Advice for Men · Advice for Women · Andshelaughs · andshelaughs writing · columns Dating Advice · Comedy · dating · Dating Advice · Dating Advice for Men · Dating Advice for Women · Dating Advive · Dating Love · Dating Over 40 · Falling In Love · Humor · Life · Life Lessons · Love · Love Letters · Love Poetry · Love Songs · Lovers · Mature Dating · Meaning of Life · Men's Health · Men's Issues · Men's Sexuality · Mens' Issues · on-line dating · Romance Dating · Uncategorized · women · Women's Issues

Afraid of Being Happy: No, Just Tired of Explaining

vintage-love1I’m in a hotel room sipping vino, sitting in, what I must admit is the most comfortable office chair I’ve felt on my tushie in a very, very long time.

Tonight it was brought to my attention that I have mentioned a ‘someone special’ in these posts, but not enough to call him to your attention as a character in my book.

Ah yes, I confess, there is a man on the scene.

I don’t write about him because first of all, I think he reads these posts from time to time, and secondly, I’m kind of tired of explaining the ups and downs of my love life. Correction: what some people consider to be my love life.

Frankly, I’m tired of explaining darlings. T.I.R.E.D. Your idea of a love life and my idea of a love life are likely worlds apart. Men have, for the most part, been recreation for me. Curiosities of a sort to be examined, and put back without having damaged anything. Fascinating and lovely in their own unique way, there are few that I wished to have taken home. Kinda like lamps. Because really, who needs a bunch of funky lamps in the house? I would not call this my ‘love life’.

Anyway, I do have a lovely man in my life, and I mostly don’t write about him because I like him. I don’t want to jinx anything, and I don’t want anything about his being to be trivialized. I save the juicy bits for face-to-face-girl-talk. Mostly though, I don’t want to jinx anything and then have to explain why he’s an asshole. It’s just not a pretty thing to have to do.

However, given that I was asked by a friend ( and follower of Andshelaughs) about this mysterious man o’mine, I shall give you a list of some of the reasons he is a lover, not a curiosity.

  1. He’s cute. Yah, I know, it sounds really shallow, but I do genuinely think he’s adorable. I look into his eyes and my icy heart melts just a tiny bit.
  2. He tries. Mostly he’s emotionally oblivious, but he tries. In his own way, and in his own time, and I respect that. A lot.
  3. He’s passed the curriculum of adequate love making and is being considered for the advanced class.
  4. He does the dishes. Not kidding. This is huge. Any housework gets a bonus smack on the ass or two, and if he keeps going, he’ll be in for a full paddling. Perhaps I should introduce him to the vacuum and dust rag. Now that makes me hot!
  5. He gets me moving. When I feel worn right out, I like his company enough that I make the effort to go for a walk, or do whatever it is he thinks he needs to be doing.
  6. He’s not a romantic (which entirely sucks for a head-in-the-clouds-wish-I-may-wish-I-might kind of gal), but he consistently communicates. I’ll take that any day over an MIA flower sender.
  7. He eats my cooking and doesn’t complain. Ever. Need I say more?
  8. He’s touchy-feely and snuggly. Sometimes he needs some coaching, but he’s coming along quite nicely. Don’t tell his buddies, but I think he may be headed for  national-cuddle champion recognition.
  9. Although he watches CNN, he is capable of a conversation about current events and philosophy without sounding like a Warner Brothers stuttering pig. Politics however, now that’s another story…
  10. He drives all over hell’s-half-urban-acre of traffic to see me all the time…and he hates driving.

So my darlings, there you have a small snapshot of why I may not write about someone who is pretty special to me. You are also likely thinking that he’s one hell of a lucky guy to be keeping the company of a stunning, free-thinking bucket of devoted lust like me.

Simply put; He is.

 

Advertisements
Advice for Men · Advice for Women · Argument · columns Dating Advice · Columns Relationship Advice · dating · Dating Advice · Dating Advice for Men · Dating Advice for Women · Dating Advive · Dating Love · Dating Over 40 · Entertainment · Falling In Love · Girl Stuff · Guy Stuff · Love · Love Letters · Love Poetry · Love Songs · Lovers · Mature Dating · Men's Health · Men's Issues · Men's Sexuality · Mens' Issues · Mental Health · on-line dating · Personal Development · Relationship Advice · Relationships · Romance Dating · Social Commentary · Uncategorized · women · Women's Issues · Women's Rights · Working Women

I’m Sorry I Was An @Hole

200292204-001

“I’m sorry I was an asshole. I love you and don’t know what I’d do without you.”

