Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~Me~

I have a job interview in the morning.

Hospice.

It’s a completely new area for me.  I’ve been in labor and delivery for almost nine years, and the idea of doing something new is terrifying and exciting.  I don’t know if this is something that will work for me, but I am happy to have something new to consider.  I can’t wait for tomorrow. It feels like…something good.

Tonight I took the kids out to dinner, and we invited CC and Special Man to join us, and it was good and fun, and the word I keep coming back to: easy.  “Easy” seems to be my new gold standard.  Maybe it’s because so many things have been hard lately, I am acutely aware of how happy I feel when things are NOT hard.

DInner was easy.  We ate and laughed.  The kids were not perfect, the food was fun, (cotton candy at a Chinese buffet…why yes!)  Everyone was happy.

It wasn’t until we got home that Leo fell apart.  It’s been weeks of outbursts, and meltdowns, tears and arguments.  It’s so uncharacteristic, and such a drastic difference, that I’m at a loss as to how to handle it.  I’m frustrated, he’s frustrated.  He’s eleven, he’s missed a lot of school, had a major surgery, and his father died.  My heart hurts for him. It’s been a struggle for me, and I’m a grown-up, so how is a child supposed to figure it out?

I’m making an appointment for him to see my counselor, and he had some blood drawn today, to make sure his labs are good post surgery, just in case there’s something physical going on too.  I’m doing everything I can think of.

Being a parent is hard, ya’ll.

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~Reprieve~

I’m taking a forced twenty minute break from working on a new website.  I think I may actually gouge my eyeballs out with a fork if I don’t.

I’ve been blogging for almost two years now.  I use WordPress, it’s been relatively simple and straightforward.  I like simiplicity in my visual presentation, and brevity in my words, so I haven’t had to do much website design at all.  I just click a button for “New Post” and then click “Publish” when I am done.

I plan to spend the next year building a photography business. I will probably always stay on staff at my hospital, but I’d love to be able to be a photographer who moonlights as a nurse, and not the other way around.  I am being methodical about building both my business and my portfolio.

There’s no reason this won’t work.  Except for one. And that would be this damn new photography website!  I need examples of my work, an intro page, and a contact form.  Sounds pretty simple, right?  I’ve settled on a site host, and I don’t even have to code anything, and I’m still going crazy.

However. I will figure it out.  (I always do.)

But first the panicking!

It’s snowing today.  Actually, it pretty much dumped on us.  I’m not a fan.  Special Man left for his roadtrip to Oregon, and turned around after he passed the sixth accident in less than thirty minutes.  He may try again in the morning, but I suspect he may just skip it.  I know he’s been looking forward to this, and I’m disappointed for him. I hope the weather clears enough for him to go in the morning.

I find myself idly daydreaming about meeting and making new relationships with new people. In my daydreams, these are not necessarily romantic relationships that I crave, but I feel open and ready to make new connections.  This is a good thing.

(A very good thing.)


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~Singular~

You know what I kind of love?

My one-word titles.

It wasn’t always like this, the single word blog post title.But it evolved fairly quickly.  Now I find choosing a title, almost as pleasurable as writing a good post. That’s a little weird, right?

I don’t care.  I’m weird.

Sometimes the title comes first.  Sometimes it comes last. But it always gives me a small tingle of satisfaction, to choose that title.

I chose the word Singular for this, yesterday, simply in reference to my single word title tradition.

But today, it’s appropriate for something completely different.  As I’m preparing for my little Leo to have his big surgery tomorrow, I find myself wondering how much longer I can be alone.  Single.

Now this was a really random thought that floated through my brain late last night.  Because I’m not exactly single.  I do think of myself as attached.  But functionally, I am single.  Solitary. I do not have a “nesting partner”.  (I absolutely love this phrase, nesting partner.)  In the generally accepted language of polyamory, I do not have a primary

What this means to me, is that as important as I am to Special Man Friend, I stand alone in much of my life. I’m alone in checking the mail and walking in my house with a handful of medical bills that will not stop any time soon.  I’m alone in packing for tomorrow, and in making sure I’ve got the pantry stocked for the other kids.  I’m alone in making sure I’ve picked up the prescriptions, made the follow up appointments, planned for the financial challenge of being off for several weeks with each child’s surgery.

We aren’t connected in that way.

