s not easy, maybe it will take time but so far I am not afraid…

Here is a nice cartoon about tinder.

 

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The new life

After having lived with the husband for the last 14,5 years, it takes some time getting used to living by myself. There are so many small things he took care of, that I have to re-organize now. As you know me by now, you better expect the worst…

In week 1 I killed four plants. I took care of the problem and outsourced it. My cleaning goddess is now in charge of the plants. O yes, and I got myself cactuses. They seem to be harder to kill.

It took me three days to remember to clean out the cats toilet – but hey, now I do it every day 🙂 (thank god the kitties were forgiving and hadn’t turned on me).

As soon as the husband moved out, the heating stopped working – and no, I don’t think he tempered with it – or hmmm, wait, let me work that thought…

It is great to live in an apartment that “heats up” to 10 degrees in January. Being all in charge and stuff I contacted the plumber. It took him 1.5 weeks and four trips to my house to fix my heating. And no, unfortunately he doesn’t win any „plumber sex god“ contests, which would make the 1.5 weeks in the cold make any easier to accept…

So after 1.5 weeks of him telling me that “this needed to be exchanged” and “that needed to replaced”, my heating finally started to work again. But guess what – now I don’t have any hot water. Strangely enough the plumber thinks that has nothing to do with him fixing the heating. I might be a woman without any major plumbing knowledge, but that strikes even me as v e r y coincidental.

Last week I went to shopping-heaven Ikea to replace the furniture that has moved out (yes, I had loads of fun :-)):

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Since then I wake up evey morning hoping that the boxes which hold my new bed have somehow disappeared and the bed has miraculously been assembled. So far I am still waiting…

I am very proud to say though that I assembled a bench for my dining room table all by myself, while watching Pulp Fiction – I only interupted my work for a quick dance with Mia and Vince.

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My sister and I put together a new tv cupboard (no need for you to know that the drawers are still unassembled on the living room floor, as they seem a bit complicated – I am sure the bed assemble fairy will take care of them too).

I also got myself the perfect chandelier. Now I just have to workout how to get it up on the ceiling, where to get which kind of light bulbs and what to do with them.

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All in all, I think I manage quite ok. I will obviously keep you posted.

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