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Evaluation

September 7, 2016

If you’re like me, you’ve gone through several hundreds of year end/mid year reviews at work. You’re always evaluated on you effectiveness, efficiencies and productivity. For well-roundedness, there’s also a look at what have you done well over the last year, improved on or  newly learned.

Well, it’s time to evaluate the effectiveness of blogging. What am I trying to achieve and its it affecting the change I want? Six years, 544 posts and thousands of views later – what has it all meant?

I documented the embarrassingly stereotypical behavior of falling in love with a married man. I opened myself up to the idea of love. Tried to become healthy, both physically and emotionally. I’ve run the figurative and literal treadmill in life, and while there’s miles on the counter, I’m not further than when I started.

My mind is still all too consumed with finding a mate who would fight for me, stand by me and desire me. Even though my mind is working overtime to convince my heart it’s possible to find, the reality is it isn’t in the cards for me.

My new mantra is: peace, contentment, acceptance. I breath it and breath it out. My temporary normal is my new normal. What I hoped would be a phase of life is my life.

So I delete all the nonsense that’s filled these pages. The ridiculous accounts at attempted change and unfounded hope for something more. I find great cathartic release in trashing every attempt to force the universe to validate my existence.

I can say with certainty I’m nowhere close to being where I wanted to be, but have decided the map I was following was dangerous. It wasn’t my map. I stole someone else’s directions and tried to make them mine. I followed the laberynth thinking it would finally bring me love. That’s not my destination. At least not to find love of another person. My destination is one of self discovery and self reliance. They don’t print many of those maps. I’ve had to carve my own path and tear through the jungle of mass messages telling me I was wrong and deformed to be alone.

Alone I am though. And I have to continue to practice peace, contentment and acceptance. I’m too tired to keep up the fight. I’m exhausted asking for something which will never be. Peace. Contentment. Acceptance. That’s all that needs to be.

Are you happy?

August 29, 2016

A simple question really. One simply has to take a quick look at themselves and answer – are you happy or unhappy. For me, because I over analyze every aspect of my life, it’s not an easy question to answer.

These last few months at work have been stressful and less than fulfilling for a number of reasons. I joined POF again because I’m either an eternal optimist it a glutton for punishment. After several conversations with the wrong people , I updated my profile to clarify my political and religious leanings and addressed some specific things I was looking for in a mate. I haven’t heard from anyone since. I guess the combination of my personality and my physical appearance has bumped me out of the dating pool. And I had a conversation with my doctor last week that left me angry.

I’m still feeling a bit superficial in my interactions with co-workers and people in general. So many things are demanding my time and attention I don’t feel rejuvenated even after time off work. I’m running on empty.

It hit a breaking pint today where I wanted to run away. I want to get in my car and turn off the phone and be me – whatever that means. Luckily good friends were available to spend time with enjoying company and laughing. No one needed anything  from me. I could breath deeply, smile, listen and disengage in the crazy pieces of my life.

I am successfully adulting. I’m managing a hectic schedule and slowly moving towards more success. My kids seem happy and are figuring out life. My oldest seems calmer than she has in years. I’m a good friend and a good employee. I’ve got hobbies which make me feel rewarded and humor which breaks up monototy.

I guess if I had to take a hardline approach to answering the question, I’d say yes I am happy. I want more out of life and I need to put specific goals in place to achieve them, so maybe Im best described as unsatisfied. I’ll take that. It drives me to more as long as I keep it in perspective. Perhaps it’s best to find a sunny spot on the grass, close my eyes and breath in the fresh air and practice acceptance.

Rootless

July 29, 2016

Lately I’ve been feeling superficial, even more than usual. I don’t feel I have deep roots in any part of my life. Longevity, sure. Purpose and/or value no.

Shifts in life always makes one evaluate where they stand and what they mean in the bigger picture. And having my oldest move into adulthood had triggered this feeling somewhat. It seems more widespread than an empty nest syndrome. I’m giving myself in various areas – work, family, friends,community, but I’m not feeling fulfilled or meaningful.

