My Battle with Insomnia

Not to be overly dramatic or anything, but guys, I am hanging on by a thread.  A thin, frayed thread precariously close to snapping.  My life is not in danger and there are far worse things to battle, but referring to this as my battle with insomnia feels fitting because I have been dealing with this off and on for a long time.  There is no rhyme.  There is no reason.  I go to bed just like I do every other night, except there is that one night I wait for sleep and it doesn't come.  Not that night, or the next, or the next.

A photo posted by Cece🌺 (@mahoganydrive) on
I went to see the Lion King on Sunday.  It was so entertaining and so good.  Lions dancing, mountains moving and can you feel the love tonight?  I felt it.  It was great, but I could barely keep my eyes open.  Sunday matinee performances after a carb heavy brunch and a mimosa is enough to make anyone feel a bit drowsy, but I was fighting sleep almost the entire time.  Fighting so hard, that it was kind of painful, and that's been my life for going on two weeks now.  My eyes are glazed over and heavy inside my skull.  I don't quite have a headache, but the tension in my head pulses and the energy it takes to keep my eyes open when every cell in my body is telling me I need to sleep is nauseating.

I worked out six days last week.  This week I'm doing five.  Working out has been non negotiable for so long that I'm on auto pilot.  No matter how tired I am, I take off my clothes and wiggle into a sports bra as soon as I walk in the door. I might as well work out.  It's not like I can sleep instead.  I feel a temporary burst of energy right after I work out, but by the time I've showered and made my way downstairs for dinner, usually around 7:00ish, it's gone and I'm crashing all over again.

I'm exhausted, but I still can't sleep.

I get into bed and lay down from about 8:30-9:00pm to 6:20am, so according to my Fit Bit I'm sleeping, but I'm not! When my alarm goes off in the morning I'm already awake.  I think I'm going to be okay, but by the time I get to work I don't know how I'll make it.  Over the weekend I didn't wake up at 7:00am.  I gave up at 7:00am because I was just laying there.  I can't say I don't sleep at all, but whatever it is that is happening isn't restful because it doesn't feel like sleep when I am aware that I am laying in bed trying to sleep.  I don't know how you dream without sleeping, but it happens.  You know those dreams when you are aware that you are dreaming and you feel kind of like you are trapped in your own body watching yourself dream?  It was like that.  

My magic pill rx doesn't work and it's not because I've been taking it too much.  I learned that lesson the hard way last year after taking it Sunday through Thursday for months.  My body adapted.  It stopped working and I had to tough it out on my own for a while.  Since that bout ended I have only used it occasionally, so I fully expected it to lull me to sleep.  I finally tried melatonin two nights ago.  Who knew it came in flavors?  The strawberry smelled so good I wanted to eat it like candy but I didn't.  I swallowed one pill and hoped for the best.  No luck.  I doubled it up last night.  Some luck.  I felt like I actually went to sleep as in a not aware that I am trying to sleep deep sleep for at least a few hours, but I think I was awake by 1:00am off and on.  Valerian Root is on deck.  Might as well try everything.

I don't have kids.  I'm supposed to be able to sleep when I want! I cannot function like this for much longer, and yet I have no choice, but to function like this for as long as it continues.  Sleep deprivation is a form of torture.  This is torture!  I don't feel as zombie like as I did yesterday, but sitting in front of a computer for eight hours is not helpful, so it will be another long day.

Does anyone else struggle with insomnia on a regular basis?  What works for you?

9 Funny First Date Dont's

Anyone else watching Married at First Sight?  If you aren't don't start.  It's addicting.  If you are, then you know it is a train wreck you can't look away from and that season four  appears to be the biggest disaster of them yet so far.  Each season there are three couples and out of the nine couples who have gone through the entire process only two actually worked out.  Two couples from season one are still married.  This was before all the people came out of the wood works trying to get paid for being on a hit TV show.  I think that is only one part of why these marriages aren't working.  The other part is that meeting someone sight unseen, marrying them, honeymooning, and moving in together in six weeks is just slightly insane!  Throw in cameras and "relationship experts" that could be matching for ratings and it's no wonder that most of the relationships crash and burn.

