Tagged: Back in the Game

Hello World: Another Upgrade, Another Corner Turned

Everytime I take an inadvertent Blog Hiatus, I feel the need to make changes when I return.

 

This is probably the biggest change that I have made thus far.

 

Dragging my blog out of the shadows of the blogosphere and into the broad daylight of networked blogs attaching it to my Facebook page, which is basically like stapling my drivers License to the cover page.

 

I have been blogging for almost ten years….over ten years now.

 

*Pauses*

 

I have been blogging off and on since I had one YOUNG son.

 

Now I have one son staring puberty in the face, one son contemplating life with two digits in his age, and third son with the Potty looming in his future.

 

When I Started blogging the world was fundamentally different than it is now.

When I Started blogging some things that I saw, felt and believed  are no longer things that I see, feel and believe.

When I Started Blogging I was Grasping with the age of 30, with no thought of what 40 would feel like.  Today I am 41 and feverishly preparing for 50.

 

It has been a ride.  A ride I have largely shared with strangers.

 

With a few clicks, I have exposed myself to relatives, Coworkers, Classmates, and even my Mother.

 

I never thought I would be here.  But here I am.

 

Out here for the world to see.

 

Naked and unashamed.

 

Metaphorically speaking…because my Momma is watching.

Back in the Game: Beware of the Outlier

I was contemplating taking a happyhappyjoyjoy turn today and my man, Tyrone Mitchell, ruined it with this gem here:

Are you in love with me, or the idea of me?”

Somewhere, an ex of mine rolls her Eyes.

One of the things I realized as I grew into knowledge of myself after my first divorce was that I am not wired as the “typical” man is.

Oh, don’t get it twisted, a cursory glance will find the typical heterosexual male trappings –

  • a penchant for appreciating the female frame
  • affinity for following games played by other men as though they are life and death
  • a tendency towards laziness in regards to housework and indifference to the nuances of Interior Design

But if you hang around me long enough, it will occur to you that I don’t follow the traditional arc of mannish behavior.

I’ll spare you the details, as my blog isn’t a living breathing personal ad. (I see some of y’all) Just trust me on this. Or ask a friend of mine, one of the many female friends, or one of the few male friends I have…most of who are in a similar state.

Once I realized that I was different, I had to come to grips with the fact that I was always going to be different and that I needed to find a woman who would love me for me.

What I discovered, often WAYYY too late, is that I found women who loved the idea of me, but found the reality of loving me to be rather ponderous and counter-intuitive. Or frankly, too much damn hassle.

The problem with dating one of THOSE dudes, which is short hand for men who shrug off some of the effects male privilege and be…actual human beings who feel emotions and actually express them rather than slathering machismo all over those emotions in an effort to deny their existence… is that all those coping mechanisms you learned navigating the maze of Y chromosomes tend to be rather useless.

Playing the Food, Sex, and silence trump card will usually create an entirely different argument. And for GOD’s sake, please don’t ascribe a man’s immunity to The FSS card to some kind of diminished Masculinity. Ain’t really no coming back from that.

Sorry, always get a bit personal when I wander into that rabbit hole. *pauses and breathes…finds his Center…resumes*

When you live an existence outside what people assume, you tend to attract folks looking for a change of pace.

“Tired of typical dudes? Find you one of those Sensitive cats”

“You need to leave those stuck-up professional women alone and find you one of those Good hearted normal sistas”

(Yes these are actual quotes. You would be amazed what you can overhear dropping off a fried shrimp platter)

That Change of pace is needed and necessary. It can also be VERY misleading.

Let’s be honest, relationships tend to be very instinctive. You do what comes natural; what makes you comfortable.

If you have invested a significant amount of time in adjusting to the typical battle between men and women, you have a tendency to sink into that mode as a default setting. Encountering someone who flies in the face of such behavior can be rather off-putting and unsettling. At That point, you have a choice to make:

Learn how to walk all over again…or walk.

This post should serve as a cautionary tale for all people getting back into the game, particularly those who are exiting long term relationships or a series of men/women cut from the same cloth and created macros and shortcuts for handling conflict.

It’s a Whole New World, out there Folks. Be careful what you are wishing for when you rub the magic lamp.

Word to Iago.

Back in the Game: Don’t Fix Your relationship, Fix YOU

In yesterday’s thrilling episode post, we briefly touched on the importance of writing your personal owner’s manual.

Before getting all into that, I feel like I should back up a bit.

There is a point in every person’s life where they have to really laser in on their priorities and decide what exactly is important in their life.

This SOUNDS simple. Alas, it almost never is. My sense is that if it really was simple, then people wouldn’t continually trip up on this step.

Those of you children at home tend to have built in advantages when it comes to prioritizing, although many of you, bless your hearts over-indulge and create altars to your children at the expense of yourselves.

Those of us with children who do not live with us tend to create space for everything in their life EXCEPT their children. Something about the inevitable calling of Maaamaaa! Or DaaaDDyyy! From insistent little voices always seems to bump them up list.

But this isn’t THAT blog post. This is about YOU…or in my case, Me.

Among my critical failings is a tendency to get bogged down in details and minutiae. I will be working on a blog post/Paper/random assignment and I will get so caught up in trying to perfect a small detail that the overall project will tend to lag behind. But damn if the crown molding on the stairwell isn’t pristine and magnificent. Sorry about being 14 work days behind schedule, though.