That’s what a friend of mine told me he wanted to say to his wife today after being a colossal douche during the weekend. He also spun his wedding ring around on his finger and said that when he got home (late), he noticed that his wife had placed her wedding rings on the counter.

She’d never taken them off before.

“Did you tell her that?” I asked.

“No.”

“You need to dial a florist, send her a beautifully girly bouquet, and write exactly that on the card.”

“That’s so cliché.”

“How the hell is she supposed to know if you don’t communicate to her?” And because I know his wife, I also suggested that if she walked out on his dumb-ass, I wouldn’t blame her.

“True. You mean I should really write that, I’m sorry I was an asshole on the card?”

“Yes, and that you love her and don’t know what you’d do with out her. Because it’s true right?”

“Yah, it is. I do love her. What the hell was I thinking? She’s a great woman, and I don’t want to lose her.”

Off he went to send the flowers, which should have been delivered a few hours ago if all went according to plan, and the florist didn’t misspell asshole. Tomorrow I hope he comes in all smiles and thanks me for kicking his butt into high gear.

This man was not going to send flowers because he thought it was cliché, tacky, and overdone. Let me reassure you gentlemen, romance can never be over-done. Never. No woman will ever not swoon if there are flowers, jewellery, sweet letters of love, or any other grand romantic gestures.

Life is short and precious, and when it comes to truly-madly-deeply-relationships, we can never say, ‘I love you’ or ‘I appreciate you’ or ‘I want to ravish your naked body’ too much.

It’s one thing to be comfortable with one another. It’s another thing completely to take one another for granted or treat one another with anything but respect. You are each other’s rock. Don’t let the rings come off, or the relationship disintegrate into two people lonely together.

A suggestion for you darlings: 10000 Ways to Say I Love You by Gregory P. Godek. If you suffer from Lackofromanceinyourpants Syndrome, you need to buy this and use it.

Send the flowers. Write the note. Leave a trail of rose petals. Buy the lingerie. Hold hands and kiss passionately in public. Be gloriously in love.

dating · Dating Advice · Dating Advice for Men · Dating Advice for Women · Dating Advive · Dating Over 40 · Life · Life Lessons · Mature Dating · Meaning of Life · Relationship Advice · Relationships · Romance Dating · Uncategorized

Swing Your Partner ‘Round & ‘Round

square dancingI used to think the term partner was kind of dorky. It was a pretentious term that made me want to gag. Kind of like when someone said, ‘making love’. What the hell?!

Partnership and making love seem to have gotten a lot more sexy as I’ve gotten a lot more mature.

The older we get, the more important it is to connect with someone who understands the values you were raised with and where you come from.

I recently connected with a school chum who has known me since I was a pre-teen. We spent some time talking and  shared a male/female perspective on life, work, and partnership.

Ah, yes. Partnership. The great connection we all seek which satiates the need to have someone witness our lives. Time unravels more quickly as we get closer to the end, and having someone to partner with begins to mean more and more.

Having a partner means having someone to stand as our witness in this world and say,

I see you. I see you for who you are, all you’ve been through and accomplished, and everything you hope to be. I see you.

True partnership is rare. Partnerships involve intertwining two lives to support, uplift and encourage one another. And that comes with the requirement to empathize and love in an active way.  It requires truly caring for someone and putting your kind thoughts and words into action.

You go out the door everyday cheering one another on, and come back together eager to share and plan. If it’s working, both benefit. If it’s not, you feel like you’re not in partnership, but continuing a solo journey through this wild and wonderful blink-of-an-eye that we call life.

True partnership is a dance of communication, support and joyfully participating in not only the exciting, but the mundane aspects of one another’s life.  Ah yes, the mundane. That unsexy, but major part of our time spent here on earth.

Our culture honours the individual and  often people dismiss commitment, thinking that relationship growth will come without effort or deliberate attention. Good luck with that.

Partnerships are living relationships. Nurturing a culture of neglect within a relationship is a bad thing. You know what happens when you neglect living things? They die.

People want partnership but they aren’t willing to do the work. They aren’t willing to communicate, prioritize time and sadly, many people lack empathy. We swing our relationships in stomach-churning circles, instead of lovingly holding them with care and giving them the elements they need to survive.

Tonight it was nice to connect with someone who really understands what it means to be in partnership.

