Starting the New Year Right as Rain

rain

Have you ever been sucked in – spit out – then sucked right back in again at the sound of “his” voice? You know the voice — the one that makes your head swirl and heart jump. You never intended the road to love to be so rocky. You begin to make excuses for his behavior as you kept trying to kindle and rekindle. But over time the joy turns to frustration.  And if the suckering you back in thing goes on too many times you lose all boundaries to a good relationship.  A right as rain relationship. This is where I have landed myself!

When it becomes apparent to ‘all family and friends’ that some of your marbles have gone missing, they intervene in a big way; your well-meaning friends tell you your elevator is skipping a few doors reaching the top floor, in fact they tell you that you’re a few bricks shy of a full stack!  Okay, all puns aside, when it becomes painfully apparent to everyone, even you, that you are in a rather pathetic state it is time for a reality check.  This is where I am right now.

Over the past several years I have been sucked in and let go so many times by the same man I have actually lost count. Each time I say: I’m not doing this! Then, I do. I can’t seem to help myself. Love has a funny way of making ‘wrongs’ into ‘rights’ and all he ever has had to say was “I love you” and it all started all over again. This has gone on for years, a fact I am embarrassed to admit. The thing is: each time he let go for a while the thread holding my affections weakened. And each time during the silent periods my discerning mind became more operational. Sad news for Mr. Win, I’m sure but this is true. I got stronger each time the silence came until finally the silence bothered me no more.

How can it bother me now? After all, we were to the point of his being my date for my daughter’s wedding — but then the wedding came during one of his ‘silences” — but that was the year before my grandson was born. My grandson just turned five last year. I think I’ve given this relationship enough time, don’t you?

So, I’m starting the new year as right as rain. 2013 should be a very good year. At least it will not suffer from ‘silence’ as my plans don’t include anything or any one that shifts my bricks out of whack!

 

Missing the one you love

My father was married to his second wife for fifty-four years. In all those years they spent less than a hand full of nights away from each other.  It is no surprise then that on most mornings following his wife’s death he could be found sleeping in his overstuffed recliner. Nor was it a surprise that he kept telling me the days were too long and the nights were even longer.  In retrospect, I feel my father willed his death one year later because after all those years together, and at his age — he was eighty-four — he could not adjust to life without her.   Over the years their deep love for each other turned to a profound friendship which was a joy to witness.  Every married couple should be this lucky — but luck had nothing to do with it.  My parents worked hard at being married to each other.  Mama once told me she accepted my father for who he was and forgave him of everything he was. My father said to me once something about ‘not having rose-colored glasses on’ when it came to his wife.  I think what they were really saying without giving me a long dissertation on the subject is that they chose to take the other person at face value and give them unconditional love.

I’m not saying my parents never had rocky points in their marriage. I’m saying they decided to be friends when they could not love each other and love each other when they did not want to be friends. It was a choice that all couples should make. Without abuse a factor (which was my case) making this choice seems the wise one.

 

Hum — something to consider before . . .

@

 

If Nothing Else A Woman is Flexible: I spent years feeling guilty about throwing darts at an outline of my ex-husband I drew on our garage wall. I can still see the puzzled look on his face when I asked him to stand against the wall and then even a deeper puzzled look when I began to draw an outline his head with coloured chalk. I thanked him and as he turned to leave the garage (for the last time) he turned back with his puppy dog eyes waiting for ‘understanding and acceptance’ but instead of receiving any he watched in startled disbelief as I picked up a few darts from the workbench where he’d left them and tossed then one by one at the outline on the garage wall. I think his jaw dropped a little. Was this really the dear wife he knew? I patted my hands together as if dusting chalk off, turned and said: “thank you” then turned and walked back into the house. Pamela was in kindergarten and Lisa was in Second grade and at that moment in time I think if I knew for sure I would not have been charged with a crime I would have tossed those darts at his head, not at an outline of it.  I think he got the message loud and clear that his angel, if needed, knew how to ride a broomstick and right then I needed.  But, like I said earlier, I spent years feeling really awful about what I’d done. Justified or not justified it was a wrong thing to do. My wings were broken for sure and for certain but that experience made me feel foolish, childish and out of control, so much so that I never stooped that low again. 

