Tag Archives: you’re life is worth the effort.

A clear perspective

I make no secret that I have been in counseling for several years. There is no doubt in my mind that it has saved me in more ways than one.  It did not save my marriage, it did not save my relationship with my mother…it has saved me from thinking that there is something wrong with me.  Sometimes it’s all about validation…I am not wrong for feeling the way I do.  Other times it’s giving me a new perspective on the reasons I am the way I am, and why I feel the way I feel.

Love:

“Wait…are you in love with him?”

I was completely taken aback by that question, and to be completely honest, the thought had come up just a few days earlier.  The answer to that question is as complicated for me as almost anything in my life right now.  The bottom line, I don’t know.  What I do know is that I want to be in love….I feel like after nearly 3 years together we should be in love.  However, love has always been a volatile emotion for me.  My relationships have been wrapped in my taking the blame for all that is wrong, and teaching people that it doesn’t matter how bad you treat me…I will always love you, I will always forgive you.

So what it boils down to is that I do not know what true love is.  I do not know how to be loved in an honest healthy way.  Of course, I do know what it should look like, how it should feel…yet I can’t seem to wrap my little brain around how any of that relates to me.  The task I have been given is to allow myself the opportunity to have the kind of love I truly want.  Dare I say, the kind of love I deserve.

Change:

A couple of weeks ago I had a night where I couldn’t sleep.  First off, I was completely and totally grateful that it wasn’t one of those nights that I was hyper-focused on a conversation, a comment, or feeling.  What did that mean?  Why didn’t I say this or that?  If only I had done this… Ugh, I have had way to many nights like that in the past and it sucks.  This time, it was just calm reflection, but still, the mind would not quiet.  After an hour or so I decided to get out my journal, and write it out.

Each area turned into no less than 3-4 pages.  Apparently I had some things to get off my mind.  The job, the home, the man, the friends, the ex, the smoking, the goals, the weight….There was a lot of shit packed in there that night.  The common thread seemed to commitment (or lack there of) and follow through.  Why oh why can’t I take that great idea, thought or intention, and follow through, focus and commit to any of them.  Well, it seems that I may tend to overthink (I know I was shocked too) (not really) (I’m not fooling anyone) and as was recently suggested “hyper-focus” on emotions that have no real value to the situation.  That isn’t exactly the phrase he used, but the bottom line is I  spend too much time thinking about things, applying inaccurate emotional value to things, situations and people, and not giving myself enough credit or acknowledgement that sometimes and some things are just out of my control.

I have not quit smoking because I am a failure and weak in my commitment.

I have not found a better job because I am not good enough or qualified enough for anything better than this.

I have not sought a better relationship because I don’t really deserve anything better than just the crumbs someone is willing to offer.

I can’t followed though on my yoga, house projects, meal planning, etc etc etc…because you just aren’t good at taking care of shit.

As it has been explained to me…I have a little more in common with my son than I may have been willing to admit to.  None of these things are character flaws…they are more traits of someone with ADD.  I am too focused on having a mediocre life, because it is something familiar and predictable. It is just easier to blame myself for the mediocrity than to actually accept that I could do better and pursue it.  So, it’s time to admit that I might need a little help.

It was suggested, that if I got a little help with what’s going on with my brain, I might be able to stay focused enough to follow through on all those areas of my life that are lacking.

I am not a bad person for having a hard time quitting smoking…I have an addiction that needs to be addressed.

I am not a bad person for wanting to leave my current job…it has served its purpose and I deserve an opportunity to be in a position where my strengths can be appreciated and I can be allowed to grow.

I am not a bed person for wanting a more fulfilling relationship filled with love and commitment…I deserve to be with someone who wants and appreciates what I have and is eager to return the feelings.

I am not a bad person for not staying focused on the tasks that need to be taken care of…I can give myself permission to accept that I need some help.

It’s going to be an interesting journey.  Somehow I’m going to have to admit I am not the flawed person I have been telling myself I am…I am human, sometimes we need a little help, and a clearer perspective.

 

 

I found my Crazy swtich.

