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Love & Other Fragile Things

birdbranchYou know that I’m writing this for you, right?

The woman who’s just had the news that her husband isn’t ‘in love’ with her any more. Maybe it was your wife, or your partner…whatever. It’s all the same soul-crushing-crashing-everything-to-a-halt-breath-stealing-change. And it hurts. Bad.

And it scares the hell out of you.

Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. But here I am, 17  years single, and not a-crazy-old-cat-lady…yet.

There will be times that you despair, and feel loneliness deep in your bones. You will lose sleep over how you will pay the bills, tell the kids, manage holidays, and ever manage to open yourself up to the wonder of everything that once brought you joy. But you will darling. I promise.

Your sense of self, your home, your routines, your comfort zone – these things make you fragile my sweet.

But you will crawl out of all of this muck. You will be a polished, shining, more resilient version of yourself. You will be more wise. You will appreciate the little things. And you will laugh from your belly.

You will also wonder what the hell you were so upset about in the first place. There’s a lot of energy that goes into loving someone – I mean really, feet-on-the-ground-all-hands-on-deck-loving, or as some people call it – active loving. You likely spent a lot of time doing stuff for your partner; maybe you cooked, did the laundry, maintained the vehicles, did the lion’s share of maintaining the kids, your family holidays, etc., etc.  If you’re like me, you put your own timeline and the little things that bring you joy  second to the priorities of your partner; boys’ nights, golf, their fitness and waking time preferences.

At first, time on your own will feel like a long rest after a marathon, and then it will feel eerily quiet. What will you ever do with this landscape of barren time?

Let me give you a few suggestions; pedicures, concerts, art galleries, boozy lunches with the gals, discovering favourite shops, more time with your kiddos, a bed all to yourself or not, reconnecting with friends, and eventually rediscovering the joy of  being treated like the precious gem that you are.

Love is fragile, but so is our sense of self.  As a woman who has had the luxury of time alone, I realize the cost of independence and the price of nurturing another. Love is fragile, Time is fleeting.

Lean on your friends. We will remind you of the fabulous person you have always been, even in the shadow of heartache.

 

 

 

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Don’t Be Fooled by Potential

My single greatest folly when it comes to relationships is falling in love with potential rather than fact.

Is he romantic? Do you want the same type of relationship? Do his actions match what he says?

Hmm…it’s hard to face facts sometimes, but why waste time?

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Just When You Think It Can’t Get Any Worse

danceinthekitchenI have had one hell of a year.

It’s been a  ‘real doozy’ as your granny might say. Like a feather pillow at a pre-teen slumber party, sometimes you just get the emotional shit kicked out of you.

Tonight as I stretched toward the top of the cupboards with the longest barbeque tool I could find, I heard the voice of he-who-shall-not-be-named telling me that I was going to hurt myself. Deftly I scooped up a long wicker tray, and tipped it into my waiting hand…like a boss.

A few months ago, I was planning things with this he-who-shall-not-be-named sweetheart. I hadn’t been that happy in sooooo long. I was over the moon.

Tonight I’m alone.

As over the moon as I was a few months ago, I dove that deeply into mourning the loss of all that it was going to be.

What is it they say? I think it goes something like this, “ My knight in shining armor turned out to be an asshole in tinfoil“. Whatever… and at this age and stage, who cares?  It is, whatever it is. It’s. Not. My. Problem.

One thing that I do know for sure is that the future is too precious to waste dwelling on the past.

As I heard that voice in the back of my head, tipping my wicker baking basket over my head, I realized that I was truly happy. Happy. Goofy smile, humming to myself, dancing like a fool all by myself in my tiny kitchen.

I  stirred caramel corn and baked devilishly good cupcakes while bopping around my little kitchen in tights and a t-shirt, not missing anyone or anything. You see, just when you think it can’t get any worse, it often does, get better.

Over time, and with careful observation of how my mumster handles herself with grace, strength, and my favourite trait; humor, I realize just how much control we do have when it comes to having a good day or a bad day.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes life just stinks, and you need to curl up in a ball. You need to rage, cry, hate, feel insecure and alone. You need to do all of this without apology or holding back.

And one day you’ll be done with it.

You’ll find yourself all alone, smiling from the inside out, and you will realize just how damn wonderful this one, precious, life really is.

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Things Not Meant For You; Do We Ever Really Know?

Life is like one of those teachers who scare the living daylights out of you, but earns your respect for life.

This year, Life has offered me many opportunities to say good-bye.

Early this year, I tacked this little saying to my fridge.not meant for you

Grace and discernment are two qualities that I’ve become very conscious of during the past year or so. Little did I know when I tacked that little nugget of wisdom to the fridge, that I would turn to that saying over and over again, especially the, “…how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

That’s a hard one. Mostly because we’re never really sure, are we darlings? Grace is one thing, but the discernment to know what or whom is meant for you is an entirely different ball game. It’s like you prepare for a game of football, and show up to find out that you’re playing badminton.

Life is a wonderful journey filled with surprises. The trick is to be able to stay curious and hopeful when the future remains unclear.

What I’ve learned about good-byes are that many of them are not really good-byes, they’re more like, ‘see you later’s’, or, ‘bye for now’s’.

Even the good-byes we look forward to are often just temporary absences until we’re presented with something from the past that needs some more attention. As we grow up, mature, and reach out, our worlds become smaller as we meet more and more people.