He’s a huge support to me, emotionally. He loves me, and he truly loves my children.  But this is all on me.  As is planning for retirement, making sure I schedule for the sprinklers to be blown out, doing the laundry, deciding to move, or disciplining my children.  He will be at the hospital, tomorrow after work, and likely Wednesday as well.  But he’s giving everything he has available. I know this, and yet, today, it doesn’t feel like I have what I want.  Ironically, I don’t really WANT to intermingle finances with anyone, and I certainly don’t need someone else parenting my children. But I want my important person by my side. I will sit alone tomorrow, waiting for my child to come out of surgery.  Because it’s all on me.

This is where I am, as a polysingle, solo poly, secondary, satellite partner.  I don’t know which term I like, because most of the time I am just ME.  I don’t identify as any of those words.  I know I am loved and cherished.

Over the weekend, SMF told me he was moving up an out of state trip, planned for two weekends from now, to THIS weekend, and he’d be leaving on Thursday, most likely when Leo was still in the hospital. It wasn’t a discussion, he was just informing me.

And that hurt.

It took me a day to be able to process what was going on with me, in my head.  I didn’t want to sit and stew about it.  I’ve done that in the past, in an effort to avoid conflict, but it always comes back to bite me.  I am working towards much more transparent and healthy communication. I texted him from work.

::I have to tell you I’m kind of disappointed you’re leaving town this week, before we even see how Leo does.  He’s your people too.  I don’t think you are uncaring.  But this is a really big deal and I feel solidly alone in it::

There was some back and forth.  He has a lot on his plate too, and needed some alone time, and while I really, really do get that, THIS IS A BIG SCARY THING THAT HAS BEEN ON THE CALENDAR FOR SEVERAL MONTHS AND MY PERSON WANTED TO LEAVE TOWN.

Then I got to have the internal dialogue in my head, about whether or not I was being selfish, or doing good poly, or being a good partner.

But you know what? After everything we’ve done to establish ourselves as committed to each other, I have the right to say, “Hold on.”  Sometimes it really does come down to whose needs are greater.  Does that make me selfish?  I’m not sure.  In this moment, maybe.  Yes.

I didn’t tell him I was upset about him leaving in order to guilt him into anything.  I told him so that I wouldn’t swallow that hurt and resentment down so hard, and so deep, that it would eat it’s way back up and explode on him in the future.  That just doesn’t seem fair to him, or to me.  My plan was to tell him, exactly what I needed to say, and then at least he would be able to make an informed decision about how this could affect me, or us. He could never say, he didn’t know how I felt.

I am not sure if he will go or not, but I feel good about trying to be healthy in my relationship with him.

Now I’m off to the pharmacy to pick up pre-op prescriptions.


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~Forward~

I’m really excited about a lot of things.  I’m also nervous, because I’ve decided to take some risks which put the possibility of failure on my figurative, full to overflowing, plate .  Still, it’s a fantastic feeling to have plans and ideas to look ahead to.

I’ve cut one shift every other week at the hospital, so that I can move forward with my plan to supplement my income with my photography. I know I’m on a steep learning curve, but I love it, and I’ve gotten some wonderful feedback on my work.  I plan to cut another shift in the near future, so that I’ll be working two twelve-hour shifts per week, instead of my current schedule of three shifts one week, and two shifts the next.  Honestly, I never thought I’d attempt to have my own business, but I’d never found the right outlet before, either.

This is it.  I know it.

In addition, I am making plans to attend two poly conferences, with an eye towards presenting.  I loved my time at Beyond the Love last year.  It is a challenge for me, living in a very small conservative area, in a very conservative state, to have the face to face community that I think can be so important to any group of people who are “outside” of the box.  Much of my learning and socialization and feeling of community within PolyLand, comes, for me, from online and long distance interaction.  I am not sure exactly where I’d be without my online community,my friends, my discussion groups, my blog.  The things I assimilate and integrate into the way I practice relationships, and the way I function in my relationships are very much influenced by the things and people and writings I have access to through the internet.

I think this is an amazing thing.

So, I want to give back to this bigger community.  I want to contribute too.

The last thing I’m looking forward to, is opening my heart to the possibility of another significant relationship.  It’s time.  Special Man and I are very solid now, months after The Great Failed Breakup of 2014. I have been closed off, and, well, downright scared.

I’m not scared any more.

