Potential: The Alternative Reality

brick-wallDo you ever just get tired of trying to reach someone?

Seriously. There are only so many times  you can explain to someone, ask someone, or try. And then you give up.

Wise women recognize that  before it makes them a raving lunatic.  The problem is, if someone is important enough to try and reach (emotionally), you likely don’t want to give up. You convince yourself that they also want to be reached. You convince yourself of all the good that’s in them. You convince yourself that there’s potential.

Potential is a dangerous word, most often a desperate, unfulfilled hope, and a broken promise that was never really made in the first damn place. . In a word, potential is: dangerous and, quite frankly,  women over 40 don’t have the lifespan left, or the patience to deal with potential. Potential can rob you of a wonderful reality. 

I’m convinced that there are people out there (other fabulous pals and lovers) who won’t make you wait. Who won’t keep you guessing, and won’t leave you fantasizing about potential, because they are living it, in the present moment.

Let’s drop this potential crap and get back to reality shall we darlings?

 

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To The Loser Who Just Broke My Friend’s Heart

jerkYou suck. The end.

The rest of this post goes out to anyone who has been mistreated, lied to, cheated on, or taken advantage of.

Action, not words darling. That’s where the truth is.

For years I have been single. For years I thought I really, really wanted to meet someone to be my partner in life and I was convinced that I would have to make some concessions. Until this summer.

Just when I thought that my dream of meeting Mr. Right had come true, he shed his best-behavior-skin like the snake he is, and slithered out of my life. Good. Riddance. Jack-Ass.

I could say that I hate men, that they’re all liars and cheats, but the reality is that I love them. I love  men.

Just as there are pathetic flaps of skin who slither their way through life clinging to the ethical underbelly of society calling themselves men, there are women who do the same. They are primarily identifiable as neither male or female. They are sociopaths.

It seems that being a sociopath (aka jack-ass, jerk or douchebag) crosses all gender and age barriers. An asshole, is an asshole, is an asshole. Amen.

What my last foray into the world of broken hearts has reinforced is that my gut instinct is much wiser than the negotiated romantic deals brokered between my head and my heart. Intuition is a smart bitch, and I love her for her unflinching honesty during times of despair. My own mistake is not acting on what my intuition is telling me, and believing in  potential.

Listen here ladies and gentlemen, we are not school teachers sent here to point out potential. We are adults in relationship with other adults; each of us responsible for how we treat others.

For anyone (male, female and everyone in-between),who is suffering a broken heart, I urge you to read my ‘Why I Stopped Dating’ articles, Part 1 and Part 2.

loveagainI do not believe that love hurts. If it hurts or if it makes you ‘less than’,  it isn’t love. If you are not joyful, but instead, full of anxiety, self-doubt and fear, it definitely is not love.

What you may need to do is re-evaluate what love actually is, and what it looks like in your life. Let me give you a hint, it does not involve a Disney prince or princess. Quite often the greatest of all loves come from friendship.

Wishing a plague of vicious crotch-crabs and a shriveling, fungus infested pee-pee on the loser who just broke my friend’s heart.

The Reveal: Who What Where When & Why

gladimetyouIt doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to impress a new colleague or lover. What you choose to reveal about yourself is carefully meted out and how you do it is often just as important.

In the age of social media, choosing how and what you reveal about yourself is tricky business. It’s a classic example of the uncomfortable overlap of persona; professional, personal and intimate.

Sometimes it feels akin to  panties twisted under your well-fitted jeans when you stand up to leave the table; you know it doesn’t look right, but there’s just not a damn thing you can do about it now.

I must admit that revealing myself in the professional arena is something that I find relatively easy. At a certain age your need to be respected by your peers over-rides your need for camaraderie outside the office. In other words; you’ve got all the friends you need, so why muddy the professional water?

Friends, well, friendship at a certain age become easy and more frightening all at the same time. Spending time with a new group of people doesn’t feel much different from when you were the new kid on the playground. You tend to revert; class clown, shy kid, or leader.

Lovers and intimate relationships on the other hand require more savvy, and are likely the most manipulated of all.

Good lovers are hard to find, and if you have the opportunity to reacquaint yourself with one, two, or even a handful (don’t judge me) from your past, it’s a sticky web to navigate without getting your signals crossed. That is, if you can figure out what signal it is you’re hoping to be received on the other end in the first place. This may take some time and hard self-analysis.