Why oh why oh why, do I keep telling myself I know this is wrong, I know this is not going anywhere, I know that this is not what I want, or dare I say, what I deserve.  Yet…somehow keep flipping the crazy switch on the hunky stallion. I feel like shit, apologize to him, beat myself us, then back off, until the next time.  Why?

I thought about what it was that was flipping the crazy switch on in the first place.  What I realized was that it’s the same pattern I’ve engaged in my whole life.  In my ever so naive state of mind, I keep thinking that if the other person doesn’t walk away, that means somethings going to change.  It doesn’t. Ever.  All of the sudden I realize “Hey, I’m still not getting what I want!!”  I’m still hanging on to something that isn’t going anywhere and I flip out when I realize that NOTHING HAS CHANGED.  Rinse and repeat. Over and over again.

I’m not going to blame him.  This isn’t about him.  This is all about me and my crazy shit.  I’m not following through, period.  It’s not fair to him…and it most assuredly is not fair to me.  So, now that I found the switch, I decided to disengage it.  Telling him was part of the problem, so that stopped.  Believing he would change, stopped.  Putting too much trust that he would do what he said, stopped.   Thinking things would ever be different…stopped.  Wanting to be important enough for him to want to change, stopped.

I made a decision that if he wasn’t going to make an effort, I wasn’t going to chase after him.  A commitment I made to myself.  I didn’t share it…just did it.  Now over the last couple of weeks things have picked up online.  Men have been requesting my company and I’ve had some really great conversations.  This commitment to myself had to go a step further.  If I am no longer willing to take the crumbs offered by the hunky stallion, I wasn’t going to take crumbs from anyone else either.

Date with the 30 year old tech, cancelled.  He’s been nothing but sweet and respectful.  He was the first one to put out an offer for a real date.  So why did I cancel? A part of me knows this isn’t going to be what I want.  I’m over dating younger men just for the fun and excitement, and the ego boost.   I feel like I would be setting myself up for more of the same disappointment.  So I cancelled.   My friend said I wasn’t giving myself enough credit, and I think that saying no to something that isn’t what I want IS giving myself credit.  I get way too comfortable accepting what is being given, instead of holding out for what I truly want.

Conversation with the 34 year old IT guy, done.  Again, very nice and respectful, but we’re on different paths and I don’t want to be on his.

Messages from anyone under the age of 35, who start off with “Wow your sexy” or “I think you’re absolutely gorgeous” deleted.  For that matter anyone who starts out with those type of comments have gotten deleted immediately, no matter what the age.

On the positive side.  I had a wonderful phone call from a 36 year old who lives a little far.  He’s moving closer over the summer…so for now it’s all about getting to know each other.

There is the 42 year old banker.  He’s not been overly engaging, but it’s been good.

Then, just to throw a monkey in the barrel…here comes the hunky stallion.  After all this time he decides to ask me out.  I don’t know what’s going on with him, and why NOW he feels he needs to take this step, but the invitation was sincere.  He also admitted I am special and he knows he doesn’t show it.

Now…of course I bet your first instinct was  that I probably dropped everything and jumped back on the “ooh the hunky stallion and I are going to live happily ever after” wagon.  I did not.  It was an offer.  He’s made them before and never followed through.  I’m not about to put anything into it, especially now.  If he wants to take me out, then he is going to have to take the lead, I’m not doing it for him.

Today, another offer to meet from someone I’ve chatted before, but never met.  He is 46 and offered coffee and good conversation.  I said yes.

Bottom line…I found my crazy switch and have flipped the bitch off.  I’ve stepped out of the role I put myself in and am trying to stand firm.  Keeping my focus on the end game and not allowing myself to fall “victim” to the same trap.  A trap I know I put myself in not the other way around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things will never be the same.

I had a bit of a breakdown, completely lost my shit and had and epiphany all in a span of 5 days.

It’s been quite a week.

I’m not going to go into details of the breakdown (cause I’ve been there before), or the losing my shit (yeah, that too).  I am going to tell you how all of that got me to a clearer understanding of myself, in a way I haven’t before. (even though I totally know I should have by now)

I’m reading the book The Conscious Parent.  What I like most about it is that it isn’t telling you how to discipline your children or how to get them to behave the way you want…It is about understanding yourself, as a child and as a parent.  It is about finding truth behind what it is your children do and the things they trigger in you. It’s also about accepting them completely, as they are, who they are…right at this moment.