I am however, skeptical that I will find anyone local that I connect with.  I am careful, cautious, and slow to love. And I’m really okay with that.  It does mean that finding kindred partners is a challenge, especially when you factor in the previously mentioned very small conservative location of my existence.

Oh well.  The first step is opening your heart to all the possibilities.

So, bring it. 


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~Much~

I should be asleep.

The house is dreadfully quiet. The children have gone to my mother’s for a Thanksgiving meal, and I have been left alone to sleep. I got home from work this morning at 8am, and I’ll leave for another shift a little after 6pm.

But I can’t sleep.

I’ve had an amazing year, and I have so many things to be grateful for. It’s a little bit melancholy-inducing to be alone right now, but I am holding tight to the chance to reflect. Last year at Thanksgiving, my blog was not even a thought in my head. I’ve learned so much about myself through writing and interacting with others, that I have to put it on the list of things I am thankful for this year. This list would also include the standard, “children, loved ones, home, and career” items, but more specifically, I am grateful for the growth I’ve seen, in my relationships in each of these areas of my life, and the development I feel within myself. My connections are stronger, my goals clearer, and my motivations better defined.

It’s interesting, how at forty-four, I feel like such a newcomer to my life. It’s an absolutely glorious feeling.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.


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~Birth~

I get paid to watch over women during childbirth.  It is incredible, and amazing, labor-intensive and sometimes heartbreaking.

There’s a moment, when a woman realizes that this thing she is doing, is really happening, and there is nothing she can do to change it.   In this moment, there is a look of panic on her face, as her eyes lock on mine, and I hold them there.  I do not look away, and I say to her, I know.  Sometimes she will fight it. She will try to get away from it. But eventually, the realization comes to her: This is mine to do.  

I love watching women change during childbirth.  For that brief period of time, rules of polite society are put aside. As she sinks deeper into herself, she cares less about what is happening outside of herself.  She is focused on one thing.  It’s raw, and it’s honest, and sometimes it’s ugly.

After years of this work, I was taught a new lesson this week.  I observed a girl, in her first pregnancy, labor so beautifully, so instinctually, so powerfully that I was stopped in my tracks.  I was awe struck by her peace, and by her connection with the process and with her body.  The way she moved, as she worked through contraction after contraction, could not be taught.  No class or book could ever standardize the way she gave herself over to this thing that she had never experienced before.

After many (so many) hours of labor, and many more hours of pushing, during which she was completely present, for reasons completely out of her control, I ended my night with her in the operating room, numb from the chest down, covered in blue sterile drapes.  She could not move, as her baby was pulled from an incision in her abdomen.  She had done everything “right”.  She’d had no medications, as few interventions as possible, and good labor support.  She had walked and squatted and used gravity to ensure safe passage for her infant into the world. She did everything within her power to get that baby out the way she had planned and desired.

And it was not going to happen. It didn’t happen.  She didn’t get the natural vaginal birth she desired, and had worked so hard to give herself and her child.  I was disappointed.  Perhaps a little disillusioned.  I wanted so much to see her get the beautiful moment when she pushed her baby out and heard him cry.

It is easy to become cynical sometimes as a caregiver.  I see so much that makes me roll my eyes.  People in ridiculous situations of their own choosing.  People in horrible situations through no fault of their own.  Women who are so caught up in themselves, that they choose meth or other drugs over the lives and safety of their babies.  I’ve heard the wails of women who are told that their perfect, almost ready to be born, babies have simply stopped beating their hearts, and there is nothing anyone can do.  And then I’ve watched, as those dreadfully still and silent children are born.

I’ve sent women home either giggling or tearful, because I’ve told them that no, their water did not break, that they simply wet their pants.  I’ve sent women home angry, because I cannot predict, nor influence the time and the day that their labor will start.  I watched a woman punch her stomach and call her unborn child stupid.  I’ve been snapped at by women who later apologize; I’ve been sworn at by women who never apologize.

We get the hand we are dealt.  The cliche is appropriate.  There are things we can control and there are things we can’t.  Knowing the difference, and making the thoughtful choices when they are ours to make is the secret to contentment.

I only hope I’m playing my own cards wisely and thoughtfully.

Something about this particular patient made me remember what it is that I love about what I do.  I’ve lost some of that over the years, and I want it back.  I came home after this delivery exhausted and aching and a little melancholy.  At the same time, I was content, and I was happy.

I’m a lucky girl.