The yearning to be with someone…to replace that which has been lost will push you to an obsessive focus on relationships and the role that those relationships play in your life.

But, Wait…

What if you’re missing the forest for the proverbial trees?

What if this new found obsession over who’s zooming and rooming with whom is coming at the detriment of YOU?

What if it wasn’t the relationship, it wasn’t HER/HIM, it wasn’t even YOU (in the context of that relationship?) but it was…YOU (in the context of EVERYTHING ELSE)

Let’s keep it real, shall we? Okay, maybe you’re not ready for that. So I will press on without you.

When I look back on my marriages (yes, plural) I realize that much of what made me difficult to love was never about me not being a good mate. For the most part, I was a pretty fabulous mate.

What failed me was what failed me in life. THOSE things led to me failing as a mate.

I have been accused of having some quit in me. This isn’t entirely false. This isn’t the whole story either.

Let us say you are on an assembly line and you’re supposed to screw in the bottom screws with a flat-tip screwdriver.

Thing is, you have two broken wrists and a Phillips Head screwdriver.

It isn’t an issue of commitment or work ethic that inhibits your production. You need the right tools and time to heal.

If you quit that job and go looking for another job with the same requirements without fixing the clear impediments to your goal, what are you REALLY accomplishing?

Basically, what today is about is a reinforcement of yesterday’s underlying point.

I’ll put my dollars to your donuts that if you are divorced, separated, de-booed sans legal impediments or even just plain singular and you are working HARD on a relationship that seems to be causing your more pain than pleasure (and not the kind of pain you like) then your focus is off a bit. Isolate what is wrong and address it.

Then watch the things that it was negatively impacting magically (but not so magically) improve.

Back in the Game: Avoiding Addiction in New Relationships

As the Calendar turns from One blatantly Commercial Holiday (Super Bowl Sunday) to another (Valentine’s Day), I find myself pondering what place love has in my life.  I have always had a particularly insightful POV on love, as I have been working in the restaurant business for the vast majority of the past twenty-two years.   I can tell Blind dates from silver anniversary dates from Dontbotheruswejustheretotalkcauseourspousesareontousandwereplottinganexitstrategybeforeslobbingeachotherdownintherestaurantparkinglot. dates within the first 20 minutes.

I’ve seen:

Love at first sight

Lust at first Sight

And by far, the most entertaining for the spectator and most confounding for the participants:

Luck at first Sight (this is when someone who would be COMPLETELY disregarded is the beneficiary of a completely random course of events)

The tragedy is that all that I saw and learned during this 22 year lab didn’t help me in the least.

As I find myself moving towards new beginnings in my own life, my mind turns toward the magic of the early days of relationships.  Over the next few days I will behold a larger number of relationships than usual as Valentine’s Day on a weekend tends to spread out the VD celebrations.  The newest relationships are always the most intriguing to watch.

It’s all so…new.

It’s all so fresh.

It feels.so.Good.

But…Is it healthy?

Stop. Pause. Wait.

Sit still and Look CAREFULLY at the situation that you find yourself in.  Is it REALLY healthy for you?  Are you edified by your relationship? Is your partner edified by your relationship?  Have you even contemplated if this relationship is healthy for THEM?  Do.You.Care?  Would you leave if it wasn’t?

Yeah. Contemplate those and come back.

My own experience has been that people, particularly those still healing from the ends of previous relationships can find themselves so anxious to reconnect that they inject themselves into circumstances that are less about the other party and more about the feeling that comes upon them when they are with that person.

If you said “hey, that sounds like chasing a high”, kindly pull out your smart phone and play Bejewelled Birds, your work here is done. Your fellow readers are catching up. Please sit still and wait for the class to catch up.  Thanks.

The hardest thing for me as a divorcee has been separating actual love from those feelings that feel like love, but actually are just “highs”.

Oh, now you don’t know what I’m talking about?

YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.

  • Those faux trembles when you don’t hear from them.
  • That rush you feel when they come back, even though you were pissed at them literally SECONDS ago
  • Doing things you swore you would NEVER do because of how they made you feel with other folks but you do anyway in an effort to chase the feeling.

It is a dicey proposition, avoiding this kind of behavior when the nights get cold…and long…and solitary.

Hell, it’s a dicey proposition when the nights are warm, short, and Full of warm bodies (the same one over and over or a different one…same deal)

Those of you playing Angry Tetris or texting Brett Favre Pictures of your Junk Drawers can rejoin this blog post already in progress.

The obvious question is: How do you know?

Me, Myself, Personally?

My advice is to get some YOU time in. Understand yourself.  Learn what really makes you tick.  It is worth noting that the same behavior that people engage in the mundane parts of their life takes over in their relationships.  People are out here pressing buttons on their new smartphone to see what happens, learning through trial and error.

That’s cool and the gang, for your smart phone.

Learn yourself.  Read the owner’s manual.

You know, the owner’s manual.  Your owner’s manual is the guide to your physical, mental, and emotional self.

Oh…you don’t have one of those?  Then you need to get off Twittermatchfacebookplanetzoosk.com and get to writing it.  You’re wasting everyone’s time here.

Seriously. Get. On. It.

You’re playing with fire out here.  You can’t run to the SprintVerizonAT&T-mobileBoost store for help when you press buttons in your life in a funky sequence and you brick your life.