 

When life hands you spoiled lemons remember they still can freshen a garbage disposal!

 

Something good always comes out of something bad. I am living proof that it does.  So, don’t despair and don’t pick up darts (for Pete’s Sake!) if someone you have trusted for many years disappoints. Wings mend, honest.  

I MISS YOU FRED – 5 Reasons why it is better to miss someone than to stay with them

We all love to be loved. That slight slip of the hand at the dip of your back (you know the dip; it’s the one right above the fanny you wish smaller) that lingers there for a moment — no one else touches you there; no one else dare. Sometimes we stay in the wrong relationship because we know we will miss these moments. But I have 5 reasons not to stay — you be the judge of the 5 arguments presented here and how true they are for you, but — please be as honest with yourself as possible before you decide that staying is the best thing for you to do.

5 Reasons Why it is Better to Miss Someone than to Stay with Them.

Reason number one:

Attendance (not attentiveness) is important in any relationship. Don’t confuse the two by thinking his being attentive when together translates into anything other than he is being attentive to you at the moment because he could be being attentive with another woman at another moment. Until he is in attendance with you, and only you, the majority of his time you two are dating, and dating is a nice thing to do; just don’t go thinking rings at this point for he’s a long way away from that choice. However, if you are there and he is not perhaps it is better to miss him than to stay with him.

Reason number two:

Dismissiveness is so important it should be at the top of any woman’s wish list. If ever you feel that your needs and your wants are being dismissed by him it is time to distance yourself. He’s not being mean. He’s being honest, of sorts, with you about how he feels about you. He’s not all that into you, sugar, so miss him if you must but don’t stay. Of course, I’m talking about a relationship, or dating, that has gone on for some time; months (not weeks) and he still doesn’t notice, for example, that you are ill and need chicken soup instead of the “where’s the dinner” nonsense.

Reason number three:

Inability to commit is perhaps one of the big stumping blocks of any relationship moving to the next level. I once was in a relationship with a man which worked very well. We were best friends and completely compatible (eerily, like two peas in a pod) but he wasn’t able to take the next step. Ever! And, I miss him to this day but if I’d stayed I’d still be waiting for him to take that step and it is likely he never would have. Some men simply can’t see you as their future. I don’t know why. Frankly, it doesn’t matter why. It just is. Move on and out the door.

Reason number four:

Already taken is appealing to some women, mostly because of a commitment phobia they have – but, you can’t move forward with a married man. Years ago, I had a girlfriend who only dated married men and it always ended badly for her. It took several months of therapy for her to learn how to control her relationship phobia. Although she struggled to overcome her attraction to married men, after the therapy, she was successful in finding an unmarried man she felt was her perfect partner in life, a wonderful man that she adores and they have been married now for nearly twenty years. Being in a relationship with a man who is already taken, usually — as in rarely — results in a marriage for you but if it does the odds are stacked against his remaining faithful to you. Reverse this situation: at home, darling, there is a woman who believes and trusts a husband to honor their marriage vows. This alone is a compelling reason to miss him than to stay with him.

Reason number five:

Abuse (verbal and/or non verbal) is a challenging bit to deal with. You want to stay and fix his relationship manners and you think you can. But, I’m telling you that you can not. He is the only one who can fix his relationship manners. This is perhaps the leading cause of discourse among teens to thirty-somethings in a relationship. Usually, somewhere in a woman’s thirties she gets a life! After which women don’t accept abuse of any kind, but, if this remains the case with you — my email is on file! Use it!

Saving the World and other things women do

I am listening to my daughter as she saves her friend.  The worldly issues of divorce, child custody and some self-esteem issues are being addressed.   My daughter is highhandedly solving each, one by one  —  I’m listening to this mainly because she talks so loud I can not help but to listen, even if I were outside  ––  as she talks into the receiver end of a telephone.

The conversation is lengthy and my daughter becomes rather preachy but she is also an extremely competent adversary to the friends current position with regards to the situations at hand.  My daughter seems to be effectively using her been there, done that so please listen to me approach and gives suggestions for a better, less adverse, course of action.  I wonder if her friend is really being receptive  or meekly suffering through the advise.   They have had these conversations before.   Perhaps this time my daughters words will take root and grow a flower, a beautiful flower.

