Category Archives: self conscious

Grown-Ups Here

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We are all “grown ups” here, I hope! I realize there are occasional young

people that are part of the blogging community that may wander in and

read one of my posts. There are ones who are as young as high school or

college who may stop by. I believe anyone who is logged into wordpress

or have their own blog are able to hear about a wide variety of subject

matters, or make the choice to ‘move on.’ I also think everyone should

read other posts, just in case the first one is just not your ‘cup of tea.’

Today, I am not trying to ‘start something,’ nor wishing to add too much

controversy in your lives. I don’t wish to shake you up or create drama

that you aren’t interested in.

I am hoping for a conversation about relationships.

The working relationship between the characters of Boothe and Temperance,

in the television series, “Bones,” had a great quotation that I will try to paraphrase

to give its essence:

(Boothe to Bones)

“Our perceptions are always colored by what we want to believe and hope for.”

I will share just some recent things that have caused me to ‘draw conclusions’

on the subject of couples.

Everyone has read or seen the subject, “Signs You Need to Break-up,” on the

television, in articles and on talk shows. Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, all have

their opinions and judgments.

I always hope you (my friends and family) will know and make that choice on

your own.

There are times, though, that you may feel as a good friend or family member,

that you have a right to express your opinion. You are my ‘family’ of sorts and

I wish to share reasons I would ‘give up’ rather than ‘fight’ to stay in a rocky

relationship.

You sometimes know, instinctively, when you have heard a person tell you about

someone who seems a little bit “off” or “wrong” for that friend.

Here are some strange and real examples observed or told to me by friends.  .  .

When You Know Things Are Going Wrong or

When You Need to Dis-Connect:

1. Calling one of the members of your ‘couple’ (spouse/partner) “Selfish.”

This is something that I could not believe someone said recently around me.

In this case, I would need to find out why that person was being considered

‘selfish’ and tend to think the one who is ‘name-calling,’ may not be meeting

that other person’s needs.

2. Using derogatory comments, with possible swear words, in a group or

family setting.

In this time, I was at a play area, where the person said this to the other one,

in a loud voice, while children were playing near by.

This would be, truly, a cause for leaving someone. Sorry, I don’t play around

with ‘maybe’s!!’

3. When you walk into a home, where the people are not great-grandparents,

and there are two Lazy-Boy’s, side by side, with an end table in between.

I am wondering how long have these people been living on parallel chairs,

with no bodies touching?

4. One participant in a relationship, who is not open for any counseling nor

discussions about improvements. There is a big, final door shutting on this

couple, I hear about at work.

5. Shorter version, not open to friendly (not nagging) suggestions and gets

hurt and insulted ‘easily’ by the other member in the couple.

6. One excuse after another, even when there is no financial nor scheduling

challenges, for having a ‘date night’ and time away from children.

7. One excuse after another, for months on end, with no physical or emotional

reasons behind these excuses, (unfounded excuses) for refusing any kind of

intimacy.

I would recommend the frank and explicit film, “The Sessions.” Our library has

it, it is about a man who is a parapalegic who has sexual healing sessions with a

physical intimacy counselor, played by Helen Hunt. It is very touching, I cried. I

felt that someone who is fully capable of having romance, will realize that it is a

gift to be able to do so.

This was brought up in a painfully honest, step by step movie, on how to get the

‘spark’ back into your marriage, in “Hope Springs.” It is not, in any way, funny.

But so honest and brutally true of some couples with their lives on hold, for

whatever reason. (Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep and Steve Carrell, in a

serious role as a counselor.)

8. In a shorter version of #6 and #7, one person ‘putting distance’ into a

relationship. There is something wrong, this needs to be fixed before it is

irreparably repaired or broken.

9. No ‘big’ secrets kept between members of a family.

10. There is an uneven distribution of ‘power’ or ‘control’ in the couple.

This can be quite upsetting, when you see one or both covering up this

but other times, the truth slips out. Control and abuse are both forgivable

situations for separation or divorce, in my mind.

(Not going to worry about the Bible, since there are not any passages to

support this. It is okay to leave if your partner leaves ‘first’ and you don’t

need to follow. This is the only example of infidelity being a reason for

leaving, that the Bible addresses. No words about if the person is being

abused, emotionally or physically.)

They fester, rot and eventually tear apart the foundation of trust and love.

There are many ways to have a wonderful relationship and it is no one’s

business but the two of you, unless it is a confidential, impartial member of

the clergy, physician, counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist or member of the

medical field.

My friend, Melvin, is not embarrassed to talk about how his girlfriend has

undergone different surgeries, outcomes of having cancer in her internal

‘private’ areas. He doesn’t broadcast them, but when she had a colostomy

bag, due to her having colon cancer, she and he dealt with this. When she

had an ileostomy, due to having something go seriously wrong with her

urinary tract, they managed to get through this, too. She has improved her

health, taken steps to have both chemo and radiation, so now the “stoma’s”

are the only physical remainders of her having both urine and fecal ‘bags.’

