See Jane Jump.

Observations from the deep singlehood of your late 30's

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It’s Just an Orange

I embraced self-help fully just prior to my 39th birthday. I’m a late bloomer. In full disclosure, that’s about 26 days ago. I’ve always skipped the self-help aisle out of fear of being outed as needy, fragile, or worse yet: broken. I grew up in midwest suburbia where self-help meant a glass of chardonnay while cooking dinner before your husband came home from work. Therapy was a meeting in the church office with your pastor masked as “a conversation.” You did what you had to do and you did it with a smile. Always. And your answer to “How are you?” is always, “Great!” Or better, yet, answer with a smiling question: “How are you?

How am I? I spent my 39th birthday ditching a coping group for stress management one week after leaving a partial hospital day program. I am learning how to breathe by counts of 4 and exhaling on words like “Peace,” “Heal,” and “Om.” For a midwestern gal grown up on the promise of good girls finish first, I have graduated from wailing on the kitchen floor in the fetal position to completely shutting down, to doodle-and-talk-group-therapy sessions.

Today, I peeled an orange. A naval orange to be exact. The kind of orange with a miniature nub of a baby orange nestled on its top end (it’s there - you just need to look for it.) I sat in a coping group for which I paid $25.00 co-pay to my health insurance and $14.00 to the parking garage, and I peeled an orange, slowly and purposefully. Before peeling the orange,  we practiced breathing for 10 minutes. Ten whole minutes of breathing. Inhale: One, two, three, four…and hold…and exhale on the word “Peace”: One, two, three, four.

Today, when I peeled that orange half-way to the point where I could make out the nub of a miniature baby orange nestled on its end, I thought of this: I’m fucking screwed. I know what comes next. I had to eat the orange. Slowly and purposefully. Smell, feel, taste, chew, swallow. This isn’t just an orange; this is time and patience and practice with being present. This is coming face-to-face with everything a naval orange presents - including that nagging nub of a miniature baby orange nestled so beautifully inside. This is life: tedious, repetitive, and magical.

I wanted to stop half-way through peeling that godforsaken orange. It was too big. Too tough. It wasn’t an organic orange and it reeked of pesticides. It had a freakish miniature baby orange inside of it. That half-unpeeled orange reminded me of places I needed to be, things I need to be doing. I couldn’t think of exactly what those places and things were just then, but I knew that they existed. I should not be peeling an orange while breathing by four’s. I should already know how to do this. Right?

I peeled the orange with everyone else in my Wednesday coping group.

-What did you notice tonight with this exercise? 

-There’s so much juice in an orange!

-I was able to focus. I mean really focus on what an orange tastes like.

I shared that I noticed I was frustrated and irritated by how long the orange took to peel. But that really I was fearful of taking time with just peeling an orange. I didn’t want to let go.

-Let go of what? 

-I don’t know. I hesitated. Believing that it’s just an orange. 

Filed under meditation mindful eating mindfulness self-help therapy

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…online dating sites offer users a comforting sense that they are not alone. Single people are reminded that there are many others out there looking to connect and willing to try new ways of doing so.

Psychology Today, February 23, 2014

I’m comforted. 

Filed under dating online dating single

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Online dating 2.0

"My name is XX, but call me Scott. I’m very healthy, go to gym 3 times a week, i love the way i cook, well u can say I’m a chief, 4 years of college, and graduate with a degree, and I’m working with water proofing…I got my own house next to the beach…I don’t have a bad habit, don’t smoke…sometimes i drink, im not bipolar, lol, but I’m a friendly guy…sometime in real life it’s good to share what u feel. I’m not looking for a temporally relationship…but for now, I;m still hunting for my soul."

Filed under single matchmaking dating

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My dad always told me: “Jane, just try your best.” 
I carried that around with me through my teens, twenties and thirties. 
It seemed to be good enough. By all accounts, I was, too.
And then I realized that trying my best wasn’t gonna cut it.
Life can kick your ass. It’s good, then, to know you can try again.
And try harder.

My dad always told me: “Jane, just try your best.” 

I carried that around with me through my teens, twenties and thirties. 

It seemed to be good enough. By all accounts, I was, too.

And then I realized that trying my best wasn’t gonna cut it.

Life can kick your ass. It’s good, then, to know you can try again.

And try harder.

Filed under inspiration motivation writing memoir