Years pass with all of the sunshine and storms life dishes out. Sometimes what once were smooth waters now require careful consideration as the landscape has changed and hard edges hide just beneath the surface. It takes a bloodied up scrape or two before you learn you don’t know what you thought you did, and that the person you once knew so well has changed. It’s odd how shocking the obvious can be.

Then there are other relationships. The keepers, the head-over-heels-make-me-feel-like-a-teenager-again fresh, new and yet uncharted.  That’s where we all lose our minds a little bit. In these cases, you should always, without fail or hesitation be yourself, be vulnerable, and allow yourself to be loved. Trust me, I know from experience, it’s easy to say and hard to do.

Vulnerability. Hmm…it’s something I struggle with, and in the past had great disdain for. But more and more now, I’m recognizing it for the treasure that it is. To be vulnerable with another human being is to open yourself up to the possibility of deep and lasting fulfillment.

It may or may not have been a personal experience that I had the good fortune of re-connecting (and I do mean reconnecting) with someone I’ve known for a long time but haven’t connected with for a couple of years. Our last little tryst wasn’t what either of us would refer to as a success.

This time, as we toasted our grand wisdom of planning some private time together with champagne, I noticed that his hand shook just the tiniest bit, betraying a confident exterior. A very sexy, confident exterior.

In the past I would have been turned off. There are very few things I can sexualize more than a confident man. But I guess I’ve changed too, because this time, I thought it was sweet and vulnerable, and facing your fears  a-la-mode in the boudoir, takes guts.

Just remember, whatever type of relationship you’re navigating, we all just want to be accepted. It’s not only you in the relationship, it’s the other, and they’re as terrified as you about earning their sea-legs on this ship of love. Take your time revealing yourselves to one another so you can enjoy the many faceted beauty of being beloved and lover.

Another Reason to Be Grateful

"If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress." ~Unknown~

“If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress.”
~Unknown~

I’m nothing if not up for a little adventure. I believe in nurturing curiosity, being open to new experiences and meeting new people. I believe in letting the Universe know what I want.

I’m also getting used to the “Universe’s” twisted sense of humour.

I’m so tired of the twists and turns and encouragement to ‘be specific’ about the utterances and vibes that I give off, I’m tempted to switch from being a half-assed agnostic-Buddhist-left-wing-conservative-hippie, and start praying once again to the old Burn-In-Hell-Baptist-Old-Testament-God that I snuggled up with every night as a child.

Just kidding. I do not need an overbearing passive aggressive male figure in my life.

As you may have guessed, I have lived my life much by the seat of my pants, and it has been good. Good as in; I have cultivated friendships with good people, I have known the company of good men, and I’ve worked really hard at my academic and professional accomplishments. I also have pretty eyes and my legs aren’t that bad either.

...OR NOT....

…OR NOT….

So, it was with great confidence that I decided much like my professional life and parenting, I would put a strategic plan in place and execute it in such a way that outcomes could be measured and goals achieved when it came to finding love.

Sexy, I know darlings, but an intelligent woman is often heart-stopping to like-intellectually-gifted men.

Earlier today I arranged to meet Blind Date #1. Let me cut the story short in case you don’t have a lot of time; Today will also be the day that marks the end of my strategic dating plan for 2015.

Since Blind Date #1 had jumped into the deep end of the dating pool, and clearly needed to stay in the swamp, I have come up with a list of suggestions for gentlemen pursuing their potential one-and-only.

1) Teeth are important. That I even have to mention this makes me puke in my mouth a little bit. If a woman has to strain herself to make sure you do indeed have a solid set of upper central and lateral incisors, you likely should either A – ensure she has been afforded the courtesy of  a good full frontal Eric-Estrada-quality-smile photo of you prior to agreeing to a date, or B – seek the support of a cosmetic dentist. Since not everyone can afford a good dentist, and not every woman is totally turned off by toothless suitors, I suggest the less-expensive of the two above options.

2) Disclosing stomach ailments including vomiting and as my granny used to call it, “a good case of the shits”, is highly unlikely to score you a second date, or even another five minutes.

3) If you visibly tremble when meeting people for the first time, get therapy sweetie, because it makes it awkward for the lady you’re trying to impress. If you are shaking and have already disclosed number two (no pun intended), just turn around and leave. We don’t need an explanation.