It was nice to know that my values and my heart are not alone in this world, and that someone, somewhere remembers who we were.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advice for Men · Advice for Women · Art of LIving · columns Dating Advice · Creative Life · dating · Dating Advice · Dating Advice for Men · Dating Advice for Women · Dating Advive · Dating Over 40 · Fearless Living · Graceful Living · Gracious Living · Guy Stuff · Healthy Living · Joyful Living · Life · Life Lessons · Living · Mature Dating · Men's Health · Men's Issues · Men's Sexuality · Mens' Issues · Mental Health · Mindful Living · on-line dating · Personal Development · Romance Dating · Simple Living · Social Commentary · Spiritual Living · The Art of Living · Uncategorized · Whole Living · women · Women's Issues · Women's Rights

More Chances to Fly & More Places to Fall

vintage-smokingIt seemed like a lifetime ago that I lay awake in the dark, staring at a vast, chasm of nothing, and feeling about the same.  Dr.Hook blared somewhere on a CD,

“I’ve got a couple more years on you babe, that’s all…”

More than likely there were tears involved. Perhaps some contraband vodka, as those were the early days.  This was before I realized that my heart wasn’t broken, I was just being nostalgic.

Ah yes, a couple more years on you babe. I’ve reached an age where it’s not the years, but the experience that makes all the difference, and boy oh boy, do I have experience.

Get your head out of the gutter, I’m not talking about thigh-wrapping-lip-locking-giddy-up-experience. I’m talking about the good stuff; love, loss, overcoming adversity, and enough street-smarts to not really give a hairy rat’s patooty what anyone thinks.

It’s grand darlings, it really is.

Stretched out alone in the darkness as a very young woman, I thought about the love and loss I’d endured from those sinfully delightful men-folk in my life who did, at that time,  have a couple more years on me. Back then I never knew that there would be nostalgia on the other side of youth, or that I would feel like the one who had a couple more years on you babe…that’s all.

It ain’t that I’m wiser, it’s only that I’ve spent more time with my back to the wall

Nostalgia is a quick rose-coloured glasses fix on the past, and not so much the grand master of being in the moment. And that’s all we have darlings. This moment.

But sometimes, in the moment, one must realize that being rooted in personal authenticity, and staying flexible enough to bend with the ever-present winds of change is a balancing act that never ends.

Which means, that someone, somewhere, has always got a couple more, or less years on you babe. That’s all.

 

 

Advice for Women · Aging · Andshelaughs · andshelaughs writing · Anxiety · Anxiety & Depression · Articles · At Issue · Beauty · bloggers · Blogging · Blogs · Breathe In Breathe Out · Breathe In Breathe Out Move On · Buddhist Writers · Canadian Travel · Columns · Columns Relationship Advice · Creative Life · Customer Feedback · Dating Advice · Dating Advice for Men · Dating Advice for Women · Dating Advive · Dating Love · Dating Over 40 · Fashion · Fearless Living · Fearlessness · Feminism · Feminist Culture · Feminists · Fitness Inspiration · Fitness Motivation · Friends · Friendship · Graceful Living · Gracious Living · Happiness · Happiness Project · How-To · ideas · insight · Joy · Joyful Living · Leadership · Lean In · Lean In Girl Stuff · Life · Life Lessons · Living · Meaning of Life · Uncategorized

Beach Life: Bathing Suits for the Rest of Us

Sennett-Bathing-Beauties-1915_thumbI bought a bathing suit today.

Yes, I know it’s the middle of Canadian winter. No, I haven’t booked a sun-holiday…yet.

I’m debating the merits of an Irish romp with my sweetheart, or a solo beach holiday.

Either way I’m taking a two-piece bathing suit with me that would have made my mother convulse.

You see, I was raised by a woman who suffered extremely low self-esteem and did her best to pass that little nugget of twisted psychology on to her youngest daughter. That’s me by the way.

I grew up in a small town and lived at the beach. Winter, spring, summer and fall. Summer was my favourite. There was nothing better than swimming in the lake all day, the smell of malt vinegar on the homemade French fries that they sold at the little snack shack that would sometimes be lifted off it’s foundation and dragged with the tide when the spring water was high.

Somewhere out there is a photograph of me grinning a grin so wild and wonderful, that I have held that image in my mind for all of these years. It’s a moment of bliss I remind myself I’m capable of, even as an adult.

There I was, white caps at my back,  standing naked, proudly holding my bathing suit at arms length. My waist-long, blonde, pig-tails tangled with lake water and sand, just daring someone to try and get that wet, sticky bathing suit back onto my body.