Melvin once confided in me, that he and his girlfriend have found ‘ways

around the different complications’ to ‘express their love for each other.’

After 15 years together, that is wonderful and admirable, that they realized

that they still needed to feel physically connected.

We have had a few comments back and forth, last summer when I brought

up that I was contemplating intimacy with a man I had dated for over a month.

I was hesitant, I gave a few humorous examples of how three women plus

myself had told on our more embarrassing parts of ‘growing older.’ That post,

with different stimulants, varied physical challenges ended with one of the

women sharing a strange and uncomfortable position. Anyway, hope that it

is okay to tell you that I agree with Melvin.

There should be ‘no limits’ to the ways you would engage in closeness, with

another person. As long as Both Parties are comfortable and agree. If there

are parts that are not satisfying, then being open to changing the parts but

adding something else to enhance the happy feelings and connectedness

one feels while engaged in romantic activities. When there are physical

challenges, “there are always alternatives for both parties involved,” my

friend Melvin shared with me.

After we talked out in the parking lot, Melvin asked me if I felt like we

should not have ‘stepped into this area of discussion,’ being friends and

coworkers. I felt very blessed and happy by knowing them. Melvin’s girl

friend and he were able to overcome their obstacles, working like a ‘team.’

I told him I had high hopes to have someone who treated me with the

same respect and consideration that the two of them expressed for

each other. They were ‘blessed’ for this union of lives together. I am so

happy that Melvin kept with Diane, despite these physical challenges.

Melvin then reminded me Diane no longer has them, since they hung

on, through it. He said,

“We may be not married, but we treat our feelings like ‘vows,’ and the

one about ‘for better or worse,’ continues to apply to us.”

 

I ended the ‘personal space’ dialogue by saying,

“Of all the things my parents talked about and what I learned from their

own personal lives, sex is not the weirdest topic covered!”

He burst out laughing and we got into our own separate cars. Happy to

have an open-minded friend to share some personal moments with, once

in awhile.

Going for Brighter Colors & Changes

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I complimented the librarian in the computer area today.

She has a habit of wearing blacks, browns and grays.

There have been occasionally some varying tones in her

clothing choices, with an addition of little bits of color.

Having talked to her often, observed her grading high

school papers, and knowing she is a volunteer after

teaching all day, I was thrilled to see more color in

her attire today.

The woman looked up from her work, giving me a brilliant

smile. She informed me that her husband had encouraged her

to ‘change up’ her color palette in her wardrobe. She added

this personal detail- she was working on waiting to lose a

certain amount of weight, before buying her new sized,

Spring and Summer clothes.

I mentioned to her that was an excellent reward system

she had going on! I gently suggested to just buy a few

scarves or tops, showing that she had listened to her

husband. Just in case she thought I was being too ‘pushy,’

or opinionated, I added, “It is always nice to have their

‘permission to spend money on ourselves.'”

Then, it was an even more intimate moment we shared. We

both smiled like we had shared an ‘inside joke’ or secret.

I took my seat and then, decided to let all of you out

there, men, women and young people who may be following

my blog in on the secret! Try out a different style,

new color or add patterns to your clothes…

Spice up your wardrobe!

It is fun to pass on a good idea and since some live

on a simpler, tighter budget, like myself, go on over

to your local resale shop or thrift store to rejuvenate

your ‘look!’

As a way to create conversation, my brother, Randy the

artist painted on a white linen jacket, billowing aqua,

turquoise and creamy-colored clouds for an art gallery

opening, held in California. He is one who looks quite

dapper, although his FB page is not so great, he has lost

weight and cut his hair, so he also needs to ‘change up!’

When I thought about my last years of teaching, I had

a rainbow of colors every day reflected in my clothing.

My other brother, the professor, loves it when I buy

him ‘cool’ ties. He likes school related theme ties,

along with ones that just have music, art or jazz

up his ‘look.’ Trying something new is good for all

of us, both sexes, wherever we work or go out and

about in society. It may just create a little magic

for you and your special person, or attract someone

who has not noticed you before.

At my current job, I tend to wear those dismal colors

of black, gray, brown and an occasional dark blue. This

had been my mode of operandi to prevent damage and stains

that are impossible to get out of my work clothes. It is a

dirty place; lots of times I look like ‘Pigpen’ from the

Charles Schulz comic strip, “Peanuts!”

Wouldn’t it be nice to just go ahead and wear some

colorful patterns that are more exciting looking to my

current workplace?

I mean, less drab… Maybe this would encourage others to

‘cross over to the sunny side of the street.’ I definitely

feel the need to get out of my rut!

I read a book recently on relationships written by Sara

Eckel. It was called, “It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons

You’re Single,” (208 pages) If you are thinking about the

current dating scene, if you have someone you know who is,

or if you just are curious about the newer way things are

going out in a different facet of society…

Check this book out! It is a funny, interesting and

enlightening guidebook for the newly single people out

there, for ones who wonder,

“Why on Earth was it so easy back when I dated the last

time? And now, it is nearly impossible!”