Recently, I spent several days with folks who seemed to have deeper roots in the world. They were in committed relationships and involved with bigger projects that impacted more than themselves. Of course, it’s all just what I can observe from the conversations we had. Who knows, maybe they feel as directionless as I do.

I am stuck feeling envious of others. I want to take a sabbatical, I just don’t know where or to do what. I’m so far out of touch I can’t even figure out what my soul is yearning for. This is a new place for me to be so far from center that I’m scared of being swolled up by the loss. I need a sense of purpose. To be important to someone. To be valued – not for what I give, but for who I am. Perhaps I’m feeling too much like dust in the wind.

It’s only the rain

March 2, 2015

It’s only the rain. The drops of water on the sidewalk which evaporate with the sun. The droplets which wet your jacket and drip upon your shoes. There could be a deluge of water, wind, thunder and lightening, but still it’s only the rain. No matter how hard it blusters. No matter if an umbrella is needed to protect against the increasing splash. It’s still only the rain.

You may want to scream at the sky, “stop your howling air!” Or yell at the clouds to move past your house. But it’s only the rain. The force with which you fight this rage upon you only takes your energy. The rain washes over you leaving you feelin cold and violated, but there’s nothing more than wetness upon your face. Temporary. 

This accumulated water will not tear apart the sidewalk. It won’t destroy the earth you walk upon. It cannot take down buildings and take down structure because it’s only the rain. Once the sky tantrum has yielded, the view is washed clean. Better than before. No haze. No gloominess. It’s brighter and easier to navigate because it’s only the rain that’s briefly moved through. A spec on the timeline of life. 

I’ve spent a lot of time here complaining of my situation. Wrapped up thinking I’d be in this place forever. Not truly understanding that thing move and change. Life is dynamic. 

I was told today that I would be lonely all of my life because there’s no one who would put up with my horridness. And I laughed. I laughed at how ridiculous it was that someone else could determine my fate and my happiness. A slap in my face by my friend reality. 

I laughed because the mere words, coming from someone else, forced me to see things for what they really are. Temporary. These moments of insecurity are like the raindrops clearing the way for me to see a better tomorrow. Life is good. I’m buying an umbrella and sitting in the rainsoaked garden.

Anatomy of an affair Pt. 9

March 25, 2014

We’ve talked about when it’s time to end an affair, things you might feel while you’re in an affair, and ways to manage yourself throughout an affair. I guess the next logical look is how to come to terms with the end and move on from an affair.

You already know the end of an affair is the same as the end of any sort of intimate relationship. For what ever time you and your lover were together, you were intimate and at times the intimacy you shared was beyond any physical touch.  The transition from intimacy to not can be long. Here’s what I learned along the way.

Perspective. This I by far the hardest thing to keep at the end of a relationship. Your dreams are broken along with your heart. The future you had once hoped for is not to be. So now what? How do you look back while moving forward?

It easy to be angry. And in that anger it’s easy to throw away both the good and bad in an effort to make a break. There’s no reason it can’t have been good once, but not good now. People change. Circumstances change. It’s ok.

I believe people are brought into your life for a reason and they leave for a reason as well. I also believe the ones who are meant to stay will find a way to stay. If you’ve found yourself at the end of an affair and are alone at this juncture, then there’s a reason you just don’t see it yet. Put don’t the paintbrush and try not to paint the past with broad brush strokes.

Don’t romanticize the past and live only in those high moments. Don’t doom the past and see only the places it went wrong. Somewhere in between is the truth. Take the time to get perspective and live in the truth. Learn from what you’ve experienced and grow into a better person for those experiences.

Whatever you do, DON’T expose the affair. I only bring it up because it seems like a very common reaction when affairs end. I could never hurt another person by telling about my affair. In the end it doesn’t make you feel any better and it hurts innocent people. It will never change the heart of your former lover either. No good can come from acting out of hate.

Yes you’ll want to feel the other person knows what they have lost. Yes you’ll want the satisfaction of knowing they hurt too. These are all normal feelings. But, like a good bottle of wine is full of empty calories, these feelings do nothing to help you keep perspective. They hold you down. Your ego is begging for validation and wanting to soothe the rawness of your heart. It’s your ego which begs for your anger to be justified. Fight your ego.

