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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.

 

 

 

 

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Popping the Question Again: Marriage At Middle-Age

I don't think I ever actually took a photo of ...
I don’t think I ever actually took a photo of them together since getting married last fall. Here they are. It’s a matched set from Diana Classic in platinum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where to start with this minefield of possible opinions? Likely a bourbon on the rocks and a direct prayer to the universe.

My first thought, when I look deeply into my sensitive feminine intuition is, “Why bother?”.

My obvious second thought darlings, is, “Why not?”.

A recent article in the Style section of the Globe gave a no-brainer instruction sequence to the young lad preparing to wow his girl with a surprise proposal.

I cant’ criticize the article, however, being a woman of a certain age, I got a  kick out of it. First of all, most marriages at middle-age are either a second marriage (or third, or….). Secondly a surprise proposal at middle-age, as romantic as it may seem, really wouldn’t be that surprising.

I mean, come on my cute little rhubarb custard pies, at this stage of the game no one jumps into a life-long commitment without doing their research and talking it into the ground. Nobody with an ounce of common sense anyway.  By middle age, we’ve all taken stock of our resources, have kids, or parents with failing health, and quite frankly, enough attitude to take a round out of a biker bar.

The article went on to discuss permission from parents. Not necessary at middle age. Permission from young adult children – absolutely not, but perhaps a courtesy call, as in , “Heads up dude.”

The Globe article discussed the importance of dressing appropriately. Quite frankly, I hope that by the time I meet a man with enough character to get down on one knee to pop the question that we’re somewhere that fashion doesn’t really matter.  Perhaps in bed. Maybe in the backyard reading the paper. At the beach.  Out for a walk. I’m assuming I will have the good taste to choose s gentleman who is aware of the no socks with sandals rule.

Planning the ceremony? Not such a big deal at middle age. Catered in the backyard. A short beach holiday with our besties. Perhaps at the park under a full moon.

The bottom line is, that by the time you’re middle-aged, you likely have the good common sense to have given your relationship the ‘live-in’ test drive it deserves, complete with flannel, flatulence, flu-bugs and sports vs. chick-flicks on the tube.  Well adjusted men and women  are pretty content with their own company by this stage of the game, so having another person around full-time is testament to their solid character anyways.

If a middle-aged (ok, maybe past middle-aged) man has the kahonas to pop the question, who really cares if he’s sporting the latest style, rehearsed in front of a mirror, or exhumed your father’s body to get permission.  He’s made an attempt at romance, even after the reality of a prince-not-so-charming has taken root.

My advice for popping the question to middle-aged gals;

1) If she criticizes you for your cutesy efforts take the ring back. Real women appreciate your effort, or at least a good laugh.

2) Size doesn’t matter. It matters that you know what style of ring she will look at and know you thought of her.

3) Make sure you two are solid, have talked it to death, and are committed before you pop the question. Don’t scare the hell out of her.

4) Keep it to yourself. No jumbotrons, no popping the question in front of a crowd, no telling the world. Tell your best pal if you need to shake off some of the nervous energy, but other than that keep your trap shut. Announce the wonderful news together.

5) Be near a phone. I know that my friends have a running bet that I will never get married again. If it ever happens, I will be on the horn faster than a mustang on a mare.

6) Be scrubbed and ready to go. Women of a certain age have an, um, er…..well, insatiable appetite. Be prepared, that’s all I’m sayin’.

7) Ignore #2. Go big or go home.

8) Do it on a day when she needs to remember how lucky she is. Crappy day at work – voila. Fixed!

9) Don’t tell her what you spent on the ring. Middle aged women don’t want a show piece that’s going to take you a year to pay off, we want you to have the deal sealed and be a gentleman about it. Shh!

10)  Smile. You’re about to wander into a lovely part of life with a woman who knows what she wants, and you’re him. Congrats!