I am completely and immensely grateful for having read this book.

Anyway….after my breakdown(don’t all great stories of triumph start in the gutter?), and after losing my shit (the hell storm before the calm), I was in sort of a “what the fuck am I doing?? why do I keep doing this shit??” state of mind.  While I was reading the chapter about the roles we play as children, when I got it.  I am chasing love and acceptance.  It was absolutely clear that was my role as a child, my role as a sought our romantic relationships, and the same role as parent.  What was so eye opening was that I do it with my children too…every single trigger is about my feeling loved and accepted.

Ok, here it is, I’m chasing love AGAIN!! Instead of stepping back and making some room for it to come to me I’m trying to control a situation I know damn good and well is not going to change no matter what I do.  I was not accepting things as they really were.  Still trying to say the right thing, or do the right thing, or take the blame for anything and everything…just to make him love me.

I chase and chase until I’m exhausted.  With my mother, with my father, my ex-husband, friends, lovers…Every fucking person, every fucking time.  Chasing love and acceptance from anyone who has rejected me, but claims to care for me.  This shit has got to stop.

I told my counselor and he agrees.  I was nurtured for this role…and I have perfected it.  I’m exhausted.  Chasing love is a lot like running, and I really don’t like running.  Why do relationships have to be so hard??  Well, he says, good healthy relationships AREN’T hard.  The one’s I try so desperately to hold on to are.  Shit, I don’t want to do hard anymore.

HOW do I snap out of it??? How the hell do I stop myself from doing it with the next schmuck??  If I keep chasing every idiot who will not ever love me…I will never have room for someone who will.

The answer is to just stop and ask.  Am I chasing or am I allowing???  If the answer is chasing…get the fuck out, shut the damn door…turn your ass around and high tail it out of there.  You don’t have time for this crap anymore.

So all you handsome narcissistic assholes, charming emotionally unavailable and/or emotionally immature men….This chick is OFF the market.  For YOU that is…off the market for anyone who needs someone to chase them.  Off the market for anyone who triggers that part of me.  I’m not chasing anymore….Done.

Things are never going to be the same.  There are going to be a few Universal tests coming I just know it.  I laugh cause I know it’s not going to be easy, but maybe a little easier than it would have been a year ago.  I’m going to be unpredictable to those who know my type…and I’m sure that, again, I’ll piss a few people off in the process.  I’ve had some experience at how changing affects the people who desperately need you to remain the same.

Ok, I’m all fired up and ready let go of the role of Chaser.  Now I just need to have a little faith that no matter what my past has been like, there is someone for me out there.  Someone who does not need me to chase them, who will not withhold their affections as a weapon, who will love and accept me completely.

Here I go…

 Different Wolf…Same Sheep’s clothing

Counselor “He is thinking only of himself and his needs, right?”
Me “Um…well.”
End scene

Daily I let things settle in with my situation with the Hunky Stallion. I have little Ah-ha moments that strengthen my resolve that this is and always will be a dead end relationship. Even though my intellectual brain KNOWS this…my emotional brain needs to understand and analyze it or I know I will continue to make the same mistakes.

One day I was thinking about our last (and not only) conversation about what I wanted from a relationship…then all of the sudden it hit me.  “Why does this sound so fucking familiar???”  I realized that it is the same exact conversation I have had with my ex husband year after year of our marriage.

It was always the same…Me doing my best to be ok with not getting what I need from the relationship until one of us explodes.  Sometimes it was him. Sometimes it was me.  However it started, it was always ALWAYS the same damn conversation.

Me: I need this!
Him: Yes I know. OR Yes you deserve that. OR I can’t do that.
End scene

Nothing changed. NOTHING.

You would think I would have learned. I guess there are some things you have to learn again and again and a-fucking-gain to get it through your head.