I may not have been skinny enough, pretty enough, or worried enough about what people thought about what I wore every day. But I was wise enough. Typical of anyone who suffered childhood trauma, I was quiet and very observant. I was constantly tuned in to the tiniest nuance of mood, just in case.

At a very young age, I came to realize that no matter how thin, how pretty, or how well-turned out they were, there were a whole lot of unhappy women out there. And that unhappiness was ugly. Like, soul-deep ugly. Their fear of not being good enough came out as anger and jealousy, and missed trips to fun places. It stopped them from smiling. IT stopped them from going to the beach, getting their hair wet, or smudging their mascara. Their insecurity overshadowed everything. They  let their tummies and their thighs hold them back.

You see, before I even reached puberty I had decided that fat would not keep me from enjoying the beach. Or the snow, or going out to eat a delicious meal. Later on in life, I decided that fat would also not keep me from making wild, passionate love to the man I loved. Some crazy idea of being not good enough would not keep me from having fun.

Being an average looking woman would not keep me from savouring all of the wonderful bits of life, and it certainly did not make me less worthy of healthy curiosity and joy. In fact, I think this joie de vivre is one of the qualities that make many of us beautiful.

I will never be solicited for the cover of Vogue, nor will I turn the heads of men because I’m the ideal beauty. But I will turn the heads of like-minded people. These are the people who buy big, bright bathing suits, get their hair wet, and laugh with every inch of their sun-soaked, skin.

Buy the bathing suit, not because it’s going to turn you into a model. Buy it because it’s a tool in your tickle-trunk of living fully.

 

 

Art of LIving · columns Dating Advice · Creative Life · dating · Dating Advice · Dating Advice for Men · Dating Advice for Women · Dating Advive · Dating Love · Dating Over 40 · Falling In Love · Fearless Living · Graceful Living · Gracious Living · Healthy Living · hemingway in love · Joyful Living · Life · Life Lessons · Living · Love · Love Letters · Love Poetry · Love Songs · Lovers · Mature Dating · Meaning of Life · Men's Sexuality · on-line dating · Romance Dating · Sexuality · Spiritual Living · The Art of Living · Uncategorized · Valentine · Valentine's Day · Whole Living

Get it While You Can: Valentine’s Advice for Cynics

tacky undiesIt’s all bullshit.

That’s what you want me to say isn’t it? That the flowers and jewellery and lingerie and night(s) of hot sweaty sex are romantic hypocrisy akin to people who only go to church on Christmas eve.

Well, I’m not going to say it.

No. I’m going to suggest that you suck it up and get it while you can darlings. I’m going to tell you that life is short, and you’d best just damn well lighten up and enjoy it.  I’m going to tell you to quit denying your decadent desire to ooze sensuality.

 

Splurge. Buy the panties or whatever other ridiculously tacky, dirty and would-embarrass-you-to-death-if-anyone-you-knew-walked-in-here-and-saw-you-buying that.

If you’re going to do it, do it right. If it’s love, be bold. If it’s not love and it’s just a bow-down to the great gods and goddesses of sensuality, don’t insult them. Go all the way. Sacrifice up something hot and steamy. Make them blush.

Trust me, you’ll have many, many opportunities to be self-conscious, be disappointed, feel insecure or give in to fear and cynicism. You’ll have other days to be realistic about your relationship, lack of relationship, ‘it’s complicated’ status, or other such nonsense.

Get it while you can darlings, and for the love of all that’s pink, give it a good squeeze when you do get it.

 

Advice · Advice for Men · Advice for Women · Advice for Writers · Andshelaughs · andshelaughs writing · Anxiety · Anxiety & Depression · Art of LIving · Articles · Bereavement · bloggers · Blogging · Blogs · Break-Ups · Breaking Up · Breathe In Breathe Out · Breathe In Breathe Out Move On · Broken Hearts · Buddhism · Buddhist Philosophy · Buddhist Writers · Business Advice · Career · Career Advice · Coffee Talk · Columns · columns Dating Advice · Columns Relationship Advice · Creative Life · dating · Dating Advice for Men · Dating Advice for Women · Dating Advive · Dating Love · Dating Over 40 · Depression · Faith · Fearless Living · Fearlessness · Feminism · Graceful Living · Gracious Living · Healthy Living · Joyful Living · Life · Life Lessons · Living · Meaning of Life · Men's Health · Men's Issues · Men's Sexuality · Mens' Issues · Mental Health · Mindful Living · Personal Development · Professional Women · Psychology · Relationship Advice · Relationships · Simple Living · Social Commentary · Spiritual Living · Student Life · The Art of Living · Uncategorized · Whole Living · Women's Issues · Women's Issues · Working Women

Fear – You Show Me Yours & I’ll Show You Mine

storytotellFear is a slippery little fella. Sometimes you need to hang on to it so you don’t get damaged, and other times, you need to set it adrift on a flaming raft with an over-zealous shove and a one-fingered salute.

