Category Archives: Relationships

It’s Time To Get Hitched!

When I first blogged about getting engaged, I promised Balance Overload wouldn’t become a wedding blog. Luckily, we had nothing to worry about since it just ceased being a blog altogether!

But such is life. And regular blog postings or not, the wedding week has arrived! When JB and I got engaged back in July, it was hard to imagine that an actual event (and yes, most importantly, a marriage) would happen at the end of the planning. It seemed so far away. And it was.

At the time of engagement, I had just started my new job. I worried about not finding the community I had at my former employer or making friends. Now it’s wedding time, and last week 14 of my colleagues showed up for a surprise lunch/shower thrown for me and JB. I couldn’t even get words out I was so touched.

A few other updates from wedding planning. First, the exercise. All was going great. My arms even had these things in them that my personal trainer called “muscles.” And then my trainer left for a new opportunity. I was worried this would deter me, but by that time I had learned enough from her to feel comfortable doing the workouts (to a lesser degree no doubt) on my own. I have also become quite the Zumba-holic. When I first started Zumba, I resented the women who knew all the routines. Between hip rolls and shimmy shakes, I told them (silently, in my head) that if I had the time, I could know all the routines too. Losers.

It turns out, I am such a loser! I can barely brush my teeth without busting out some Zumba moves. There are unfortunate consequences of this, such as almost liking Pitbull songs, but in Zumba, I have found a cardio workout that gets me excited to go to the gym. Combined with a day of weights, I am confident in continuing this plan even when there is no wedding dress as an incentive.

Oh, and the contact lenses? Yeah, they aren’t happening. I tried. Sort of. Once. And it was just too much. So I dropped it. I’m going naked on my eyes down the aisle. I will see JB clearly once I’m up there with him and it’s probably better for my nerves to not be able to make out all the faces anyway. Once the reception starts, the glasses will be back on. I might even clean them for the big day! Much like my decision to not fake tan, the glasses, like my pale fair skin, are who I am.

And that brings us to right now. JB assures me that for someone who has a tendency to freak out under stress, I’ve been a relatively calm bride. But this last week has definitely been full of emotion. And despite my claims of not being that stressed, my body has certainly tried to prove me otherwise.

I went to the doctor last week for an ache in my side that has persisted for the last couple of weeks. As the doctor poked around on my belly, he stopped in his tracks and told me to listen. He tapped my stomach and said it sounded like he was beating a drum. And then he called it “impressive.” Blushing, I was getting ready to thank him and tell him that it’s simply a combination of eating right mixed with crunches and some oblique twists when he said, “You are full of gas.” Oh. So I guess you don’t want to hear about the Roman Chair lifts I’ve been doing?

(I also foolishly let them draw blood despite knowing my body’s reaction of bruising to this. Hopefully JB’s family and friends will be thrilled to know he’s found a nice little heroin addict to settle down with).

But overall, it was my body’s way of telling me to chill out. So that’s what I have been trying to do. The ribbons are on the programs, the tables are assigned, and the lists have been checked over and over again. As JB and I said to each other on the way to dinner this weekend, it’s time to enjoy and make every moment of this week count. As everyone reminds us, it will be over in a flash.

I can’t thank all of our friends and family enough for their support this last year. JB and I know the real meaning of this weekend is to start our life together and we’re super excited for that and everything, but in the meantime, LET’S PARTY!!

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Goodbye Letter… To My Condo

Dear Condo,

I’ve heard the expression that the best days of being a boat owner is the day you buy it and the day you sell it. While I have never been a boat proprietor, I imagine it’s one of those sayings that is funny because it’s true.

I wondered if I would feel that way as a homeowner. I surely was excited the day I bought you. I rushed back to work and joyously showed my new keys to all my co-workers. I couldn’t wait to get you some new carpet and update your kitchen appliances. I couldn’t wait to make you my own.

A little over four years later, I showed up today for the “seller” closing appointment and signed you away to a new owner. Though a huge relief and I am beyond grateful for the relatively quick sell, it wasn’t quite the same rush I had the first time.

Although I had already moved out of you, it was comforting to know you were there. Yes, you were there with a mortgage and an electricity bill that I was not particularly sentimental toward, but you also still housed all of the furniture I had lived with since my first post-college apartment.

Remember when I actually used your new kitchen appliances? That one time? We cooked dinner for JB and set the little table that had never been set before. JB was so touched. I told him it was the beginning of me learning to cook.

I haven’t cooked dinner for him since, but you sure provided a great setting for what has turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

Yes, with home ownership comes the handyman (who might just happen to drunk dial you), HVAC repairmen, plumbers, and Home Depot visits. Many Home Depot visits. Until the day I die, I will not understand why there have to be so many options for toilet seats. But you seemed to sense my lack of resourcefulness and gave me very few problems. Thank you for that.

Friends who visited often referred to you as “cozy.” My niece and nephew named you my “little house.” Yes, you were small. But you were the perfect size and place for me to transition to the next stage of my life.

I know the new owner is excited to make you her home. Enjoy getting all dolled up! What an exciting new adventure we both have ahead of us.

