Love, getting older, and trust

I’ve spent some time with my grandparents within the past month.  Real time.  Where we sat and chat and had no time restraints.  I’m grateful that I’ve been able to take the time to prioritize my family in that way.  I love them with all my heart.

Something that has struck me and left me processing for a bit now, is what I see in their relationship to each other.  They are all they have left, of a life that was rich with friends and loved ones.  They are now at an age, where they watch who’s left of their friends pass away.  Moving on to bigger adventures in the grand circle of life.  It’s a sad, lonely, and quite frankly, a depressing time of one’s life it would seem.  So of course, the love my grandparents share is magnified that much more.  They’ve been through everything together.  They hold hands when they get their hair cut.  They are constantly talking about each other and thinking about each other when they are apart.

It’s left me thinking about my own future a little bit.  For one, I feel this sudden urge to make sure my retirement accounts are healthy – holy moly does that level of care cost a FORTUNE or what?!  But beyond that, I can’t help but wonder what my future as an old lady will be like?  Will I live in a nice assisted living place like my grandparents?  What will I be like when I’m an old lady?  Will I be more cantankerous?  More kooky?  More sweet?  🙂

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Who will be by my side?

Of course, when you start to look ahead, you can’t help but also look behind.  I think about the fact that so much in my life has changed from where I was 10, even 15 years ago.  How young and innocent I was.  Naive to much of what life could, and would throw my way; but I’ve always handled it all.  I’m damn proud of that.  And I don’t think I’d trade anything from it.  EXCEPT one thing.  Well – ok maybe two.  One – I’d love to have my body back from my early twenties.  Uh… yes Please!?!  But two… Somewhere along the lines I’ve lost my ability to trust someone else completely.  And I miss that.

I sat today and tried to pinpoint when I lost it.  Like it was a coin from my pocket that had somehow slipped out and run about loose.  But it wasn’t like that.  I think it was more like how a rocky cliffside will slowly erode away from the ocean waves that pound on it.  The more people I’ve put faith and trust in over the years who’ve let me down, have made it so that I’m a bit leery to be blindly handing out my trust anymore.  And that’s really quite a sad thing.  That’s me changing and adapting due to shitty people.  It’s perfectly normal of course, life experiences teach you, after all.

I’ve been thinking a lot about  weddings and relationships.  I think it’s because of something my grandmother brought up. 70+ years together.  Just Wow.  I was admiring their wedding photo and couldn’t help but think that they both, for sure, upheld their wedding vows.

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I always upheld mine.  That I can say without uncertainty.  When I think about my own future, it’s dawned on me that I’ve never really thought about what I’d want someone to say to me now.  Because of my own experiences – I think I’d want to write them – rather than have someone say them for me.  Because the standard I will love, honor, cherish, obey …. insert the rest of the standard bit here… isn’t quite right for me anymore.

Yes, I would hope to be loved, honored, cherished… i’m pretty sure they cut out obey now… so i won’t get into that one… but I think I’d also want a few other guidelines in there.  Ones I would hope would be a mutually spoken thing of course.

8 Vow additions for a future husband & wife:

I promise to Respect.
I would hope that my future husband would promise to always respect me and our relationship.

I promise to Trust and never do anything to cause that level of trust to falter.

I promise to always put your needs at the same priority level as my own.  If I’m going to be “selfish” it will be for us – not just myself.

I promise to always be stubborn and to never quit trying and putting effort into us and our lives we’re building together.  Even when things get tough or tense.

I promise to always communicate and be transparent. You are the one person I am not allowed to hide anything from.  I will always try and make sure that we are communicating in a healthy manner.

I promise to never judge you.  I will always empathize with you, and try and understand from your perspective.

I promise to always prioritize our sex life.  To be affectionate with you.  To touch you and hug you and love you. Because this is something I will also need and crave.

I also promise to adventure with you, to make you laugh, to sing to you, to lift you up and encourage you to spread your wings.  To be your cheerleader when you need it, and a silent gaming partner when you need that too.

 

Hmm… yea, I suppose that covers quite a bit.  Makes me wonder how people end their vows these days – and yes, I realize I could go search that.  Do they say till death do us part anymore?  Or is it till divorce or death do us part?  LOL.  Ok, ok, I shouldn’t laugh at that – divorce is no laughing matter at all.  As obviously, I speak from personal experience there.  But do people work loopholes into their vows now?

