Bearable Disappointment

Guest Post!

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We’re aware as smart single women that we can’t expect perfection.

But life still manages to throw us curve balls.

Maybe once you’re into your mid-thirties,

it shouldn’t be called dating,

it should be called waiting for the other shoe to drop.

…

Why is it always something?

Unless you’re in a problem free relationship with TiVo.

– Sex and the City

 

Despite the fact that the mention of TiVo dates this quote (remember TiVo?!), it still rings true. And you don’t need to be in your mid-thirties for it to apply. Any woman, or person for that matter, who has dated for a length of time knows the meaning of this quote in his or her bones.

You meet someone. It is electric. You connect over so many things. His father passed when he was small too. She loves Quentin Tarantino movies as much as you do. You both want to travel the world with nothing but a backpack. You share a love of fine wine and cooking extravagant dinners.

Before you know it you are sailing off in a sea of hormones and dreams of a future with this new, amazing person. You spend time at work day-dreaming of all the romantical things the two of you will share and your heart skips a beat when you see a new text/call/email.

You are twitterpated. Crushing, hard.

The intensity of these new-love emotions makes you feel as if this person is your destiny. This is deep and something you have never felt before. He is ‚Äúthe one‚ÄĚ. You are ready to introduce her to mom.

Suddenly all of your hopes and dreams come crashing down, shattering into a million smithereens.

It could be any number of different things. ‚ÄúDeal breakers‚ÄĚ are different for everyone. Prince charming could have said:

  • ‚ÄúWell, I am a musician, but it‚Äôs more of a hobby right now. I work at Big 5 to pay the bills‚ÄĚ
  • ‚ÄúI live with my mom‚ÄĚ
  • ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt actually have a college degree. I said I did because I‚Äôm only 20 credits away‚ÄĚ
  • ‚ÄúI‚Äôm impotent‚ÄĚ
  • ‚ÄúI have a daughter‚ÄĚ
  • ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt want to see you anymore‚ÄĚ

Sigh.

At the very least you are disappointed. You might feel devastated. Even worse, you might consider throwing your standards out the window to start a relationship with this individual anyway.

Let’s get real and break it down.

Getting real: You don’t know this person. Really, you don’t. You feel like you do because of the adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin running through you. It is also very likely that you have projected a huge, unrealistic fantasy onto them that has no basis in reality. That whole engagement speech you dreamed he would be reciting on bended knee? Yeah, you made that up in your head. The home-cooked meals and coffee dates with your mother you thought she would be making? Also fiction.

It is so easy to become disappointed and exhausted by dating, and life in general, when we live in the future instead of the present. When we live in the future we set ourselves up for disappointment and hurt feelings.

If you feel wounded by your dating life, only you can change that.

Be present. Make reality your friend.

Being present: Don’t wait for a partner to make your life happen. Enjoy every day. Plan trips. Have fun. Be grateful for everything you do have. You have so much! I keep a gratitude list on my phone that I add to and read when I am feeling sorry for my single self.

Making reality your friend: By realizing that that the initial excitement of dating a new person is not a promise for the future, you will save yourself a lot of heartache. People are often not who you perceive them to be (this is usually not their fault). And while it is frustrating when individuals misrepresent themselves, that is part of the dating game. Have compassion for people who don’t feel comfortable being up-front about who they are, and move on, (without them!).

Putting all your emotional eggs in one basket is your decision. Allow a potential partner to earn that over time. Let them demonstrate through actions who they actually are and that they are trustworthy. As the song goes. ‚ÄúYou can‚Äôt hurry love, you just have to wait.‚ÄĚ

Also realize this disappointment you feel is not personal. It is not a reflection on you. You are worthy of love. Have hope and stay positive. Remain grateful.

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

– Kurt Vonnegut

Question:  How have you and do you endure well when disappointed?

Self-Care Tip:  Remember that this disappointment is not personal.  Keep on.

20140224_182909Jessica Adams:  I am a science teacher in Southern California who thinks about relationships, human health, love and of course science. I am passionate about doing what is right for kids and personal growth.

 

Hermes’ Shoes

Repost of sorts.

Today I find myself walking with Hermes’ shoes on. Bits of fairy dust seem to have caught in my hair like shards of light in a forest of tight mountain pines. 3 hours into my day, I discovered I was full of gratitude. Where did it come from? I would like to find this spiriting again. I can’t help but admit, being thankful must be good for me.

People talk about gratitude to the fellow traveller of life as if it were pill, or morning chore to get over before play. But today, it came to me like a music-gram at my door. And there it is, the opening of the door.

Today my kids reminded me that no matter how much we get in life, (the little cherubs!) we will always want more. Coming out of Barnes and Noble post cookies and purchases, they were still listing off their desires. Us adults are not so different, we just package our orders differently. However, wanting more and ingratitude are different and not necessarily related. We agree with Nathaniel Hawthorne in “The Birth-Mark,” that we can have gratitude despite it.