XOXO,

Caryn

It’s Complicated… With Facebook

When I was a novice social media user way back in 2007, I had a MySpace account.  I set it up under the guise of planning my 10th high school reunion and needing to find classmates, but of course I knew I was never turning away from this delightfully voyeuristic world.

During this time, I was in a relationship. Being the dutiful social networker that I was, I wanted to ensure people knew everything about me. So I changed my relationship status to the “In a relationship” option. Simple enough.

Until the break-up.

There were tears. There was anger. And then there was the awful task of having to change my status back to single and tell the whole world (yes, EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the world) that I was dumped. At least that’s what it felt like. All of a sudden, I didn’t like sharing everything with the online community. In my heartbreak, changing the relationship status on my profile was too much to bear. So instead…

I deleted my entire account.

In hindsight — and even about three days after I did it — I could admit it was probably a little dramatic. But at the time, it was just easier.

In late spring 2008, I was re-born online with the help of Facebook. I vowed to never change my relationship status on a social media profile again. I have always left that area blank. But as I am now engaged to a wonderful man who makes me forget about any heartbreak except when I need to recount it for a blog post, I feel pretty confident my relationship status isn’t changing again, except to “married” next summer.

Source: Pinterest

But yet I still don’t know if I want to add the relationship status to my profile. Clearly, this quandary falls pretty low in comparison to just about anything else you could possibly ponder. It’s just interesting because I had no problem telling everyone via status update that I was engaged. And the well-wishes we received online were so amazing and meaningful. I tear up reading some of the kind words people left as a comment.

I recognize the paradox of writing about online privacy on a personal BLOG! While I have my limits (politics, for example), I’m not terribly guarded on Facebook and I’m trying to push myself to dig deeper on this blog.

So why not simply change my relationship status? Or post a picture of my ring? Or the adorable picture we took at dinner the night we got engaged?

There is definitely the element of JB not being on Facebook. I don’t post too many status updates about us or pictures out of respect for his privacy. He chooses not to be on Facebook. It’s not really my place to put him on it anyway.

When people asked me to post my ring, I just couldn’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, more power to those who do, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. And I was quick to text and email out a picture of the ring to those who asked to see it. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever owned — it deserves a Facebook fan page if you ask me! But just a post of my hand somehow seemed to trivialize the emotion I was feeling.

I’ll continue to search for the balance between social media, blog and real-life sharing. But just for the record, I love my relationship and I would shout it from the rooftops. As long as that rooftop doesn’t have wi-fi.

How do you balance what you post on social media and what you keep more private?

I’m Getting Contact Lenses!

Which is another way of saying… I’m engaged! JB has decided that there is permanent room in his life for college football, golf, and ME!

Upon arriving home from work last Friday, he presented me with a Romero Britto figurine I fell in love with back in December when we visited Miami. And when I realized what it was and turned around, there he was, one knee and all. It was romantic, perfect and surreal.

Fast-forward through the celebratory weekend and wedding planning is in full effect. All my mom and sister needed was the green light of an actual proposal and it was game on.

Part of this journey includes getting contact lenses. I get all Rachel Green (I have actually had this exact experience with a glaucoma machine) when it comes to my optical organ. While I am grateful for my sight and everything, I think eyes — and all their affiliated lids, balls, retinas, etc. — are disgusting. I can’t even watch people fiddle with their contacts, much less handle them in my own eyes.

So I have chosen a life of spectacles. And I love them. They are me, and I barely remember a time when I didn’t wear them. People mistake me for intellectual and this engagement only proves the naysayers wrong — boys most definitely do make passes at girls who wear glasses.

But I have always said the only event that could inspire me to stick plastic in my eyes and then remove it every night (I’m honestly shuddering thinking about this) was my wedding. Yes, I want to be “me” at my wedding, but there’s something about a gorgeous wedding gown paired with black-rimmed glasses that just isn’t festive. Let’s face it, there is only one person who could pull that look off and I envy her.

Unfortunately, my sight has deteriorated enough that I can’t get by without some type of visual aide. JB and his brother look strikingly similar and it’s best that any potential for awkward moments is avoided.

So soon I will go to the optometrist, freak out, and start trying to reconcile my relationship with my eyes so I can be totally comfortable on my wedding day with the foreign circular objects floating in my eyes.

After the engagement on Friday night, on our way to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, JB and I looked at each other and told each other to hold on to the absolute joy we were feeling at that moment. For a brief time, it was all about us. Soon enough, the madness would begin.

But I have made some promises to myself. I will attempt to keep perspective. I will remember that venue, band and flowers are not as important as JB, family and friends. I will keep a picture of me and my mom smiling and laughing nearby (as reminders of happier times in our relationship might be necessary). I will not turn this into a wedding blog.

And when I get stressed choosing cake toppers, I will remember that of all the questions I will be asking and will be asked throughout this process, the most important one has already been answered.

Not-So-Secret Single Behavior

When Sex and the City‘s Carrie moved in with Aidan, she worried about losing the lifestyle she had come to know as a single girl, particularly the little habits and behaviors we only partake in when home alone. She called these “secret single behaviors.”