Can you imagine what some of the worst vows out there could be like?  I take you… till death, divorce, sickness, fatness, or a really cute rich guy comes along…

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Ugh.  I would certainly hope that doesn’t happen.  Would seem like a sad state of affairs for the “sanctity of marriage”.

Is it wrong for me to long for this to be a more simple thing?  I suppose there is no such thing.  All you can do is hope for the best.  Hope that the right person will come along and sweep you off your feet.  That they’ll be the one to open your eyes to everything that’s good and wonderful in the world.  And who knows – maybe they’ll even be a master at making grilled cheese.  😉

Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you.

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Expectations, Anxieties & Getting Older

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My friend M would be proud that I’ve decided to write about this.  It’s a topic he’s bringing up to me on a regular basis and really, I’ve yet to talk about it much here.  The art of managing your own expectations.  According to M, expectations lead to unhealthy behaviors; and ultimately, he’s not wrong.  But, life experience, years of instincts, science in general, and being good observers has taught us all to expect certain behaviors or outcomes.  So I often say it’s a losing battle.  In fact, I often tell him that he’s silly for thinking he can even obtain that goal.  But today – I can’t help but wonder if he’s right.  We all build up expectations in our heads.  How we think someone should react or how we think something should go.  Perhaps he’s right – the act of having those expectations in our minds only serves the purpose of disappointing us when things go differently than we’d hoped or anticipated?

I have, on a number of occasions in my life, been disappointed by my expectations going wonky.  Sometimes, it’s when I don’t speak my own needs what I’m thinking and then come to find out that I’m on a different page from someone else.  Sometimes it’s when I think I’ll get a certain reaction about something, and find I’m seeing the opposite.  Either way, I end up disappointed.

So who’s fault is that?  Mine.  Because somehow, somewhere, I took a misstep and either failed to communicate, or failed to listen.  That actually could be the key there, that second bit.  Listening.  How often do we really listen to what someone else is saying.  So often, we’re only “listening” in order to wait for our turn to speak again.  How often can we really say that we listen with the intent to actually HEAR what someone else has to say?  To actually put ourselves in their shoes and understand what they are trying to tell us?  I’d say it’s not very often at all.

I found myself struggling a little tonight, with my expectations of someone else.  Someone I care deeply for.  But I think what I’m coming to process is that my disappointment over their lack of reaction is on me.  I had an expectation that perhaps I didn’t even know that I had… and when they gave me their honest reaction.

It’ll be ok.  It’s always ok.

What’s interesting tho… what triggered me to write this out, is that my anxiety went up as I sat and processed all of this.  As I tried to contain my disappointment and frustration and simply try and understand.  I’m still struggling a little.  Not because I don’t understand their point of view – I actually do.  But because regardless of my level of understanding – it means caving on something that I’m not sure I want to cave on.  It means lowering my own expectations – whether I knew they were there originally or not, and compromising.  And perhaps, on this, I don’t want to compromise.

Funny, my brother and I were talking about anxiety today.  He called me on my way home and was telling me how surprising it is to him that as he gets older, his anxiety gets more pronounced.  He started out in his younger years with little to no anxiety – and now that he’s in his 40’s, he’s finding that he actually struggles with it at times.

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It made me feel better somehow.  I don’t remember being an anxious child or teenager.  Heck, I’m not even sure I’d have said I was anxious in my twenties.  It’s only been as I’ve gotten older that I’ve recognized my own anxieties for what they are.  They are of course, manageable.  No one would likely even know that I have them.  But I do.  They are with me always.  Not sure I’m comforted by that.

Well neverland, thanks for letting me spit this out and process it.  I’m not sure I’ve figured it all out yet, but I’m getting there.  Yay for that.  Although, in truth, I’mnot sure I ever really will.  Goodnight Neverland.  Dream sweet when you get there.

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The Jealousy Monster

I was just on the phone with my brother.  🙂  The topic of jealousy came up.  Funny, it’s the second time in a couple of days that I’ve had the chance to witness someone struggling with it.

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My daughter was struggling to contain her jealousy monster in regards to her boyfriend.  Some girl at her school was hugging on her boyfriend and it bothered her.  I sat and talked about it with her for a while.  Told her to really think about things.  Had her boyfriend ever given her a reason to not trust him?  No.  Then perhaps she will be better served by trusting him, and giving him the benefit of the doubt.  It was interesting to watch her go through the various stages as she processed what I’d said.

