Laying claim to a new hashtag: #whimgrin

Sure, I’ve been firing away on all cylinders when it comes to Getting Betsy Healthy. I’m doing my #whimstomps on a regular basis, leveling up to knock down fitness goals, or getting A+ grades from my doctor these days.

I’m also doing what I can to clear out the toxins from other areas in my life – even while trying to maintain my sanity as a full-time parent to two teenagers.

But I’ve been mining one area of my life for superficial comic relief lately – and that’s a pretty toxic habit as well (as evidenced by these recent experiences on the dating front).

(Do click through, read that last post, and note the date I wrote it…)

Why superficial? Because that’s how I’ve been approaching dating for oh, the last 5 years (had to go back through the archives to dig this post up as proof). And although the sentiments expressed in them are-oh-so-laudable (putting kids first, keeping parts of my life separated out, remembering my priorities, blah blah blah) – they’re also complete and total bullshit at the end of the day. Or far less true now than they might have been at the time as the kids get older/more independent.

Because the real truth here is that putting myself Out There — in That Way — scares the living shit out of me. And it stops me cold. (Yep, that’s the ‘toxic habit’ part.)

Sure, I’ve gotten good at doing superficial. Surface-level. Cashing mutual physical attraction in for mutual transitory benefits. And I fooled myself into thinking that’s all I had time for – all I wanted. (Or, if you dig a little bit under the surface – as I’ll do for the benefit of all the armchair psychologists reading this right now – all I felt I deserved.)

Until recently, when I told myself (and all of you, in classic @betsywhim oversharing mode) that Enough Was Enough.

And two days later, I met someone who knocked my socks right off. In every possible way.

(I have it on good authority that he’s similarly affected, but far far more restrained than I’m being here, heh…)

Now (here’s the disclaimer – get ready for it!) I have no idea if this is going to last – getting my socks knocked off by this particular guy, that is. But the feeling?

Yeah, this is what I’ve missed. And this is what I want more of.

What in the world am I talking about? The irresistible pull that has you both checking in every night to see how the other’s day was. Him asking how #SheTeen’s concert on Thursday night went afterwards. Me commiserating about job stresses. The insane desire to crawl into his head & learn more about how he ticks. The inside jokes – already. The endearments. The fact that he can look at me, know that I’m holding something back, and wants me to just spill it, please. And the effervescence that’s threatening to spill over as we both anticipate seeing each other later this evening (after we both fulfill kid responsibilities ’cause we both have ’em. Kids and responsibilities, that is.)

I’ve been talking vaguely on Twitter & Facebook this week about the perma-grin that’s taken up residence on my face these days. Or I’ve talked privately with close friends about the shit-eating grin I’ve been sporting (along with the real reason why I’ve taken up wearing scarves this week, among other details…)

But I’m going public and naming it as the #whimgrin. It’s the bonus you get when you decide to stop being scared shitless and just go out and live life already.

In all areas of your life.

P.S. It has been suggested that perhaps this post is a wee bit premature, given the short history involved. I would argue that my point here is not that it’s this particular man (although I certainly hope that he’ll be here) that’s responsible for the shift – but rather, the change in being honest (from a transparent, ‘owning-it’ POV) about what I’m looking for in general.

Or it’s premature. In which case, so be it…! (I’m a big girl, I’ll live…)


  1. Linda

    I’m happy for you and your #whimgrin The beginning of a relationship is the best. Enjoy, keep and open mind and did I say enjoy?!?! :)

  2. Betsy Richter

    Heh – yes, you definitely said ‘enjoy’ – and I’m definitely planning on doing just that!


  3. There is no perfect time to be happy. Suggesting that feelings of elation are premature implies that all of our happiness should come with attached caution. That’s bullshit. Life is too short.

  4. Betsy Richter

    As per usual, Mr. Wagner speaks truth.

    (As he did privately to me several months ago when he called out my former toxic behavior as, well, toxic. Did I listen at the time? No.)

    Thank you, my friend – for both this and the lesson you tried to teach me lo those many months ago.

    I can say this – (without going into any detail at all, in order to respect the privacy of the other party involved here)(yeah, I know that ship’s already sailed) – I’m pretty freaking happy right now.

    And it feels like the perfect time to have some of that kind of happiness in my life.

  5. mariadeathstar

    i’m so happy to hear this, especially the part about what’s going on inside YOU! I can’t believe how long it took me to get the part about not accepting toxic treatment. But once you get it, there’s no going back! So the rest of your life will be different, in the very best way. Congratulations! Sometime we must meet for a mojito!

Surely you're not going to let me have the last word - are you?