Death, break-ups, and career changes. I’ve experienced them all this year, and the fat lady of 2015 hasn’t finished singing yet.

Wishing you the grace to let go of the things that aren’t meant for you, and the ability to let go of trying to figure out if they really were.

Breathe in, breathe out, move on.

~Jimmy Buffett~

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She Loves You ….yah, yah, um, maybe…Ok, Yah, She does…

“Friendship is far more tragic than love. It lasts longer.”
~Oscar Wilde~

There are many famous quotes about friendship. Many clichés, and many pieces of advice.

The saying that wraps up the essence of friendship is this one by Elbert Hubbard; ” A friend is someone who knows you, and loves you just the same.”…or this one by Norman Douglas..”To find a friend one must close one eye; to keep him, two.”…or perhaps this one by Oscar Wilde, “It’s a very dangerous thing to know one’s friend.”

Real friendships are hard to find and are one of life’s truly precious treasures. Throughout the years, it has been my friendships, not obligatory relations that have sustained me.

In my life I have friends I’ve known since I was born. I treasure each one as they have been added to the fold because at one point in time, or many, they have been my life-preservers.  They have seen me at my ugliest, both physically and emotionally and they have maintained steadfast in their commitment to our relationship. They are the women who I call and ‘talk it out with’. They  are the kindred fools that giggle and cry with me.

But what about when a friendship sputters and trips? What happens when one friend feels slighted, perhaps repeatedly by their friend? Is it time for a friend break-up, or just time for a little undeclared space?  I tend to go with the undeclared space. This is something that I’ve never been able to do in  a romantic relationship, but offer the courtesy of to my friends. After all, I can be a rather intense prima donna when I climb up onto my soapbox.  I know my tongue is sharp, and my words can slice to the quick.

Judgement is something that we all do well. Perhaps its a defense mechanism against absolute insanity, organizational chaos and anarchy. We tend to judge someone as being right or wrong, good or bad, divided by the thin line between black and white. But wouldn’t you know it? Life, as it happens, is a large slice of grey most of the time. It is our friends whom we rely upon, when we’re lost in that dank, grey, forest to bring us out on the other side. They are our oars in rough water.

Every single one of my closest friends has made me think twice about our friendship. I’m sure that each of them has spent time considering my value as a friend as well. We have all done things that we don’t respect. We’ve seen one another’s ethical underbelly and had to turn away from it’s ugliness. But we come back. We take our time, we have our talks, we listen to one another, and we mend our friendships.

We have kept secrets from one another fearing the truth would hurt our friendship; that if we were brutally honest about our bad choices, our friendship would wither in the stagnant air of disgust, only to reveal the truth years later because we felt that our friendship was strong enough to handle it.  The passing years had lessened the sharpness of the blade. And we were right. Years later, five years, ten years, twenty years….it doesn’t matter so much, and life goes on.

I think about my friendships, both old and new, and I am grateful for everyone. More forgiving than romantic relationships, there is an enduring quality, a commitment to friendship which  transcends the trials of living every day. Friendship is the stick we measure our experience by, the safe confessional of all of our doubts and despair.

Regardless of what they do, where they go, and the decisions they make, I hold my friends in the highest esteem. Most of them are as crazy, whimsical and hard to figure out as me.  What’s not to love?

So to my friends – I love you all. Each one of you….no matter what kind of crazy you brew up today.

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Great Advice From your Girlfriends

Woman in satin dress holding mirror
Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

Yogurt and herbal tea. That was my advice to my girlfriend today when she called with an all too common-amongst-women health concern.

Secret Christmas gifts for two little kidlets who broke my heart and taking more pain meds was her advice when I told her about my heartbreak and surgical recovery.

What would we do without one another? Our girlfriends I mean.  I have great friends who fill in as my mother and sisters of choice.  Throughout the years I have received and given great advice from this small but mighty clique.

Some of the advice that has been doled out includes;

1) Bladder infections: drink a warm glass of water prior to doing the nasty. Cranberry juice, no coffee, no sugar, no dairy, no sex (?!), no baths, no wine.

2)Financial woes; draft a budget, forget to sign your cheque, educate yourself about financial services,buy it once, eggs go a long way.

3)Stress; deal with it now or it will catch up with you, drink, smoke pot,don’t drink, don’t smoke pot, have sex,get your vibrator out, cry it out, talk about it, don’t worry I’ll take care of it for you.

4)Problems with a Co-worker; quit your job,spit in their coffee mug,talk to them,just let them talk until everyone else realizes they’re an idiot, drink when you get home, get your resume ready.

5)Entertaining; hire a maid, potluck, hide your weed,clean like a mad woman, google it,relax.

6)Dating; wear something slutty, wear something classy,stand him up,do it for practice, do it to discover new restaurants.

7)Childrearing; it won’t last forever, go ahead spoil him, you have to have rules,take a mom-time-out,give him gravol, I’ll babyset.

8)Fashion; you can borrow my fat clothes, you can borrow my skinny clothes, wear the red sweater,take it off and bury it, a good bra is worth every penny, buy it-you deserve it, with spanx that should fit.

9)Break-ups; burn everything leftover, sleep with someone right away so you won’t go back, delete his number,do you really want a relationship anyway,I’m coming to stay with you,what a bastard.

10)Aging; Are you kidding me? We’re not aging!