Jealousy is a strange emotion.  One that can be dangerous to the health of a relationship if not handled appropriately.  If you break it down – it’s a signal from your brain.  A warning signal.  Saying that a valued relationship is possibly in danger and steps need to be taken to make sure things stay on track.  What it DOESN’T need to do is make people crazy monsters.  That’s just counterproductive and ruins any forward progress you may make.  It requires trust tho.  This is why I feel the way I do about liars in general.  I struggle with them because if you can lie to me, then I cannot fully trust you.

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I don’t know, I’ve never been someone who has struggled much with jealousy.  In fact, I can say that I’ve only felt it a few times in my life – and it wasn’t over people or relationships – but over the success someone had achieved.  I wanted that for me.  🙂  So not quite the same thing I suppose.

The way I see it – if you’re feeling jealous…then there’s something off about YOU.. not the other person.  It means you’re likely struggling with an insecurity, fear of abandonment or something else that is pushing you too feel and act out in that way.  And if you’re upset that someone is looking at another person, or even lightly flirting with another person… then that’s an issue with you.   You’re in a relationship – you’re not dead.  It would seem unnatural and confining to expect a partner to walk through the world uncaring or unaware of others in that way.  Why shouldn’t they be allowed to admire a beautiful figure?  I certainly do! To expect a partner to do otherwise would mean missing one of the joys of life.

If you have trust… then you should likely know that your significant other would never disrespect the relationship, you or themself in that way.  So why get your panties twisted in a knot about it?

Look – I deal with anxiety on a regular basis – but the way I see it – why on earth would I purposefully allow an emotion to control me and make me MORE anxious if I don’t have to?  Jealousy just doesn’t have a place in my world.  Never has.

Just some thoughts for the day…

Much Love!

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Who am I?

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I wear many masks, play many roles.  All of them are bits and pieces of who I am, and yet none of them make the entirety of what is me.  Who am I really?  Even if I were to ask the top 20 people who know me well… their answers, while some would be similar – some would have emphasis on different areas.  Makes sense – the role I play with each person in my life differs greatly.  So then… who am I?

I could look at the snippets of writing, the creative works I’ve drawn and painted over the years, the music I’ve played and the poetry I’ve written… maybe it is in those things that who I am is clearly reflected?  Hmm.  Nope.  My creative outlets serve as a way for me to channel emotion or a feeling, a fleeting moment that I want to capture; which means they in no way emcompass all of who I am.  So again… who am I?

Is it the voice in my head?  The one that also shows up in dreams and meditation.  Maybe THAT voice… encompasses who I am.  Funny.  The one thing – that clearly reflects and articulates “Me” is the one thing that only I will ever hear or see.  Maybe what it really means – is that Me… the core and essence of who I am – is really only for me to know.

What’s interesting about that concept – is that I actually like the voice in my head. She’s usually pretty empathetic, wise, and funny.  Maybe pixar’s take on the inner voice in the movie Inside Out, wasn’t far off?

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It’s taken me years to learn this.. and even now, sometimes I get a little shaky on it.  But I’m so much better than I used to be.  So much more confident and sure of myself and the choices that I make.  It’s nice to like yourself.  It’s nice to have a clear idea of who I am.  I no longer have to wonder.  Now – I just try and show it to the world.  Because once you find yourself… you want to show it for all to see! 🙂

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Content & Happy

Hehe… the joy of being me, is that there always seems to be a billion and five thoughts running through my head at one time.  For the mind of a creative… thoughts generally spin out and in like water rushing from a flowing river.  Sometimes they stay on topic, sometimes they do not.  There are pros and cons to this… from a job perspective, it means that I almost always have a new swirl of ideas and brainstorm fodder to pull from – which is always a good thing.  On the personal spectrum, it’s not always a good thing, because it often means that I overthink things, or come across as the random A.D.D girl to some friends.  Which I’m almost positive leaves them thinking I’m a bit of a dork – but I’m ok with that.  Cuz ultimately – I AM a bit of a dork.

I’ve spent the past few days, sick.  I swear – it’s been the year of the cold and flu in my house and it gets old fast.  I’m home from work today – currently perched on my couch with my laptop and a new series I’m enjoying playing on the television.  I was pretty stressed and anxious yesterday – but today – i’m feeling relaxed, content and happy.  It’s nice.

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I can’t believe the year is almost over.  We’re about to go into 2018, can you believe it?!  It’s interesting to look back at times, see how much has changed… how far I’ve come.  Both over the years, as well as over such a short amount of time. I’m so pleased.  Who knew life would work out this way? 🙂

Much love to you all.  I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Goodnight Neverland.

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