People are complicated.  So, so very complex.  I still think it's kind of a miracle that you can even find one person on this earth that you want to spend the rest of your life and with whom you can maintain a healthy happy relationship.  There are so many big things and so many little things to consider.  Some people can't even make it past one date and that is the main topic of this post.

I am obsessed with this morning radio segment called Second Try or is it Good-Bye that tries to get second dates for people, or at the very least find out why they got ghosted.  Most of the callers do not get that second date.  It seems that once people have made up their mind that they don't want to date someone it's hard to change it. 

This is the latest list of first date dont's.  The first set is here.  It's pretty funny.

1.  Don't post every single detail of your magical date and prince charming like kiss on Facebook.  Your date deserves not to have everything that happened (even if it was really good) outlined across social media.  YES, she got a second date with the agreement that she would be more discreet in the future.

2.  Don't tell the waitress it's her birthday inviting staff to rush the table and sing Happy Birthday when it's not her birthday.  She may or may not be comfortable with that type of charade and you don't know her well enough to know either way.  He realized that might be a bit uncomfortable for someone, and agreed not to do it again.  YES, to a second date.

3.  Don't invite someone over if your DVR is 90% full, your sheets are in a twisted lump because you didn't make the bed, and the sink is full of dirty dishes. This is a reflection of who you are as a person and 'aint nobody got time for that.  NO second date. 

4.  Don't invite a date in for some sexy time when there are stuffed animals covering your entire bed.  So many that you have to spoil the mood transferring them to another location to make room so they can stare at you with their beady stuffed animal eyes while you get hot and heavy.  It turns out some women find men with that many stuffed animals on display creepy. NO second date.

5.  Don't ambush him with "meet the parents" on your very first date.  This makes him feel set up and like he's being tested before he's even had a chance to date you.  She explained that it is a spot they frequent regularly.  She chose it so she would feel comfortable, not because she expected her parents would show up, and she would have felt rude not inviting them to join the date.  YES, second date accepted.

6.  Don't interrupt a romantic stroll on the beach to get your entire face painted like a tiger by a street artist.  It's just kind of weird when you are just getting to know someone, and now your date has to be seen with a half man half tiger.  NO second date.

7.  Don't wax poetic about your future yellow couch, in your future living room when you have literally just met.  It's a little intense.  What if he doesn't like yellow?  NO second date.

8.  Don't be rude to your waiter.  Furthermore, when you are called out on it don't admit that you have no problem with "putting someone in their place" when you feel it is appropriate.  This guy was clearly a major jerk.  Her date said the waiter was flirting and interjecting himself into their conversation and for those crimes he absolutely deserved to be treated like an intruder and did not deserve a tip.  NO second date.

9.  Don't choose a burger joint for your first date, order a salad and pair it with two jars of baby food stashed in your purse.  I totally get being health conscious.  I ordered a salad on our first date, but I do think the baby food is a bit much for a first date.  In her defense, she explained that baby food has less preservatives and she simply likes to maintain a fit lifestyle.  The guy was a real piece of work though because he kept making really rude jokes about how when you are on a diet you wouldn't eat dog food so why baby food and kept running his mouth, so that they couldn't even have a mature conversation about it.  She's better off without him anyway.  NO second date.

Good thing those people weren't on a weird reality show called married at first date.  Most of the offenses aren't that bad and are probably just things that shouldn't happen when people are forming first impressions and trying to decide if they like each other or not.  I dismissed people for far less when I was dating, and lucky for me I didn't do anything on our first date that sent MJ running for the hills. 

How to Kill a Blog

How to kill a blog.  Just in case you were wondering, since most blogging tip posts cover how to grow your blog.  I'm doing something a little different.

Well, one thing is for certain.  I really know how to kill a blog, besides all the other things I've already been doing for years.  I did one other thing that might not be the best idea.  When you have been blogging under the same url for seven years, changing it is most certainly the kiss of death.  Why would anyone switch from one blog spot to another blog spot anyway?  Switching from a blog spot to a dot com, well that totally makes sense in the blog world these days.  If you haven't already come out like gangbusters with your own domain to start at some point, once you get your blogging legs you switch to the dot com.  You hire someone to help you make the switch, and there is a re-direct and all of these things that are supposed to help minimize your drop in traffic.  Or so I've heard.

