The talk tracks we have in our heads and why we use them…

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend of mine. We were discussing someone he knew that was going through some similar personal problems as I am – and how every time he would talk to her, he had to remind her to stop replaying the “talk track” that was in her head. He said it was as if she was trying to convince herself of all the transgressions and reasonings why she should be mad or upset with her soon-to-be-ex-partner.

It had me thinking about my own talk tracks – and why we use them. In my friend’s circumstance – he was just tired of hearing the constant nitpicking and wanted her to stop – but he also lumped women in general as being common instigators for this type of behavior. But if we look at the potential reasons behind WHY she was doing that – it becomes a clearer picture – at least to me. When we’re gearing ourselves up to leave a spouse or partner – there is a moment where the pendulum swings back and forth as you argue with yourself over what action to take next. It takes a certain level of courage to be able to clearly say that something isn’t working for you and that you’re going to do something to change it. And sometimes you have to have that talk track running through your brain in order to build up the momentum and courage to tackle those conversations. To be brave enough to say the things that have been causing us pain. Especially when we’re talking about breakups. They are so final. And if you care about the person – whether they hurt you or not – you certainly don’t like to do anything to cause that person pain. But you also potentially want out – so you run this script in your head and it gives you the anger and the energy and the fuel you need to have it out and get on with it.

My friend’s words were wise tho. If you stop playing that script in your head, there’s a chance that you can be present in the moment – and perhaps realize that there’s opportunity for growth and change in ways you hadn’t been considering. The risk of doing this, of course, is that you could have a pendulum swing moment and lose the momentum and courage to seek change. But – you also could find a moment where you can find forgiveness.

It’s a moment where you can switch the focus from blaming someone else to looking deep within and find the areas where you could have done something differently. It’s a moment when you can identify where your own growth opportunities lie.

It’s important to me to call out here: Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re excusing the other person’s behavior. It doesn’t mean they automatically become pardoned. It also doesn’t mean you have to put away all the feelings you may have about a situation. It doesn’t mean you have to allow the person to stay in your circle. And it doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten what happened. Forgiveness simply means you’ve accepted the reality of the situation and are working on ways to live with it. Forgiveness isn’t about the other person – it’s really about YOU.

In this situation – I thought through my talk tracks that I’ve got going now – in all areas of my life. How I think about my work, how I think about my marriage, how I think about myself. My talk tracks about myself tend to be a lot harsher than what I share out to others. And thinking through this further – it helped me see that it’s time to switch my script a little. To find forgiveness and kindness and openness within myself, for myself.

Hope you all are well here in Neverland. ūüôā Much love.

The nuances of Self Love

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.”

“You have to love yourself before others can love you.”

“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.”

You often see these types of quotes around the idea of self love. And this post isn’t me necessarily disagreeing with them… it is me adding to them.

I recently had someone remind me that I have to love myself before others will love me and it sent my mind into a spin. I got frustrated by it. I think it is because often, these phrases make it seem as if self love is a constant state that can be achieved. Like a check in the box of qualities you’ve managed to achieve as you grow. But it’s not.

As a 37 year old woman, I can honestly say I love me. I have more self esteem and self love now than I have had my entire life. I love the woman I have become. I’m proud of my life – in all it’s messy glory – and am truly excited to see and experience what is yet to come.

I love my messy, frizzy curly hair that as a teenager I hated. I love that I’m soft and squishy. I love my strength and endurance to take on anything – even when it seems insurmountable. I love my passion and enthusiasm over what others might see as mundane. I love to dance with my dog in a kitchen while food is cooking, jamming to whatever music is playing, or chase my kids round the hall. I love that I’m a mushy, romantic sap who gets butterflies in her tummy at romantic scenes in “girly” movies and gets a bit teary during the sad parts of cartoons. I love that people don’t know that I’m a singer – and when I finally unleash my full voice, I often get dropped jaws. I love that my mind is a whirl of a million thoughts at a time, and that while I can be forgetful about certain situations – I also have a bit of a photographic memory for other things and can sometimes impress with my intelligence. I love that my imagination journeys into places that unlock a whole array of creative pursuits.

… I could keep going.

BUT….

I still don’t ALWAYS have that love for myself. I don’t ALWAYS remember these things. I make mistakes. Sometimes, I look at myself and in that moment, see that I’m not measuring up to my own expectations. I think I had the idea that in those moments when I’m not “feeling the self-love” it would somehow mean that I don’t have “it” at all. But when I look behind, from where I’ve come – I have it in spades. It’s all in perspective. In theory – the goal is to constantly grow and not deplete the stashes of self love that we keep deep down within.

When I look at it that way – these quotes start to fall apart a little. Because if self love is constantly being added to and grown upon – then there is no end goal – no moment where you can actually say that you can check that little box.