This past weekend, fear crept in and tried to snuggle up in my heart. Good thing I can be a cold-hearted, logical gal when I need to be. Good thing I have friends who remind me not to let my imagination get the best of me and conjure up all sorts of possible ways that my happiness can be sabotaged. Good thing I didn’t turn tail and run. Good thing.

Regardless of what we identify as being bountiful or lacking in our lives, we live within the comfort zone of the known. We live rooted in the identities that we have crafted for ourselves. We cling to our wounds until they no longer serve as shields.

The truth is, we often cling to our wounds long past their expiry date, and we do this because that is the only way we know how to go on living. We do this often without knowing we’re doing it. We fear leaving what is known and comfortable to seek what is meaningful.

During the past 48 hours I  have received calls, and had coffee with friends who have all experienced some sort of crisis rooted in fear. I was an addict. I’m drinking too much. I keep winding up in toxic relationships. Today I heard all of these symptoms, and I offered as much compassion and humour as I could. After all, being fearful is normal. We need to tell and re-tell our stories. We need to be the storyteller, and we need to be the witness to the life-stories woven by others. Change is scary, and we need our friends to walk beside us when we don’t know if we have the courage to take another step on a path that leads to goodness-only-knows-where-but-there-had-better-be-margaritas-and-a-bed.

Fear of feeling, dealing with the here and now, or not having someone to prop up an ego seem to have been  served up a la carte over the weekend. It’s  a menu everyone eventually gets served; long in the planning and very bitter. It keeps popping up on the menu until you get tired of the bitter aftertaste and are inspired to take over the kitchen.

brokenThe most curious of fears is the fear of getting what you want. It means letting go of an identity that was defined by lack of the thing itself; career success, loving relationship, independence, you name it. You have to be brave enough to break down the walls protecting your own kingdom of fear.

While trying to shake off the snug embrace of a well-known-and-outlived-it’s-usefulness-fear-of intimacy which had slithered it’s way into my mind, I had a rather synchronistic encounter.

After zenning out and treating myself to some self-care paraphernalia at an over-incensed and herbal-tea’d hippie hang-out, I wandered back to my car completely and utterly distracted. Rationalizing with oneself can be very engrossing, and I was neck deep. I was not going to half-ass this one. I was going to face this thing down even if it meant a haze of incense, tantra-drumming, and Buddhist-throat-singing loud enough to scare the bejeezus out of the neighbours. While I was getting all bad-assed and spiritual with this fear, I was being watched.

Two men of questionable intent approached my car, one wedged between the driver’s side door and the car next to me, pulled on my door handle and banged on my window while the other stood at the right side.

Thanks to good habits, my door was locked, and the car was started. Thanks to a friend who was texting an invitation for a drinky-poo, I was head-down-distracted, allowing these two men to target me.

Hours after I had safely pulled away and caught my breath from the initial shock, I sank into the corner of my couch and cried. I sobbed and relived those few seconds of that man’s face just inches from my own.

But why? I was safe in my own space now. I was ok.

I cried because the threat of harm pulled me back into the rational fear I had developed throughout years of abuse and  assault. It was like someone tossed me back into the arena to face another hungry beast after I thought I’d finally made it out alive.

What I did next was remarkable. I reached out. Well, I reached out the best I could. Via text of course, because I couldn’t bear to speak and have anyone hear my voice tremble. My pride wouldn’t hear of it.  “I kinda need you.”

It’s rather ironic that my fear of letting someone in was challenged head on by someone literally trying to get in.

presence.jpgPart of healing and kicking fear in the ass is learning that it’s ok to be vulnerable sometimes.  It’s a lesson that I have found extremely challenging. But with true self-compassion, vulnerability can be the greatest warrior in the battle on the front-line of fear.

There is a spiritual alchemy exchanged every time we offer support or receive it. This alchemy is grace in action, mercy in motion, the very human breath of compassionate and spiritual living. It is the greatest enemy of fear. It’s ok to kinda need someone, they kinda need you too. Trust me, if you show them yours, they’ll show you theirs.