Love yourself, respect the other person, and take a deep breath. Eventually the tears will stop. Eventually you’ll understand the whys. No I take that back. You may never understand the whys, but eventually you’ll stop asking because it’s just worth asking anymore.

You’ll survive and overcome to find acceptance of your loss. Until then, keep perspecive.

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Anatomy of an affair Pt. 8 – If the Lyrics Fit

January 12, 2014

As most of you know, my life could be a musical made up of love songs. While listening to the radio this morning, I came to realize there’s quite a few that can tell the story of the passion and strain of an affair.

You start off with passion. Sexual arousal fills the air and all you want is to rip each other’s clothes off. You can’t keep your hand’s off each other and hardly stay dressed if left in the same room for more than five minutes.

Once in a long-term affair, you find yourself connecting on so many levels. You know you’re unbalanced, but being with him/her makes you feel safe and secure. Walking the delicate line between immersing yourself in his soul and knowing he’ll never be all yours.

You find yourself with uncontrollable desire for your lover. You’re checking your email and phone constantly wondering if he’s trying to reach you. You’ll take whatever risks to see him. The thought of him drives you wild. You wish you could shout it to the mountain tops the thrill and excitement you feel.

Passion fills your days. You can’t get enough of each other and you begin to believe you own the world.

That time in the relationship you know you’re only a mistress and lover, but you don’t want the affair to end. You bargain with yourself. With him. Hoping you can fool yourself into believing there’s so much more than this physical touch

Then there comes a time when you realize no matter how fantastic the sex, you want something more. Something deeper. More permanent. You understand the love you have for your lover, it can’t fill you the way you want.

Alas, you find yourself at the end of the rollercoaster love you shared.

What’s on your affair playlist? I’m sure I’ve missed a stage along the way. It’s funny how I’ll hear a song and think of what was, then hear another and think what could have been. All I know is they are good memories. Ones I wouldn’t give up.

Anatomy of an affair Pt. 7

December 19, 2013

Insecurities run rampant in a long-term affair. While they paly in the same sandbox as jealousy, they are indeed an issue unto themselves. I contend jealousy has to do with outside forces such as wives, children, work, vacations while insecurities feed off self-doubt. At times jealousy and insecurity are tangent, other times they’re distinctly different.

I remember how often I was jealous of Steve’s time with his other obligations in life. How often I wished I didn’t have to fall off his priority list. How I wished I wasn’t so easily forgotten while he tended to his real life. The green monster lived just below the surface of my skin.

Reflecting back on the affair recently, I came to understand how my self-doubts also played into my loneliness. Steve had had previous affairs before me and I found myself wondering what those women were like. Maybe some of you can relate. At times I wondered if he missed things about those other women – were they younger, were they prettier, were they more adventurous, were they thinner? When I look in the mirror and see all the flaws which keep me from having the elusive love I desire, I can point to all the things he could get from another woman.

Time apart made those insecurities grow. Illogical thinking takes over and conclusions jumped to faster than Irish dancers clogging there way to Carnige Hall. Of course he doesn’t want to spend time with you, have you seen those wrinkles? Why would he want to be in bed with you, those breasts sure aren’t perky. On and on my mind would validate my self-hatred – finding such nit picky flaws I’d be exhausted.

Between the loneliness, the insecurity, and the self-doubt, I’d convince myself that Steve was indeed seeking out the new, better version of an affair. In my gut, I knew that wasn’t who he was, but those moments of weakness I would believe the voices inside my head.

In order to make a long-term affair work, you will need to be conscious of where your mind wonders. Validate the thoughts that creep up. Question the motivations for the doubt. You will have to fight to keep the perspective in place or you’ll quickly drive yourself crazy.

An affair is a combination of lies you tell yourself, you tell each other, and you tell the world. It’s a thin veil that can easily break when the acidic brain patterns get thumping too loud. Be cautious. Not only of the misconceptions you create in a mental playground, but of the lies which perpetuate the affair. The balance is delicate!

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