As I reflected last night on how it was my last night living alone, I was so excited to write a post about my own secret single behaviors that I will miss. I’m sure half a million other female bloggers moving in with their significant others have written the same post, and a quick Google search confirmed this. But as I read the other blogs, I realized something: I don’t really have any!

Don’t get me wrong, I have a home routine and I love solitude and there were probably many things I would have hidden a year ago. But all of my secret behaviors? JB already knows them!

For example, I love zoning out and reading blogs before I go to bed. And when doing this, I get a little, shall we say, feisty if I feel someone is reading over my shoulder. Check! We fought discussed that fight situation and all is good.

Also, I watch a lot of crappy television. He’s learned that there is no amount of self-loathing that will keep me away from shows like Big Brother.

As I consume a jar of olives while writing this post, clearly some “me time” preferences are going to come up. But I don’t think it’s the secret behaviors that are a big deal for me; rather it’s the mixing of routines. When you take these relationship steps in your 30s especially, you are already set in your ways. And despite a perfected whine when I need help, I’m pretty independent. And so is JB. I have no worry that we will transition into this new phase smoothly, but I’m definitely going to have to put on my big girl sharing pants.

Like Carrie, I’m protective of my space and of my alone time. But unlike Carrie, I know a good man when I have one. So in the words of JB when I asked him how he felt about this move actually being here: “Off we go!”


What are some of your secret (that will no longer be secret) single behaviors that you worry about giving up or have had to adjust since co-habitation?

Cleaning, Part 2: The Best Find

I’m sorry readers, but please allow me to take up space in your inbox twice in two days for a very special sharing moment.

I wish I had waited and posted yesterday’s cleaning blog until I had gone through last night’s set of stacks. Because it was last night that I found this gem: the HANDWRITTEN response from Allison Knight (Jordan and Jonathan’s sister) on behalf of New Kids on the Block respectfully declining the invitation to my Bat Mitzvah.

Now tell me, is this not totally something Grace Adler would do? I told you I was the inspiration for her!

But seriously, I remember clearly the day I received this in the mail. I was so excited that a Knight sister actually took the time to write me a note. Obviously, much squealing and screeching ensued.

And this is the fun part about cleaning. Remembering all those great memories, people and moments that have gotten you to where you are now — packing up the first home you bought to move in with the best friend and partner you weren’t sure you would ever find, but are so grateful that you did.

I guess I have the New Kids to thank!

Cleaning, Confronting, Procrastinating

The pressure is on. I’m two weeks away from moving in with JB and I’m determined to start this new chapter of my life with as little clutter as possible. That requires that this packing experience be different from my last few moves. Instead of just taping the drawers and moving furniture, storage bins and cabinets filled with papers and mementos as is, I have to: Actually. Go. Through. Them.

Crap.

This has been a daunting task. And it’s forced me to confront the area of my condo that makes me worry I will one day be featured on A&E’s Hoarders: The Hall Closet.

In The Hall Closet, I have kept bags, filing cabinets, and other storage contraptions that contain every document, payment confirmation, health benefits summary, etc. that I otherwise didn’t know what to do with, but figured I might need one day. It’s like the bank vault for an identity thief. I knew over the years that I should go through them and purge all of the old and unnecessary paperwork, but I kept procrastinating and then the idea of it just became too overwhelming. And the cycle continued. (Wow, I really do sound like a hoarder, though I promise it’s not that bad.)

The Hall Closet has residents like this bag bill payment organizer:

I have given myself small goals each day, which makes the project more manageable. And with the advent of bulk shredding options (including your local Office Depot where they will shred while you watch), this undertaking has fortunately been far less confounding than I was fearing.

You see, my problem is not an inability to get rid of things. It’s the paralyzing feeling of not knowing where to put something or how to discard of it properly. So I do nothing. And then, when I’m under the gun, I realize it wasn’t actually that difficult of a predicament. So I encourage all of you — confront your Hall Closet or Under The Bathroom Sink or whatever it is that you turn a blind eye to. As always with  moving, I am reminded that it’s so much better to live without the clutter.

And that means digital clutter, too. So to distract myself from going through phone bills from 2006, I have also been cleaning out my DVR.  There are now only three items left that I can’t seem to delete.

The Friends and Will and Grace listings are my favorite episodes from those shows that I captured on reruns. And of course the Lost series finale which I’m not sure I have the mental strength to re-watch, but can’t erase. If you’re curious, the Friends episode is the trivia game about each other the crew plays resulting in the girls losing their apartment to the boys. The W&G one is Grace grieving her break-up with Woody Harrelson’s Nathan character.  It’s when I really started to wonder if the writers spied on me for their Grace inspiration.  As for Lost, it turns out it was purgatory all along! (Just kidding.) ( I think.)

Well, I have a stack of cable bills from three apartments ago that aren’t going to shred themselves, so I should stop procrastinating. I’m sure you’re reading this out of procrastination for something else, so just go do it!

But first, what task do you dread? How do you just make yourself do it? Why don’t I just buy DVDs of my favorite TV shows? (I thought I would ask that question for you.)