 At last I hear words “Education Is The Key” … but being privy to only one side of the conversation I am not sure if that means formal education or wiseing up as not to repeat the seven deadly sins  — lust-gluttony-greed-sloth-wrath-envy-pride — although I do not know which of these seven were abused, if any. 

I think conversations – women to women – are like empowerment sessions in which one who can gives to one who needs with love and understanding the support and acceptance to work through a rough time of it.   My daughter is good at this.

So good, in fact, that I think her experience and sound judgements would benefit women’s issues groups like WSWnow (http://wswnow.com) or Women for Women International (http://www.womenforwomen.org). 

After the conversation is over my daughter sighs.  The only response I am privy to.  I know the friend she was speaking to.  I know she is worried for her.  I want to say something.  I don’t.  I realize I am not super-woman and I can not save anyone from themselves. 

The Upside to the last Six Months (assembling the pieces after a life-altering break-up)

I beg your pardon Madam – you could not possibly think I meant what I said! 

Audible sigh.

Honestly, did you? 

Well, hell yes, actually, I did believe what you said!  Why wouldn’t I? 

Silence. 

And with that jester gesture – feeling as low and insufficient as humanly possible – tail tucked under my hind-end – what had a promise of being beautiful ended.

I’d left on December 4, 2010 for what was to be a short stay with family for the holidays.  To hug the grand-kids.   To hug the kids.  To return.  To return to the lovely place we called home because, well, that is where we lived.  Our little place was an easy walk to the downtown hub of shopping and restaurants and a weekend farmers market.  A place I’d lived as a child.  A place I long to return to still. 

Six months later all the tiny pieces are assembling into a cohesive life.  I am living (geographically across the country) in Ohio, in a lovely neighborhood south of  Troy in Huber Heights.  Troy is a town I grew to appreciate a decade ago (I’d lived there a few years in the mid 1990’s through 2003) for its charming hub of downtown shopping and restaurants and appearances by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and others; and the annual Strawberry Festival’s bed race!  I’m ever so glad to be living near this little town again. 

The Strawberry Festival is going on this weekend, as a matter of fact.  The bed race is over and I missed it!  Bummer! 

During the last six months I’ve made a lot of changes.  The two most important  – my undying need to please and one really bad habit of not monitoring my money well – as well as others that are autonomous in any break-up package. 

One thing I had to really work on was self-forgiveness.  So, not only did I have to get to the state of forgiving him for his – bold lack of good judgement – I had to forgive myself for not paying attention to who he told me he was in the first place!  I had to forgive myself for being so stupid and I had to work through the embarrassment of it all, given my age and experiences I should have known better!

So, in consideration of the non-legal contract I reaped much.  I gleaned knowledge that I am the beneficiary of!!!  My bank account is growing, by leaps and bounds which is better (and more) for me and I have learned how to put the breaks on, as far as always pleasing someone else at my own peril.  Not that I’m an old meany – I still have a kind heart and a listening ear – but, if it damages my bottom line (financially or emotionally or otherwise) I have zero problem o saying NO! And, I can’t begin to tell you how much better this learning curve is making me feel. 

Amazing.

So, even when he said how totally sorry he was for my having such a difficult time of it and for his part in causing any pain & suffering, I was able to put it into proper context.  He wasn’t really sorry.  He just liked the way it sounded.  And he liked that it let him off the hook for being responsible for telling a lie and bailing out like a slug would have done it, at least this was true in his mind.  I know this because I know him, I know him well!  His saying “Sorry” once let him live life not feeling responsible.  Men can be so full of the shit-pile sometimes.  But, like I wrote before, he told me who he was and I chose not to pay attention.  Still, it is not my fault!  He is an adult too and he should have known better than to go and ruin a perfectly good and extremely close friendship we’d shared for years!  