4) No one expects to meet a man with a wallet as thick as Donald Trump, but we do not want to hear how difficult it is for you to pay your rent. If that’s the case, you should not be asking ladies out on a date. You should meet at the library or park.   Do not pass go, do not collect the two hundred dollars you need to make the rent and do not call, text or communicate any further. Just slither on out with the pathetic skin you came in with. Special note to ladies; do not feel guilty and pay the guy’s rent. Go get yourself a new pair of shoes and recognize your developing discerning wisdom.

5) Telling a woman you need a woman in your life is like giving them a front-seat tour through the main street of Red-Flag City.  We all need companionship, we’re just not all needy. Like you.

6) If on a blind date you do not hit it off, crying before you leave is just the most miserable kind of awkward.

Should you choose to make a mis-step and fall prey to any one of the above no-no’s, rest assured that you need to seek immediate professional help. I’m not being sarcastic, and I’m not joking.

If you think dating is going to solve your emotional, psychological, physical or financial problems, you need to stop and cultivate the wonderful person you have the potential to be. No one can do this for you sweetheart, so don’t waste our time. That’s what friends and therapists are for.

If nothing else, meeting a man who succumbed to all six boo-boo’s within fifteen minutes of meeting has made me extremely grateful, not to mention feeling my skin-crawl.

According to the Urban Dictionary gratitude means; The quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.  It is also the instruction of much of today’s pop-psychology hoo-ha preaching happiness. What tends to get left out is how much slogging through hard times has to do with learning about real gratitude.

Long story short, today I was reminded to be grateful that I am a woman with enough discernment to know when the universe is chuckling and shaking its head. I know what I need to be doing, and it’s not spending time on blind-dates planning an exit strategy.

No darlings, we have way too much to offer the world to waste our time like that.

 

 

 

 

The Freedom of Commitment

"Commitment is that turning point in your life when you seize the moment and turn it into an opportunity to alter your destiny." ~Denis Waitley~

“Commitment is that turning point in your life when you seize the moment and turn it into an opportunity to alter your destiny.”
~Denis Waitley~

I wish that I could say that this post was inspired by a deeply intellectual article  that I read.   I also wish I had that damn article, so I could quote it accurately.

But I don’t.  You are stuck with my inadequate muttering. As much as this post was inspired by the article on commitment, it was very much inspired by my carrousel-like love-life.

The article was about turning the idea of ‘commitment’ on its head.

In other words, instead of associating commitment with discipline, patience and exertion, it argued that commitment was the most freeing thing in the world. After all, once you’ve committed to something, you’re committed. There is no more weighing benefits and drawbacks. You don’t have to double-check your black book or worry that lover #1 is calling whilst you are endeavoring to be romantic with lovers #2, 3 or 4.  Once you’re committed, you’re committed.

This was an incredible idea for me, the goddess-of-all-things-commitmentphobe. I can’t even say the ‘C’ word without stuttering and choking a little bit.

This idea was as illuminating as my friend Ms. M’s ever-ready question about men behaving below standard, ” If this is what it’s like in the beginning, what will it look like at the end?”

Wise Ms.  M. Very wise indeed.

Just as wise is my own firm belief that should a man wish to be in your life, he is. It’s as simple as that. It’s easier to shake a hungry dog off a pork chop than an interested man from your life.

Men who want to be with you make extraordinary efforts to be with you. They don’t put it off for a week, or a couple of weeks, or even a day. If they’re hot for you my delicious gal-pals, they will be present. They will be proper and they will be thorough.

There shall be ‘good mornings’, ‘good afternoons’ and ‘sweet dreams’, communications daily.

My looming business trip should be punctuated at both ends by romantic gestures, even if it’s just sending a text to let me know he’s going to miss me and then dropping by as soon as I get home. Enthusiasm gets rewarded with enthusiasm gents.

Or not.

You see, another piece of wise advice that has filtered through the poo-poo this year is, ” You don’t get married on the first date.”

In other words, you don’t have to make a commitment to everything all at once. You can commit in little bits over time.

I believe trust works the same way. Trust is not absolute, it’s elastic. There are levels of trust, and someone proves their trustworthiness over time.

But I’m a woman known for her fire, her passion, her decisiveness in business and life.  I recognize that my greatest strength is also my greatest weakness.

I visualize this just as one would visualize  jumping into a pool.  I leap with the great expectation that I will dive deep, push up from the bottom and burst through the surface to take a delightfully deep breath of fresh air.