The Rulebook of Life – According to me

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If you were to write a rule book – for life according to you… what would be some of the rules? ¬† Not the obvious ones… as far as always being honest, upholding your own honor,¬†not murdering people and such…

I mean the other things. Guidelines for how we live our lives, that make us unique to who and what we are.¬† The ones that we all seem to have… although perhaps subconsciously, which would make them challenging to actually pick up on.

A sampling of the Rulebook of Life according to Jen

Rule 13:  Coffee is a requirement for Jen, if she is to be expected to use her brain in a capacity that is more than her normal morning autopilot is programmed for.

Rule 97: Fuzzy blankets are required to properly watch a movie or binge TV.

Rule 389: Jen must always have the ability to pull her foot out of the blankets at night in order to maintain the correct body temperature.

Rule 413:¬†When Jen gets home from work – she must be allowed 15-20 minutes to¬†decompress, also known as the “Don’t Ask Mom For Anything” time.

Breaking this rule can lead to potential willpower melt-down and the mass consumption of chocolate or soft cookies from her secret stash.  Note: If you promise to never share knowledge of this secret stash Рshe may just share with you.

Rule 1022:  There are two places that make Jen anxious.  Hospitals and Airports, for very different reasons.  When Jen is anxious, she may need an extra hug, an extra smile, and a little extra patience.  She also may need a swift kick in the ass to make her go to these places.  Use force as deemed appropriate and necessary. Bribes work too.

Rule 1031: Sometimes, Jen just needs a snuggle.  For no reason at all.

LOL.

Yea … I know…

I’m a dork. ¬†But seriously – how cool would it be if you could see other people’s rule books? ¬†I know my friend Ray’s would have things like

A sampling of the Rulebook of Life according to Ray

Rule 124: One must yell at the TV during scary parts of a movie, or during sports.  It is highly recommended to not sit next to Ray during these times, as it is highly likely that her flailing arms might make contact.  Pillow armor is suggested.

Rule 213:  If in debate about what to wear on a date night Рalways err to the side of showing too much boob.  LOL.

Rule 349: Must always follow something sweet with something savory/salty when snacking.

It must be noted however on Ray’s Rule 349. ¬†I don’t agree. ¬†I personally prefer to end on the sweet. ¬†ūüôā

Have a good day everyone!  Much love to ya!

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When you’re given a rare and unusual gift…

I have what feels like a million thoughts flying through my head at the same time, so please forgive me if this post is a little scattered. ¬†I’ll do my best to control myself, but the way I write is to literally let words fall out of my head. ¬†I can type easily 150 words per minute, more when I’m angry or particularly passionate, so it’s easier to keep up with the thoughts that fly through.

I’ve been given a strange gift. ¬†I’m choosing to look at it this way, at least for now. ¬†ūüôā

About two weeks before xmas, I invited my children’s nanny to rent the spare room from my basement. ¬†She was in an odd situation and the room was just empty and sitting there, so I offered it to her and her daughter. ¬†It’s been fun to have a two year old in the house again, although holy cow did I forget how much child-proofing a place needs!! ¬†We’ve loved having her here, although of course, moving someone into your home takes a bit of adjustment. ¬†There are certainly things that I’m sure we drive each other nuts on, and that’s to be expected. ¬†Thankfully, things seem to be fairly smooth.

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She’s an interesting girl. ¬†Very different from myself, but not in a bad way or anything. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and her daughter more. ¬†And being that we’re both single mom’s, we do share some things in common. ¬†One of those, being an interest in men. ¬†The topic comes up often. ¬†Her approach is VERY different from my own. ¬†Again – not bad… not wrong… just different. ¬†It reminds me of how I acted in relationships when I was younger, before my own life experiences led me to become a different person with a completely different approach to people. ¬†And here’s where we get to the gift…

I’m getting to witness (from an outside perspective) – ME… when I was younger. ¬† The mistakes I would make, the insecurities I felt, the highs and lows of over-dramatic relationships. ¬†HOLY CRAP! ¬†Looking back now… hoo boy! ¬†I’m suddenly very thankful that people mellow a bit with age. ¬†At least I have. ¬†I may have struggling levels of confidence in my physical appearance, but my confidence in who I am at my core is stronger than it’s ever been.

This girl has commented a few times that she’s looking at me as a mentor. ¬†She thinks I’m strong and never get discouraged. ¬†I laughed when she said that. ¬†I get discouraged. ¬†Hell – when I’m really let down, I’ll even hide under the covers and have a good cry when I need to. ¬†But I don’t quit. ¬†Not if something is really worth it. ¬†But to me – what other choice do you have?