The bottom line:  (and this applies to both sexes)

  • Every single person will tell you who they are if you take the time to listen to their words and notice their actions.
  • Keep referring to your list of things that are “Can’t live without” and “Can’t live with” — What? You don’t have one?  Make one.  Make it now!
  • The minute he/she does even one of the ‘big” No-No’s check him/her off your list (not that you can’t be friends, you can, but you really need to pass on him/her as a life’s partner.)
  • Suze Orman says you should run his/her credit score!  I say just look at where he keeps his money (example: crumpled bills in a pocket v. properly arranged in his wallet)
  • My Mother always said to look at his shoes! May be good advice, but my my how well “my he” kept his shoes, his house, his vehicles, his finances, his money!  So…..may-be not so good advise, after all.

What have I done to assemble the fragmented pieces?

  • First, I called bull-shit bull-shit and reminded myself that if a spade is shaped like a spade then it is a spade, it is not a heart, or a diamond – it is a spade and no matter how much you wish it to be a heart or a diamond it will only club you because it is a spade!  So, first was the “Reality Check”
  • Next was the acceptance
  • Then came the forgiveness
  • And finally came the self-loving peace of mind and heart.

 

Break out the food!!

Oh please let the pots & pans be found today so I can get back to basic cooking.  No more take out of Chinese/Thai noodles  or Pizza pies filled with too much cheese.  I am suffering from too many carbs. and too little veggies.  I love my veggies.  Truth be told: I love a good healthy helping of oven baked vegetables sprinkled with just a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt & black cracked pepper (extra pepper, please).  Sometimes when I make a pot of vegetable soup I’ll do the veggies in the oven before adding them to the pot.  The flavor is far superior.  Yummy-yumms!  (caution: I sometimes make up my own words – yumms is not a word, actually)  Today I am longing for a good pot of soup or chili (check out Six Pack Chili on my food blog best holiday recipes ever! on this site)  Therefore, putting away the kitchen is a top priority for today.

I nearly have my bedroom put away but need to wait until this evening when I can buy a frame for my bed.  Somehow the frame did not get moved!  One of those little surprises I can live without.  Actually, y’all I-Do-Not-Like-Surprises.  Never have.  I get to embarrassed.  Red face.  Heart pounding.  Feeling like I’m standing (nude) in a room filled with everyone I don’t want to see the tattoo of Steve’s and my signs (that’s another story! The tattoo, that is) – I digress –  Unfortunately, the bed-frame did not make it to Ohio.  Which means that I need to replace a perfectly good one that is less than six years old (the age of my new(er) mattress and box springs.  I hope I can find one as good as the one left behind.  I paid an arms leg for it!  Plus I will need to buy risers for the new frame to allow for ‘storage’ under the bed.  I prefer to store as much in my bedroom as possible instead of storing boxes filled with my things in the garage although some will be stored in the garage.  At some point I will have my own place but for now I am staying with my daughter and grandson. “Life Evolving” is what Steve said.  MY FOOT!  Some days I love him to death and some days I don’t.  Today is the latter instead of the former.

Interestingly the lights got turned off this morning two hours before they got switched into Lisa’s name and turned back on.  Paperwork!  The house was a warm 62 degrees when the heater kicked back on.  Now Kyle and I are toasty again :)  “Life Evolving” . . . ??? . . . (my words on ‘life evolving’ are less classy than I should be using on this blog-so I won’t (bother) sharing my words)  After all, I am a lady.  I have class.  I am older and too wise to stoop to that level. Breaking up is hard to do. Although, I would like to scream something choice that hits the mark (or Steve’s ear) just perfect.  Clarity.  Putting things straight.  And, I’m getting to personal even for a personal blog . . .

. . .  so, today I am feverishly working in the kitchen putting away all the things needed to bake, cook and eat with.  Thus far I have managed to put away all the good dishes and stem ware.  I keep searching for the everyday dishes!  Boxes!  Too many boxes!  Even so, I see a nice pot of soup in my immediate future.  If I find the bread maker even fresh bread.  Wish me luck with the bread.  The soup is a shoe-in — before I sat down to write this I found the large soup pot.  If nothing else is found at least I can cook in that very large (for sixteen!) pot.  I’ll just have to freeze some soup when I’m done with it.

The move is coming along fine.  I am lucky to be here.  Grateful to be alive and doing well.  Everything will be fine.  I will be fine.  I will not scream.  I will be kind.  I will . . .