Sometimes however, I skitter across the pool deck, stub my toe, spill my drink, and bonk my head on the way down, only to be saved by my incredibly buoyant lady-parts.

So, as you may have guessed, I’m currently in a state of  relationship ‘yo’ (“when your heart says yes and your mind says no, is the magical state of yo” – thank the Smothers Brothers for that one).

Admittedly, I’m a romantic, flighty, soul-mate wanting, twenty-first centuray hippie woman. I have also been betrayed and heartbroken in ways that would unstuff the average bear.  Perhaps some time away is just what the to-commit-or-not-to-commit doctor ordered.

So, I will consider all of the advice I’ve been given, dished, and sought. Commitment is indeed the greatest freedom. Right now, I just don’t know which way it’s going to go.

 

 

 

 

He is Enough

“How many of you have ever started dating because you were too lazy to commit suicide?”~Judy Tenuda~

“How many of you have ever started dating because you were too lazy to commit suicide?”
~Judy Tenuda~

Enough.

Enough. That was the single word on the placard that hung above the chair of my friend’s father just prior to his death.

Enough, as in; I’ve had enough of everyone else’s shit, or Enough as in; I am content because I have enough.  That’s the question isn’t it?

What is enough?

At this stage of life, I’ve had enough. Enough heartache, enough rejection, enough disappointment, and enough of other people’s crap.

But I also have enough. Enough joy during the time I spend with my child. Enough money to pay the rent and buy food. Enough friendship to buoy me up when I feel like I’m drowning.

Enough is a powerful word, and something that my generation needs to consider. What is enough from a partner or spouse? What is enough from a job or a pay cheque, and what is enough when you combine it all to say that you are ‘happy’?

It seems like today “enough” is so much more than what we need.

I have everything that I need. I am healthy. I am educated. I am employed. I have a healthy child.  I have enough…..and yet, every day I wish for more…..a man who loves me, total elimination of debt, a Caribbean vacation, and of course, a pay raise.

During the past few weeks I’ve had the chance to talk to a few men, and ladies, you need to trust me on this one, you need to be cognizant of what is enough in your relationships.

Yes, I do understand, you wonderful, fabulous, very sexy and sensuous ladies want a man who can appreciate the delicate creatures that you are. You want flowers and jewels and hot, passionate love-making. I can’t fault you for that. I would like that too.

What you need to consider is that, at this stage and age, the men in our lovely lives have been through hell and back trying to please our younger, less sophisticated selves.

A loving man, is enough. He may be quiet. He may be shy. He may be a  wild tiger in bed just waiting to be unleashed by a sensitive, sensual lover like yourself.

Think twice before you let him go. He may just be….enough 😉

Growing Older But Not Up

Bath

Bath (Photo credit: Jagrap)

Ah yes, the famous Jimmy Buffett lyrics, “Growing older but not up….”. Never was a truer lyric written me thinks darlings.

I’m starting to reach the age where I finally understand some of the truisms told to me by those folks who had bravely gone before me, and had indeed grown older but not up. I remember people telling me that despite their age they still felt like the same person on the inside.

I interpret this now to mean they still feel the same emotions, fears, desires, regrets and dreams that youth think are unique to them.  Despite the general stiff upper lip with which we lead our days as productive adults, we all still have the same butterflies in our stomachs about falling in love (again), about new beginnings and relationships.

Somehow, and somewhere, logic over powers emotion. Alas, we are essentially emotional creatures, and we cannot repress our desires forever. We’ve just learned to hide it, push it aside, and carry on as if we’re stoic souls not moved by mere emotion.

But I challenge you my fabulous readers. For every woman who enjoys a long, hot, candlelit bath, there is a woman who still lets her imagination get carried away with romance and love stories.  As the hot water softens her skin, and the razor skims her calves, she remembers the way a lover’s touch felt, or imagines a first kiss.

No matter the storms of marriage, separation, divorce, child-birth, death, or loss we have weathered, there is always a little spark burning inside of us. One that, with just a little encouragement, burns more brightly as we unbind our hearts from fear of losing again.

We all grow older, but you cannot convince me that our gentle hearts ever grow up, or ever should grow up.  If you don’t believe me, draw a hot bath, light some candles, put on some of your favourite slow songs and observe where your mind goes. A glass of bubbly won’t hurt either my sweet darlings. Don’t be afraid of your heart’s desires, rejoice in your vitality.

Someone, somewhere is thinking of you tonight.