I went from blog spot to blog spot because having a blog name that didn't match my url has bugged me.  Always.  When I first started blogging, I picked becauseeverybodyhasastory because it was available, and it seemed to fit what I was doing at the time.  Just telling my story, which I still am.  Then I changed my blog name four times.  Ready for this?  Frugalista Getting Married, became Frugalista Married; so embarrassing!, became Pink Sunshine, became Mahogany Drive.  I actually thought Pink Sunshine was the one, but I hesitated to switch the url because well...what if it wasn't?  Also, I didn't want the hassle and I worried that I would lose any hard earned follower I ever had.  Well, Mahogany Drive is 100% most certainly the final final name forever and ever.  I know this for sure, and it was tolerable at first that the url didn't match until it wasn't.  Until I couldn't stop thinking about how it was way, way too long, and how if I ever decided to tell anyone I know what my blog name actually is I wanted it to be just one thing, so one day I changed it to  Then I thought, oh maybe I should have let people know before the old url and every trace of my blog disappears.  Sometimes I forget that there are people out there who may actually like my blog and might wonder if it was gone or they never got any new updates after a while.  I was able to reclaim the old url to add an updated url post and that was really all I could do. 

As a blog spot blogger it's easy enough to change your blog name a million times if you want to.  All your links remain intact.  Nobody has to update their feed readers.  Google recognizes the switch pretty quickly, and because the url hasn't changed there is no total break in traffic.  Switching your url however, is another story, and even as I was thinking that I might regret it, I knew I had to do it anyway, because it was bugging me and I couldn't leave well enough alone.  I'm pretty sure that half the traffic I was getting was spam bots anyway, so in that respect having a new url is like a clean slate.  It's also a clean slate for people reading your blog which is good and not so good at the same time.  I figure, if they like my blog, they'll update their readers, if they don't then who needs 'em anyway right?  In this internet world where numbers are everything I was getting a numbers boost from followers who don't read, but again, who needs 'em anyway?  I am not a blogger for money, so traffic is and should be a secondary concern, but damn it sucks that when I google my own blog name it doesn't show up on the first page like it used to.  Bummer.  I can say I blog for me all I want (and I do), but I'd be lying to myself if I said I didn't want somebody to read it.  

So, why don't I want my own domain?  This may sound really weird, but I have this vision of something happening to me.  Anything bad, where I'm not well or where I am too preoccupied with something bad to think about the expiration of my domain.  I miss the deadline to renew and my entire blog disappears.  Or, when I die, maybe a little morbid, but c'mon we all know it's going to happen, and don't pay that bill my entire blog disappears.  Honestly, I don't even know if that's how it works, but with a blog spot I don't have to worry about that.  I do nothing year after year and this blog is here.  I don't have to be fully responsible for hosting issues.  Every year people who don't profit from their blog or don't blog as much as they used to have to think to I really want to pay for another year of my domain?  I don't want to have that thought every year.  I blog a little or a lot, pay nothing, and my blog is here.  I don't have to do anything, and I don't have to rationalize the expense or wonder if it is really "worth" it.  I remember when bloggers first started saying that having your own domain makes you look more professional.  I was that blogger thinking...for what?  Why do I need to look professional?  Why do I need business cards, a newsletter, and a media kit?  Well, now I know.  Blogging has turned into a money making empire for some.  Having your own domain supposedly helps increase traffic and SEO and all of those other things that I have mostly ignored.

So I asked myself.  What would make me happy despite all of the inconvenience and hassle that goes along with it?  The answer was switching my url, and so I did.  Anything I ever linked on twitter, or Pinterest is dead.  Any links I have ever put within my blog posts is dead.  I updated a few links on Pinterest, and in some series posts and recent posts, but I have published 726 posts so I'm not gonna get 'em all.  Bloglovin' was easy enough to switch without disruption, but anyone who ever got updates in blog reader or any other readers I don't  know about will not.