The author approaches the subject in a very positive

manner, where she insists it is not you being anyone

that is repelling the opposite sex away. She thinks it

is just you haven’t met the right person yet!

I have paraphrased the following section, in my own

words, with my personal ‘slant’ added:

One of the myths that she ‘de-bunks’ is for example,

1. “You are too needy.”

No. that is not why you haven’t attracted someone to you.

Another one is,

2. “You are unrealistic.”

No, if is okay to have goals, choices and favorite attributes

(and values) in mind when you are seeking to find another

person to possibly spend the rest of your life with.

This one I have heard before,

3. “You are too picky.”

This was something someone said to me recently. That

comment really ‘got under my ‘craw,’ I will tell you!

I think that having been married three times, I should

know what works, what didn’t and hopefully, once and for

all, I should make plans and lists and actually, use them!

I need to understand what are the characteristics I am

looking for and then, not ‘sway’ too much from the

outline. Nice people don’t mean they are good matches.

Not just fall for the next guy who buys me dinner!

The author’s great question addresses why have we become

a society where we assign blame for being particular and

trying to make good choices?

Here are Sara Eckel’s own words on the subject:

“We’re a nation that believes strongly in personal efficacy–

if there’s something in your life that isn’t working quite

the way you’d like, then the problem must begin and end

with you.”

The myths include how we view ourselves through other’s

eyes, instead of relying on our own common sense.

Here are two more myths, to share with you.

4. “You’re too intimidating.”

5. “You should have married that guy.”

Don’t listen to the ones who tend to place the blame

on you. Make sure that you surround yourself with

supportive people who are cheering for you and wish

that you will find someone to be your partner or

close friend of the opposite sex. The important thing

to remember isn’t,

“Why are you still single?”

but “Why are near strangers so often compelled to

comment or demand answers.” I wish to add, sometimes

family members and your best friends may be part of

the naysayers. You need to develop a positive attitude

where you can deflect their comments and act like you

are doing ‘just fine’ without the negative opinions.

Hope this helps everyone in some aspect of their life.

I highly recommend this ‘no nonsense’ book and trying

out a new way of doing something. Hair style, clothing

style or the way you walk, with your confidence showing,

shoulders back and a broad smile to carry you and others

through their days.

You’re Beautiful!

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I love the advertising campaign that Dove products

carried for quite some time. The words that went

with it were:

“You are more beautiful than you think.”

There is a statistical study that came up with this

same conclusion! If you were to describe yourself to a

police sketch artist, you would give a less flattering

picture than if he simply sat opposite you and drew you!

Amazing, huh? We are all harder on ourselves, more self-

critical than others are of us and that is dramatically

shown when you look at the two disparate drawings. I

was startled by this and did not catch the source, while

I drove to work awhile back. I simply wrote the words

down and the contrast in how we view ourselves and a

neutral (artistic) person draws us.

I also had to add the New Brittanica-Webster Dictionary

and Reference Guide’s definition of the word,

“beautiful- 1. having beauty, pleasing to the mind, spirit

or senses. Example: ‘a beautiful picture.’

2. generally agreeable; fine. Example: ‘beautiful weather

or beautiful dinner.’

The list of synanonyms were lovely- fair- pretty.

An descriptive definition followed:

Whatever excites the keenest picture in the mind, senses

and stirs emotions by the suggestion of perfection or the

ideal.”

Once I read the definition of the word beautiful, I spent

some time pondering and contemplating the word. As all

special words are used too often when they should be saved,

I think we throw the word, ‘beautiful,’ around too lightly!

When songs refer to word beautiful, I feel often they mean

the beauty within each one of us.

I thought to make this less of a summary of my thoughts and

more of an interactive challenge, I would ask you a couple

of questions.

If you have time, name the first three non-living things

that come to mind when you hear the word, beautiful.

These are, truly, my first three subjects that came to

my mind. Okay and they were truly corny, I admit!

1. rainbows 2. sunsets/sunrises 3. children’s art

pieces.

Next, if you would like to give the first person you

can think of that embodies the word, beautiful and

if you would like to share this with us, that would

be wonderful!

(One is such a hard word, too!) My Mom.

When I asked my two little M & M girls over the

weekend the same questions, they surprised me.

They refused to give me an ‘off the top of their

heads’ answer!’

The littlest one, Makyah (3 in February) said:

“baby doll, princess and puppies.

(Breaking all rules of non-living things!)

The oldest one, Marley (5 last November) said:

“paintings, books and sunshine.”

(Her preschool days at Head Start paid off!)

When asked, “Who is beautiful to you?”

Both replied, (separately) and not listening

to the other one, “Lara.” (Their 9 year old

sister.) Wow! Cool results, at least to my

mind!

If you don’t feel like writing how you feel and

sharing, take some time to think of beautiful things

and people. It would be nice if I knew I spread a

little ‘beauty’ into my fellow bloggers’ world!