I’m seduced by sweet words of intention….I want so much to believe that the other person really wants to give me what I want, what I deserve.  Somewhere in my crazy fucked up brain I honestly believe that when someone says they understand that withholding their affection from you hurts you that they are going to stop withholding…stop hurting you.  Experience has taught me otherwise…and it seems I still need to repeat the lesson.

Now…I get, it is ME who needs to do the “changing”.  Why do I let myself get stuck thinking that if I just give him more time he’ll get on board?  That’s a great question, and I think if my counselor were to answer that, he would tell you that I was raised to be giving…and giving…and giving….Yes, folks, we can blame my fucked up relationship behaviors on my mother.  Come on! Give me a WHAT WHAT!!!  It’s not my fault…she fucked me up good.

Except for one little thing…I am an adult.  I’m now responsible for my own actions…even if those actions are breed into the very fibers of my existence.  I am responsible for whether or not I continue to play the part I was raised to play, or stand up for my own well being and say FUCK that shit.

Yes the wolf is different…but it’s the same dynamic every single time.  I am catching on.  Thankfully I’m becoming wiser faster…I was married to my ex husband way longer than I should have been.  I’m not going to say I regret it because in all those years I was blessed with two beautiful children and grew as a person in ways I probably wouldn’t have had I been in a different relationship.  The thing is that at my age…45 this year (fuck)…I don’t have another 20 years to wonder if he is going to love me enough to change.  Now I have to be the one to love me enough to say goodbye and move on.

Now…if some handsome, confident, strong yet sensitive, fun, passionate, adventurous and loving man would just ask me out on a damn date.

I guess I got time.

Be open to the lesson. Haven’t I said that before?

So, I’m going to sound a little like a broken record here…but please bare with me.  If there is anything I hope that you can take away from my crazy life lessons it is this…

If you want help then ask.  If you are seeking a sign or a message or something that helps move you in the right direction ask for it.  Then let go of any idea about where you think it should come from and just be open to receiving the answer that you need.

This time it came by way of trying to manage my financial affairs.

There isn’t one single area of my life that doesn’t need some work.  I need to get into better shape, I need to manage my money better, I need to find a better job, I need to work on my relationships, I need to be a better parent….and so on.  Most often I find myself trying to tackle everything at once thinking I can chip away at each area and make some progress.  Problem is…it’s exhausting and ultimately I find myself overwhelmed and not really any better off at all.

One of the things I wanted to do this year was read more.  So I set an intention to read at least one book a month.  Not overwhelming myself but just pick one.  The first book I chose was Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.  I could use a little guidance in the area of finances and I thought I’d take a chance and see what I could learn.  What I got was a little more than I bargained for.

For starters…I did learn what I need to do to get the money thing under control.  So, I’m on a temporary spending freeze, with a budget in place, a small emergency fund open and I’m chipping away at my debt.  The lesson was to start with one thing, the emergency fund and do whatever it takes to get a foundation.  I’m lucky enough to have been given a nice check for Christmas and decided a part of it needs to be set aside inaccessible unless necessary.  Done.

After step one, then you move to step two.  Establishing a budget, and start chipping away at your debt.  Start with the smallest and work your way up.  Makes sense.  Work on one piece of the problem until it has been eliminated and then you move on to the next.  Since this is going to take me some time…I’ve decided to stop there and work on this till it’s done.  Thanks to the public library, the book will be there when I’m ready to move on to the next step.

Um…didn’t you mention something about a lesson??

Well yes I did.  In that book Dave emphasized the importance of working on one step at a time.  Yes we all want to save for retirement, pay off our debt, take care of this need at that need…but ultimately you need to stay focused on one single goal before you can move on to the next.  If I’m putting money away AND trying to pay off my debt, it’s going to take longer to pay off the debt, and I’m not really going to be saving a lot of money in the process.  So, pay off the debt FIRST.

One step at a time.  One project at a time.  Stop spreading yourself so thin that you take longer getting to the finish line on any one of them.  If you’re like me…you end up giving up on all of them cause you feel like you’re never going to get to the end.  Right? So thanks Dave! Financial lesson = life lesson.  Work on one step till you reach the end.