As far as google is concerned this blog doesn't even exist anymore, but you know what?  My blog is not dead to me.  Hello out there, I'm still here! I'm only a blog spot blogger.  I don't make money, I don't get free stuff, and I don't have a gazillion followers.  I also don't have to pretend  Scotch-Brite's new disposable toilet scrubber has totally changed my life.  I do show up here to write things because I love to write things so I'll just keep doing that.

Hello out there, I'm still here.

When Your Husband Gets His Own Apartment

It's a bit unsettling when you find out that your husband is getting his own fancy apartment.  It's weird to think of him paying rent on a separate home, sleeping on sheets I will never wash, while living in a place I may never see.  A place that is not our house where we live, together.  I've been replaced with a weekly cleaning lady so I think he's going to come home more spoiled then he left.  I know it's because of work and is only temporary, but still.  It's kinda weird that he's living the downtown high rise pedestrian lifestyle dream in a faraway city without me.

A photo posted by Cece (@mahoganydrive) on

You'd think I would have been prepared when he left, but nope.  I wasn't.  Not prepared at all, because emotional limbo is no kind of preparation at all.  It's one thing to be told something is happening, but until you have a date being strung along for seven months causes nothing but turmoil.  I went on two trips, not really knowing for sure if he'd still be there when I got back.  Any day now. He's still here.  Departure date unknown.  He's still here.  The 15th.  He's still here.  Any week now.  He's still here.  No information, no news, no date.  He's still here.  Next Friday.  He's still here.  My friend said, well at least you have a date now, but what she didn't understand is that we've had several dates since January and yet...he's still here.   He got paid to sit in his bean bag for the month of January, and had his last day of work twice and went back by the time he finally left.  Of course I was thrilled to have him as long as I could, but the uncertainty and the inability to plan was maddening.  I quit working out after I got back from Vegas.  I just wanted to be around him.  I didn't want to be rushing from work to home to exercise to shower to dinner to bed during his last days here.  We finally got word from the Army, that he was leaving for real for real, just days before he hopped on a plane.  And of course it fell on a day I was supposed to be out of town.  I mean, who can realistically pack up their life to live abroad with a few days notice and not lose their mind?  Not me.  Oh no.  Not me, but fortunately I'm not the one who had to do it and MJ keeps it cool.  Somehow he keeps his wits about him and gets on with it, meanwhile I'm an angry hot mess over the entire situation.

He finally gets to book a flight and then it gets canceled.  Now he is leaving in the afternoon instead of the morning so I can't even drop him off at the airport.  Had I known he was leaving that day I wouldn't have made plans to be in L.A. all day, but nobody could give us that key piece of information until it was too late.  Skipping it would have given me about four extra hours with MJ and allowed me to take him to the airport, but then what?  The outcome is the same.  My husband is leaving.  The good-bye will happen, and there is no getting around it.  So I left for LA as late as I could and cherished the time we had together that morning.  I think it was harder saying good-bye at home because we didn't have the TSA airport drop off rules nudging us along.  I had to walk out of the house, leave him there, get in my car, drive away, and when I got home he would poof be gone.  So I hit the road for LA.  I watched my cousin perform in a three hour long Debbie Allen Dance Academy Summer Intensive recital and enjoyed dinner with my family.  I was just fine, until I walked in the door and burst into tears because he left Kohl's cash for me on the counter.  Then I cried when I smelled fresh Island breeze scent because he plugged in the wall flowers we picked out at Bath & Body Works yesterday before our last date night.  Pizza.  His choice.  Then I cried some more because the laundry was folded, and just when I thought I couldn't possibly cry any harder I cried because he left the sweetest handwritten note on my nightstand.  He was long gone by the time I got home last night, but I could still feel his presence.  He was just here.

The downtown bachelor pad
Timing is tricky because Germany is nine hours ahead, but we text all we want on WhatsApp for free and I look forward to Face Time.  I'm not the type that needs to talk to him daily, but I do need proof of life every other day and get ansty if I don't get to see his face for too long.  I need a picture, Face Time.  Something.  When we stay connected in some way I can kind of pretend we are still hanging out.  Like, maybe he's not really living in his very own bachelor pad in another country 6,000 away.

One month down, four to go...unless they need him to stay longer.  But of course we won't have an answer on that for a while.