 

Dating Tips for Men 40+

“My boyfriend used to ask his mother, ‘How can I find the right woman for me?’ and she would answer, ‘Don’t worry about finding the right woman- concentrate on becoming the right man.”
~Anonymous~

Last night one of my friends commented that my blogs were “too girly”, and suggested that I dedicate one to manly concerns like engines and fishing and icky things like that.

Why on earth would I, a wonderfully fluffy and delicate girl care to enter into the dirty, greasy domain of the man-cave? That’s for you, you big, strong, sumptuous man-beasts, not me. 

In return for not invading your intellectual man-space, I will not beg and plead with you, breasts heaving under the weight of my need for you to stick your nose in our pretty little business about bubble baths, nail polish and keeping the house happy and homey.

I will however dedicate this blog to the single (and married) men out there who are dedicated readers.  You don’t have to confess in public that you read this, but we know you’re out there. 

I was surprised when my friend’s husband  embraced me, saying, ” I just love your blog. I subscribe,and read every one of them. Boy oh boy I can relate.” I was a bit surprised that a male septuagenarian had so much in common with my delicate female interests. Who knew?

This blog is dedicated to the odd ideas men have about dating and mating, and how those ideas need just a little bit of tweaking.

Today I heard one 40 something,recently engaged, childless woman speaking to another 40 something, single childless woman. The conversation went something like this,

Single Woman #1 – If you don’t mind short bald Chinese men, I have someone for you.

Single Woman #2 – Silence.

Single Woman #1 – He just can’t seem to find someone his own age without baggage. You know what I mean.

Single Woman #2 – Silence

Single Woman #1 – Yah, he’s been dating women in their early thirties, but he doesn’t enjoy their company so much. His mother doesn’t mind because she’d like grandkids, but she might not like it if he meets someone and moves out.

You will note that Single Woman #2 maintained a modicum of restraint by not replying, ” I hope you’re not serious. Do you listen to yourself?”  Foolish, foolish Woman #1.  Shame on you. Women of a certain age who  are single,  should  not be corralled to rescue every loser over 40.

I myself  have baggage. Children are apparently considered baggage by those who have made it into their late thirties and beyond still single and childless. Hmm?  Curious. Someone who has been able to maintain a relationship and raise a child is being judged by someone who has not navigated those adult waters of commitment and responsibility. Curious indeed.

I’m sure any woman in her thirties, forties, fifties and beyond should consider herself lucky to be partnered with a short, bald man, who apparently lives with his mother. Something smells funny in the State of I Still Live With My Mother. Smells kinda like baggage.

Advice for men over 40 looking for a partner;

1) First and foremost remember that you are no longer 25 years old.  Do not dress like you’re 25, and pride yourself on your drinking and partying habits.  This is unattractive, and leads available women to the conclusion that you are an immature loser who never matured enough to be in an adult relationship.

2)Expect women in their 30’s and 40’s to have had relationships, marriages and/or children. It’s called adulthood. You have the option of a free membership; join the club.

3)Living with your mother, sibling or roommate is not attractive. No woman wants a man who cannot look after himself, or like a mamma’s boy, bear to spend time in his own company. If you don’t like you enough to be alone with you – women won’t either.

4)Understand that educated, employed women are looking for those very same qualities in a man. Who cares what you do, just do something that is self-sufficient, with enough left over to take us on a date.

5)Groom. Properly and well. Nobody wants to date a slob. We don’t care about designer clothes and a buffet of fragrances, in fact it’s a fine line between manly grooming and being a sissy. Manscaping is juvenile. Grooming is masculine.

6)Ask women out. Don’t pussy foot around the issue. If a woman has given you the signals like saying she doesn’t have plans on the weekend or mentions anywhere in your conversation that she’s  single – she’s single.

7)Expect friendship. We know your loins are as fiery as ours, but at this age, friendship is as sexy as a six-pack. Friendship is the spark that starts a very hot partnership.

8)Take some risks. Yes, I’ve dated some men that didn’t initially make my lady parts blush, but as I got to know them, their personalities made them sexy as hell. Get over yourself, just let you be you, and understand that you may think you’re a hunk, but you’re an old hunk.

9)Socialize. It’s hard to believe, but Ms. Right is not going to come banging on your door while you’re slugging back beer in your tightie whities on your couch. You need to be visible, available, and lend  yourself to mingling.

10) Cultivate joy. A happy man is an irresistible man.