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Forgiveness: Why and What’s Forgivable? I Want to Know.

Everyone is talking about forgiveness and self-love today as we enter a new year. I hate when people say, “I heard this on NPR,” but I did, in fact, hear it on NPR– a conversation about forgiveness this morning. Essentially, two of the guests agreed that we have to forgive, even is no apology is made or elicited, to stop the stress cycle and allow us to heal and progress. There was a reference to looking forward and living with “forwardness.” I did always like that quote about if you live in the rearview mirror, you’ll soon be going that way. Don’t ask me who said it, because it was actually a fortune cookie message I received and have since pasted to my refrigerator to remind myself to live in the present.

I often have to remind myself of this. In fact, I wear this ring. See the inscription? “Live in the Here and Now.” My niece got it for me. I am terrible at doing this.

So back to forgiveness… By forgiving, you’re embracing peace, love and joy. You are helping your body to de-stress and stop producing cortisol (this was the scientific reasoning for forgiveness). And, you’re giving your mind a break, a chance to rest.

I do think I’m forgiving, but like what is not forgivable, I wonder? I mean, I think murder would be one. I couldn’t get over that. I could probs forgive cheating and lying, if it came with some level of contrition. What else? Um…I’d forgive stealing and hurting my feelings occasionally (not all the time). I’d be super bummed if you lit my house on fire.

I can’t really think of other things right now. Currently, I have forgiven most everyone I know for any wrongs I perceived or experienced. It feels good. Sometimes, I look backwards and feel those pangs of hurt and resentment, because, well, I’m human. And I get angry. And then swallow that anger, and it just manifests itself in heinous ways, like anxiety. YAY!

Forgiveness gives you your power back. Don’t be a victim. Try to empathize with the offender. When someone is mean to my children, I tell them, “Well, maybe feel sorry for him/her, because they are obviously hurting and sad inside to treat you this way.”

“Hurt people hurt people.”
That’s a good quote.

How do you know if someone is hurt when you meet them though? How many chances do you give them?

That’s a whole other question. What do you think?

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Be a Good Friend–To Yourself

Today, I almost sat on a wolf spider that camouflaged into my couch. It was grey, and my couch is grey. I put him in a glass, covered with a piece of paper, and took him outside. He hopped away.

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Wolf Spider.

Then, I went to get water, and there was a spider that was next to my water bubbler. He was eating some sort of moth he caught, probably from when I had the screen door open last night. I thought to move him, and then I thought, “No, maybe I will keep him, or her, as he’s enjoying his time here, and he’s keeping the insects at bay.”

You may be wondering why I don’t just get an exterminator!

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Here is the one next to my bubbler

But, I have realized, that I kind of love spiders. I used to be grossed out about them. I was freaked out and would vacuum them up, or squish them. Now, I realize most of them won’t do any harm, and they’re sort of sad and victims, because they can’t see well.

I sort of feel like a spider today, and that I can’t see well.

I can’t see myself. 

Sometimes, I can’t see my own self-worth. I talk down to myself, am punitive, and I wish I was different. I look at other women and think, “Wow, I should be more like her. I would look so much better if I just had that Dolce and Gabbana belt or the blown out hair with spiral curls.” Or I think, “If I was just ten pounds skinnier, and I had some Botox.” Or, “I wish I made more money” or “I wish I had a boat.”

These are things I can’t fix. Well, at least not today. What I can fix is my relationship with myself.  

Then I think about all the amazing  gifts I have, and the people in my life, and how I can’t believe I talk to myself this way!  I think how we must be kind to ourselves, as we are our own best friends.

Our internal voice is the one we hear the most. I read this blog post today by Dr. Eric Perry, and it resonated- not only with me, but with many others.

Be gentle with yourself, at least for today. xx

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Five Online Dating Tips: Ghosting, MILFs, Catfishing and What You Need to Know

My friends and I were discussing the dating scene now, which is basically all on apps, and here are some things I have determined to be new dating truths, and some tips for y’all if you venture out there:

  1. Be prepared and KNOW that men and women are dating or “talking to” multiple people at once. I remember that I dated this guy, who extolled his love for me after our dinner date (thanks, Kevin #not), and then I saw that he was “ONLINE!” all day the next day, indicating he was talking to other women. When I called him out on it, asking why he was online all day if he just liked me, he said he wasn’t sure I was into him, so he was keeping his options open. Hm. Kev? Ya’ done.

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“I’m serious about you. We should move in together. Just wait till these chicks leave.”

2. It’s totally okay to just ghost mid-conversation, even if you have been messaging for like two weeks. It’s sort of like, someone better comes along, and it’s over. And you really don’t have to apologize for it, or feel bad that you just left this person hanging. You know why? There is no such thing as etiquette in online dating. Ghosting=Standard. No guilt needed.

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3. If someone refuses to Facetime before meeting, then they are most likely catfishing you. What is catfishing? It’s posting pics that look nothing like you, or are from like 20 years ago. When someone says, “Oh, no, I can’t do that; that’s too awkward to Facetime,” it’s a red flag. Know what’s more awks? When you show up and a gorilla juice head (read: Jersey Shore, thanks for the term Snooki) is at the bar missing teeth and wearing a Porky Pig t-shirt (yes, this happened to me).

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“So nice to meet you in person!”

4. Sometimes, men who are super young will message older women, which always comes with a, “Hm…why did he like my photo? Is he hammered? Or was it an error?” The thing is there is something called MILF Hunters. These are young men who actually WANT to date older women. They will message things like, “Am I too young for you?” (probably from their high school locker rooms), and you will be flattered and say, “Oh, I don’t know! Maybe? Haha.” Steer clear. These MILF Hunters just want a conquest and have a fetish. They troll Whole Foods and Barnes and Nobles looking for moms in yoga pants who may throw out the vibe. I mean, hey, if that’s your thing, consider it a tip! Otherwise, block the boy.