“My poor Aylmer!” murmured she.

“Poor? Nay, richest, happiest, most favored!” exclaimed he. “My peerless bride, it is successful! You are perfect!”

“My poor Aylmer,” she repeated, with a more than human tenderness, “you have aimed loftily; you have done nobly. Do not repent that with so high and pure a feeling, you have rejected the best the earth could offer. Aylmer, dearest Aylmer, I am dying!”

So how do we “open the door” to gratitude amidst the wanting? Open your door any way you can, my friend. ¬†I’ll watch and hope to learn from you. ¬†Today mine opened without me even realizing the part I played. ¬†Thinking back now, I remember that last night I asked my husband to pray for me. I believe that was the way I opened the door. It was a friendly thing to do.

Self Care Tip – Cultivate being thankful. Be a friend to yourself.

Questions:  How do you open the door to gratitude in your life?  How do you want more without losing gratitude?  Please tell us your story.

In Gratitude. Commenting is good self-care.

In gratitude I move between these letters. ¬†My step is often clomping and loud, but is that what we would name a “sure-step?” ¬†Not always. ¬†Even tripping and clipping corners bruising my legs, with my mistakes returning echoes to remind anyone who wants to know what my shifting sounds like. ¬†Even when, I move gratefully. ¬†And it is for you and Me and God. ¬†We have decided confidently once at least. ¬†At least once we have in like-minded strength chosen to dedicate our force to move us to the purpose of becoming a friend to yourself. ¬†Many, more often than once. ¬†Many have decided as often as they deliberately step, like a recovering spinal cord injury remembers just how to lift the leg, tilt the foot and ease it down. ¬†Many find this purpose we have chosen at least as difficult as that.

How bout you?  More?  Less?  Gratitude is an assist for Me, as are the woven combinations of all that make up my process, my presence or we could say personal journey.  Within that weave, there is this thing that runs on the fuel that only kind feed-back can generate.  You people.  In truth, I can not move very far with out you.

I have two specific thank-you’s of this kind.

Some time ago, Beth Parker,¬†gifted the Liebster Award and more recently, Cathy gave the Versatile blogger Award. ¬†These girls are kind. ¬†They are friendly and they are funny. ¬†They give and some of what they give, specifically incredible generous feedback like this, is essential to Me. ¬†I’m pretty sure it’s on the periodic table of elements. ¬†Without it, I’d poop out, like an old jalopy in the desert. ¬†I am grateful.

There’s a bit of an overlap in some spaces of these awards and I’m going to snip it back a little since the day is spent. ¬†The good stuff really is naming off you wonders out there who have voices that must be heard. ¬†I’m going to remake the to-do’s of these awards, because I can and that’s the kind of girl I am ;).

My deep gratitude compels me to name off the folks who comment.  They talk.  They speak and connect and let themselves know and be known.  What an honor.  You, and to all have had the courage to write your vulnerable self into words and engage РThank you.

This commenting-thing is more than pom-pom action. ¬†When we speak out loud, we open closet doors, shame is aired, fears are invited for tea and then ushered out more easily. ¬†We hook into the self-care tips and make them our own when we breathe out audibly. ¬†We may not know it but we claim them and the people in this community of “Friend to Yourself-ers” or FTY’s. ¬†(How do you like that? ¬†FTY?) ¬†This is awesome and powerful and free. ¬†As we say here, “speak.”

You may or may not be on this “WordPress” generated statistic of commenters, but either way, you are here with us. ¬†You fuel us in our life journey uniquely and importantly. ¬†For those who read but don’t comment, thank you as well for letting us share ourselves with you. ¬†Comment if you will, but keep coming either way.

In gratitude:

Nancy 64
Carl D’Agostino 50
Col 34
Cindy Taylor 26
duckofindeed 21
livingvictoriously 17

Sincerely, 

Me

Paging A Testimony! Will A Testimony Please Call Back?

Swearing in 06
I ask five Questions 1.2.3.4.5.  
Will you give your testimony?

Q1: ¬†What does being “a friend to yourself” mean to you in real-time life practice?

A1:

Q2:  What helps you do this at one time vs. another?

A2:

Q3:  What still hinders your efforts?

A3:

Q4:  What has pushed you past those barriers?

A4:

Lastly.

Q5: ¬†How do you understand the interplay between biology and choice in being “a friend to yourself?”

A5:

P.S. – I had a hard time finding a picture for this! ¬†I have no idea about who’s who and it took forever to find something that I think won’t trigger any political uprising amongst you fine readers… ¬†But… if I didn’t, please don’t take me to the stand! (Bad humor wink.)

Think About What You Have. The Season of Epiphany.

the Epiphany

Self-Care Tip #145 – Think about what you’re wanting¬†and waiting for, and then think about what you have. ¬†Be a friend to yourself.

