Tagged: Self-Help

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.