I’m not going to give up on all my endeavours.  I’m still working on getting healthier, being a better parent, and cleaning up my finances.  I am going to give up on the dating thing though.  Not because I’m still holding out hope for any particular situation to suddenly change…but because I have a lot of work to do for me, and right now Me needs to be at the top of the list.

I cannot change any area of my life if I’m just putting minimal effort into all of them.  Nothing will really change for the better…and I’ll be tired and bitter.  So for now the main focus is my finances…which actually kind of spreads its self to other areas of my life.  Keeping on budget means being creative with dinner ideas and teaching my kids how to use what we have and be less wasteful.  Spending freeze means no eating out and no poor food choices making the progress on getting into better shape easier.

So I took out a book to help me with my finances and I learned how to manage my life as well.  This time I’m not going to get overwhelmed and give up on everything.  This time I’m going to stay focused on one small goal till it’s met before moving on.

 

 

 

Raising my standards

So I was talking with this guy from POF. He seemed nice enough.  I agreed to meet this last Friday.  Truth is, I wasn’t really all that attracted, but I was thinking it was time to get my ass off the couch and get out and start meeting people.  We exchanged numbers, and started texting.

He sent me several messages telling me what he was looking for, and what he had to offer a lady.  I told him, he didn’t need to sell himself to me.  I was looking forward to meeting him and see where it goes.  Then he asked me if we went out, would I still talk to other men.  Huh?  Yes.  Until there is a commitment, I would still be leaving my options open.

Then he says that he only focuses on one woman at a time.  Ok. Flag one.  I ended the conversation telling him to have a nice Christmas and that I was looking forward to meeting him Friday.

Christmas morning I got a message “Marry Christmas.” Huh??? Typo obviously.  I didn’t respond right away since I was already feeling a little off on this one.  Then I got another one.  “Marry Christmas.”  Seriously dude…you’re 44 years old and MERRY Christmas is flashing in your face every 5 seconds.  I replied “Same to you.”  10 mins later…”Hi”.  I ignored.  An hour later….”Hi”.  Now, mind you, this may seem like I’m being a snob, and honestly I hope you understand that is not my intention…but I knew, in my gut, this was not the guy.  So I blocked him from my phone and online.  I didn’t feel like I needed to explain myself…I just needed to get out.

My counselor said that was a smart move.  Remember, I have a one strike rule now.  Whatever it was about this guy…my instincts said No! Get out. Over the years I’ve learned that my instincts are way smarter-er than my brain or my heart have ever been.

He asked about the Hunky Stallion…I brought up how I had made an offer to bring him and his guys lunch at work.  I told him not long after I made that offer, I knew in my gut was another attempt to “change his mind.”  When I realized that was what I was doing, and that I knew that it was not going to change anything, I wanted to back out.  The sad part is I didn’t know how without sounding like an asshole…or a total flake.  Thankfully the Universe gave me an out, short day, they’ll all be gone by lunchtime.  I feel like it was my reward for being honest with myself about the intention behind the offer.

I told my counselor that I was thinking about my place in the Hunky Stallion’s life.  It’s the holidays…we’ve been together for nearly two years, had countless passionate nights together, long deep conversations, confessions of our own demons and regrets.  Given all of that, he still has no desire to spend any part of the holidays with me.  I realized, I’m not on the list.  I told him that I could understand not being at the top of the list…but I’m not even on it.  Nowhere.  To be honest, I don’t believe that I should be on his list…I’m just acknowledging that I’m not. We all have the right to have whomever we want on our list, and no matter how wonderful I am, if I’m not important to him, I shouldn’t have a spot.

He told me…I SHOULD be at the top of the list.  But…but I said, what about the kids?  Shouldn’t they be at the top? He said, we have our kids…and we’ll take care of them just fine, but as far as a relationship goes I should be at the top.  Me??? At the top of someone’s list??? WTF??? This is a completely strange concept for me.  I’ve spent my entire life settling for being somewhere in the middle….or even the bottom, just happy to be on the list at all.

He said it’s time I raise my standards.  He said I stay way past my welcome in any negative situation…be it job and/or relationship.  It’s time for me to be on the top of my own list…and settle for nothing less from any relationship.