Today my husband told me that it is the season of Epiphany – the climax to our waiting and wanting (or Advent) is celebrating when we find out that God became a human.

I like epiphany’s. ¬†Who doesn’t? ¬†At dinner we talked it over with the kids. ¬†We asked them questions like, “What do you remember from last year that you’re glad about?” ¬†“Did you learn anything that you want to remember in this new year?” ¬†My three-year-old was glad our house isn’t destroyed yet by the rain. ¬†(Yes. ¬†It is raining again. ¬†Blah. ¬†The basement should be filled in with dirt!)

Then, my epiphany came.  Self-care includes being grateful for what and whom we already have in our lives.  Ta-da!  May not seem like much but it hit me strong and soulful.  I have names, including yours on my list.

Self-care for me today was stopping on the bits of life I already have, the people I already know, the gratefuls I don’t habitually spend enough spirit on (generally all of them.) ¬†I get poetic and lumpy thinking about it. ¬†My epiphanies feel like soppy insides, doe-y eyes, choking up over the smell of my husband’s neck, the mysteries of time and such. ¬†Epiphanies generally don’t come without a waiting and a wanting. ¬†It can all be deliberate, which is good news too, because those of us who don’t do that¬†unconsciously¬†have a chance.

As said by¬†Fred Clark, Author of¬†blog “Slacktivist,”

Epiphanies don’t seem like the sort of thing one can schedule ahead of time and plan for.

It isn’t as romantic as I hear it was for Edison, but we can plan. ¬†Waiting, wanting, and the ah-ha’s can be deliberate and are part of self-care.

Question:  In this season, what are your epiphanies?

Collaboration Between Work and Play

All my options were poking at me like specters and I’ve been distracted. ¬†Sitting in the coffee shop. ¬†2 hours later and I’ve just started to write. ¬†This is the first in eons since I’ve had open space in time during daylight hours. ¬†I vaguely remember doing this in my past lives, but can’t remember how to do it. ¬†I’m awkward. ¬†It’s hard to know how to press into an area without boundaries. ¬†I’ve walked on the moon here, trying to know how to foot my thoughts. ¬†And now that my unbelievably free time is almost over, I realize I’ve procrastinated. ¬†A daily planner all filled up just dropped down and I can see what I should do. ¬†There’s a comfort in it.

A collaboration between work and play is healthy. ¬†We slide or trip across the arc that connects them. ¬†The path back can be harder to return to when we stay too long at one pole. ¬†Like an unused muscle. ¬†Sometimes people get sick and need time off work to recover. ¬†They often look at me with bewilderment and ask, “What now?” ¬†It’s like telling a kid, it’s time to nap. ¬†Everyone else who hears desperately wishes you were talking to them. ¬†We can lose the flow and someone or life or a force has to show us how to get back into sync.

Gratitude helps swing the pendulum.  That awareness, gratitude, moves us back and forth to see our options, what we want and what we have.  

Humility is another fair guide.  Kids get this.  I respect that about them.  Their hearts are open flowers, vulnerable, wanting.  They move trusting the momentum and direction from which they pivot.  We get more friction as we age.  It takes humility to accept redirection.  Humility is different from insecurity though.  It takes confidence and trust in something to know when to let go.  Kids do that better than me too!

Today, some of the resistance in my journey left, and I have more gratitude for my work and for my play.  I hope that I respond more easily when I should.  Like Samuel who heard God calling, I hope to know when to answer.  Let me be like a child.

Self Care Tip #33 РLive with gratitude, humility, and confidence.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question: Does this resonate with you?  What do you think?

Be Aware

Cover of "The Psychology of Gratitude (Se...

Cover via Amazon

We’re sitting at the piano practicing. ¬†She is smart, reading for a year already, beautiful in a way that scares me at times, has advantages that surround her just because. ¬†She isn’t thinking of these things though. ¬†She thinks about the things she is not. ¬†She says, “I can’t do that. ¬†I don’t know how.” ¬†She is not thankful just now about her opportunities.

I wondered, as I was sitting at the piano, if success and gratitude are collaborators.

Gratitude should not be conceived just in terms of a particular relationship. Gratitude is a philosophical emotion. It is, in a phrase, seeing the bigger picture.¬† …And so viewed, being grateful for one’s whole life is not a ‚Äúgrateful to whom?‚ÄĚ question so much as it is a matter of being aware of one’s whole life, being reflective in a way that most of us are not, most of the time.

-Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, The Psychology of Gratitude

Seems like a little much to expect out of a 5 year-old?¬† Maybe, maybe not.¬† But it definitely is if her parent isn’t practicing awareness, reflection, gratitude.

We will have more success in our life’s ambitions if we practice gratitude.¬† This much I will do and maybe, my little girl will learn to see herself differently too.

Self Care Tip #30 РBe aware.  Be a friend to yourself.