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So this past week, she started seeing someone new. ¬†I won’t go into too much details, but let’s just say that there’s been some drama – and what surprises me, is that instead of having that drama be a red or yellow flag to caution her to move forward… she’s fangirling like a clingy, love-obsessed, crazy-ass, future-tripping¬†girl. ¬†It’s been quite shocking to see someone who is my age go through this. ¬†Eye-opening really. ¬†And I can’t quite pin-point if I’m happy to have my eyes opened or not. ¬†At one point, in my life, I acted like that. ¬†And now, even just thinking of acting like that would be … embarrassing. ¬†I mean, I get it… new love is exciting! ¬†It’s the clingy and the crazy that I don’t agree with, and future tripping, I try to avoid, as it usually leads to disappointment.

On the bright side, I can clearly see how far I’ve come. ¬†I can also clearly see something I don’t and wouldn’t want. ¬†I have this desire to build something healthy with someone. ¬†Something real and long-lasting. ¬†I know that the person for me is out there, and I oddly have this strange comfort in knowing that eventually – we’ll find each other. ¬†I will just keep moving along!

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On a completely unrelated topic… my side business … hoo boy! ¬†Things are moving along so quickly – it’s almost hard to keep up. ¬†The retail space that was supposed to be a test store for only 2 weeks is still going – they asked us to just keep it up permanently. ¬†We’ve got an offer to join amazon and sell there; and I’ve got an opportunity to take on a booth at an event that’s coming up. ¬†Technically there are a few coming up – but I’m considering signing on for February 9th – see if I can’t get any valentine’s sales. ¬†The trouble is… I can’t seem to keep the stock on-hand. ¬†I know – it’s a good problem to have, but at the same time, it’s frustrating. ¬†I don’t want to take too much on at once and then fail. ¬†I wanted to build this business slowly, to ensure that it would do well, but it’s taken on a mind of it’s own in some cases and is just plowing ahead! ūüôā I have a feeling I’ll have to hire at some point in the coming year. ¬†Oy! ¬†ūüôā

Hope you’re doing well!! Much love to all of you in Neverland.

 

December is finally here!

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Holy crap man! ¬†This year, both, flew by and crawled at the same time. ¬†But it’s now officially December. ¬†On friday, we’ll put up our Christmas tree. ¬†It’s a bit late for me this year, but oh well. ¬†We do what we can. ¬†I’m lacking in motivation to actually work today, I’d much rather be at home working on my side business. ¬†Things are going well on that front – after this weekend, I’ll be ready to do a soft launch. ¬†Going to have my products in one store front before the christmas season ends just to see how it goes. ¬†Will give me the chance to change and tweak things a bit before officially launching next year. ¬†Until then, I’m continuing to build up my stock and test my product to ensure everything is working beautifully.

I’m looking forward to Christmas this year. ¬†I can’t wait to decorate the house. ¬†I can’t believe that as of March 17th, I’ll have been in the house for a full year. ¬†And hoo boy – what a year it’s been. ¬†I hugged my daughter extra last night, reminding her that I love her and am proud of her for the efforts she’s put in to change some things. ¬†She’s on a better path these days – and it’s a relief. ¬†But it’s also a lesson learned – I now know how quickly things can change, how easy it is to get off course. ¬†I will continue to keep a wary watch over her – to ensure she stays on track. ¬†Her depression really snuck up on us all – and I won’t let it blindside us again.

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Yesterday I discovered that I’d been submitted for a job opening for a company I’ve been trying to get into for quite some time – the real bonus on the opening – it’s about 10 minutes from my house. ¬†I have my fingers crossed, as I’m quickly discovering that I’m not enjoying the commute to my existing job, among other things. ¬†I’d be a director again too – which would be nice. ¬†The job I’m at right now, this is the first time in 7 years that I’m not a manager – and I don’t mind at all – but my new manager keeps having me do work FOR him and it’s starting to get a bit awkward. ¬†It’s not my place to set the course for the team – it’s his, and I’m a bit leery¬†to keep putting myself in a position to step on his toes.

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Ben’s anniversary came and went, and I’m doing ok. ¬†Thanks to some friends, I wasn’t completely alone on Monday and it helped. ¬†I’ve definitely been a bit quiet this week tho.

I had no choice but to stick up for myself yesterday with my mom. ¬†I didn’t want to start a fight so close to christmas, but I’m finding that my tolerance of her negative energy is getting to be less and less. ¬†I made a request of her. ¬†All I asked was that I be treated with common courtesies and decency – just as you would with any person you interact with on a regular basis. ¬†My request was not met well at first, but once my step dad finally stopped trying to talk over me and listened to my request – I think he understood. ¬†Hopefully, he can help me navigate around my mom. ¬†I love her, hell – I love our family – but I’ve always felt like I don’t matter to them. ¬†Unless I’m not doing what they want me to – then it’s world war 3. ¬†LOL. ¬†Thankfully, I managed to simmer them down just enough to avoid utter catastrophe. ¬†I’m not entirely pleased with the outcome – I always feel like compromising is one sided for me – but at least the war was avoided.

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Well – I better get to work. ¬†Thinking of you Neverland. ¬†Wish we could somehow hang out and play hookie today! ūüėÄ ¬†Talk soon!

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