Honestly, I’m still wrapping my head around that.  It makes perfect sense, and deep down I know it’s what I want, what I deserve and certainly what I give….but there’s a long lifetime of conditioning to dismantle here.

I’m ready to put 2014 to rest.  I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me this coming year.

It’s gonna be a good one…I know it.

Trying on something new…Confidence.

During my last therapy session we talked about how I am moving into a new phase.  We talked about how the last few years were not wasted, and how I’m now moving towards the desire to thrive and not just survive, and we talked about confidence.

He said something to me that kind of took me off guard.  “You have no reason whatsoever to not be confident.”  He’s right.  Yet when he said it I felt such and emotional surge…like a child who needed desperately to hear that message from a parent.   Unfortunately, I don’t have the kind of parents who would give me that sort of encouragement…so it’s the type of thing I usually tell myself, only its often surrounded by all the darkness of being raised to believe you are worthless.

I realized that most of the choices I have made in my life have been due to this lack of confidence.  Certainly my choice in relationships would be evidence that I have no sense of that understanding.  I mean really…I’m sure I don’t need to go back and recount all my poor choices in men.  Even with friends…the good one’s I push away.  It’s time to change all of that.

So I was given that “one shot” assignment.  Luckily I was able to put it to practice almost immediately.  I’m back to online dating.  Sigh.  Anyway, this time does feel to me different, and in my ever optimistic thinking (or perhaps wishful thinking), I thought maybe the responses I would get would also be different.

There have been two in particular that made it relatively easy to put this one shot into practice. The first started a conversation when I was getting ready to leave, I said “perhaps we could continue later.” He said “perhaps”.  A few hours later I was back online…and apparently so was he.  Within about 2 mins I get “thanks for reaching out.”

My flag was up. “Was that sarcasm?”

“No truth”

Hmm…”My first instinct is to say you are being a bit nasty, but I’m going to be optimistic here.  How was your day?”

Poof…he was gone.  Guess I got it right the first time.  Apparently I didn’t message him immediately upon signing on so that was my downfall. Oh well.

About two hours later he says “I’m sorry, I thought you were playing games.”

Me?? “Oh, no, I’m not that kind of lady.”

“So when are we going to cuddle?”

Seriously??? “Um you go from thinking I’m playing games to wanting to cuddle?? That’s fast.”

“Hey you only live once.”

Yeah buddy…but not with you. I chose not to respond.  He messaged back a short while later.  “No response.  I guess you’re too uptight for me.

Whatever dude…my choices are unlimited. So I move on.

The next gentleman was 57.  We had a few nice messages then he asked if he could call.  The conversation was nice, I was relaxed and he was pleasant.  Later on he asked if I could send him a selfie to add to my contact.  I hadn’t showered and not really a fan of my personal selfies, so I sent a saved picture.  He said “you didn’t just take that” I said no and explained why.  He said “oh, so I guess I’ll get one out of the shower then.”

No. “Ha ha. Nice try”

He sends me one of him decked out in bears gear sitting in the car.  Then another one.  Then one of him in a towel barely hanging on to cover his junk.

“Too soon.”

“Thought it went well with our conversation.”  I didn’t respond.  “oh, you’re serious.”

“Yes I am.”

“Well, hon, it was just supposed to be fun. You should have just laughed. At least I didn’t send you a picture of my junk.”  Yes, thankfully, but I’m not looking for that shit anymore.  Delete.

After about a half hour he sends me a message “I guess it wouldn’t work with us.  You’re too uptight.”

Clearly, he doesn’t know me. “You didn’t even take the time to get to know me.  Clearly yes, it wouldn’t work out….but it’s not because I’m uptight.”

So there you have it folks.  I’m back in the game!! Can you all throw out a little Woot Woot for me!!

One strike.  Confidence.  Yes indeed…I’m feeling quite good about myself.  There is no room in my life, my mind or my heart for the old shit I used to settle for.

I like this Confidence.  It feels all warm and cozy. I’d better get used to it…it might be the only thing keeping me warm this winter.