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“No, it’s fine that you were in college when I was conceived. I still like you.”

5. Choose the right dating app for you and what you’re looking for. Bumble is best for women who don’t want to get blown up with disGUSting sexual innuendos from heinous men, because only men they “like” can message them. Match may be the way to go if you’re looking for a relationship, because you have to pay for this service, which means you’re serious about it. E-harmony is for people who have a lot of time to write a profile, because it takes 1,000 hours to answer all their questions, and no one even cares to read your profile if they don’t like your looks first. (Note: Most people swipe quickly and go for looks “first” on the apps). Tinder seems to be for younger people (like 20s) and may have a better hook-up rate. Hinge is for people in urban areas, and Zoosk is just weird. (Disclaimer: these are just MY opinions. You do you).

So, there you go! Now go have some fun online dating and use these tips to keep it going! Oh, and please come back here and tell me your stories. Or, add to these tips if you have them in the comments!

 

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The Storm Before the Calm

 

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Jim Carrey as Fire Marshall Bill

Have you ever had a Fire Marshall Bill moment when you suddenly just want to exit left abruptly and there’s no stopping you? I had one of those moments yesterday when I was out with several friends. In fact, my insistence that I jettison myself from the scene ASAP was noted by one, who even called me Fireman Bill! Here is what I looked like:

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So here was the scene. I’m sitting there trying to drink this heinous, fluorescent yellow Chardonnay that tasted like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, and I suddenly came to the conclusion that I must go home. I wasn’t sure why I felt this way, until I actually got home and had a full meltdown while walking my dogs that I didn’t want to live here on Cape Cod anymore. I am not sure what came over me.

It reminded me of those times in New York City when I’d ride the subway and just start crying. To me, that was sort of a regular thing. And, really, it didn’t seem problematic,(LOLing) because there were so many other people around and no one seemed to notice! One minute, I’d be subway surfing and balancing while holding onto the dirty pole with two fingers, and the next I’d be sitting down and crying, staring at the floor.

Well, one time, someone did notice. It was this guy sitting across from me. He gave me an empathetic side smile and handed me a book, his book, and got off the train. By the time I registered what had happened, he was gone. It was a yellow business book, called Time is Money, and on the inside of the cover, he wrote: “Nice Things Happen.” I’ll never forget that.

It’s true.

So, back to me gripping and walking my dogs last night, I ran into a neighbor. I don’t know her well, but we have kids who are similar ages. She told me she was struggling, (maybe I was looking haggard and obvious?), and I was so appreciative! In fact, so much so, that I think I was legit like yelling positive affirmations about parenting to a mother from across the street at Volume 50. Me: No, totally, I get it! I do! We must get together! I am here for you!

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Anyway, I walked on and started to legit bawl that I wanted to move! I didn’t know how I could stay here anymore. I was carrying two doggie bags of poop, holding one dog leash in one hand and one in the other, and hunched over. I  was like, “How did this happen? I am not from Cape Cod. How have I been here so long! I need to go!” The poop bags were a metaphor.

BUT!

I woke up, and things are a lot nicer today.

I did some writing, went for a run, and I turned off the music on my iPhone. I walked past the beach and stopped to take these photos, thinking how insane I was to be crying that I was forced to live here. Where I live is beautiful, and I’m so lucky to be here!

Okay, now I’m not trying to be that person who tags all of her social media photos with #Blessed #whywelivehere, ’cause that’s just annoying. It’s almost as annoying as #goodtimes #goodfriends.

But sometimes you have a Fire Marshall Bill moment! And then you cry and put out the fire.

And what’s left is calm.

 

 

 

 

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Single and Alone During a Pandemic

On Wednesdays, my children go with their dad for the night. While this was at one time a much-appreciated and well-deserved break for me, during this pandemic, my feeling of isolation is exponential. It reminds me of when I had to put the Christmas tree up by myself. An experience like that that can be joyful with a family around, but it can be that much more lonely as a single person. Worse yet, a single person who actually has children but who cannot be with them. I often fear Christmas day when they leave mid-morning for their dad’s house. Today, I fear the sadness I will feel over the coming hours. The nighttime is the worst.

Sometimes, when I just can’t handle the nighttime by myself anymore, I turn off the lights and go to bed at 8 o’clock, like I’m a toddler. I lay there, maybe take a melatonin gummy to fall asleep and wait until morning. Sometimes I lay there and wonder what the hell happened, and how I find myself in this situation. Where did I go wrong? How can I fix this? Regrettably, I can’t. I can only move forward and have to accept that. Acceptance isn’t easy for me.

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Photo by Ashutosh Jaiswal on Pexels.com

I am not writing this as a call for help or for you to feel bad for me. I’m writing, because it’s how I can work through something. I also like to communicate with others through words, and to share my thoughts with people who might feel the same, and it resonates with them. I also write to give some insight to those of you who are stuck at home with a partner or spouse during this pandemic, and you are going nuts and dreaming of getting a divorce. Maybe you’re walking up the staircase lobbing out the middle finger. Or maybe you’re rolling your eyes behind the fridge door as you sneak a tug of wine. Let me tell you: the grass isn’t greener on this side. Really think about it, I say, before you do anything drastic. I did hear, interestingly enough, that the domestic violence rate is up right now during the COVID-19 social quarantine. If you ever find yourself there, or as some say “in the wrong story,” then leave. Definitely leave, then.

Yesterday, I felt exasperated trying to work remotely and entertain a 7-year-old and 9-year-old. It’s kind my fault she always wants to play with me, because I am extremely good at Barbies. #resume #skillset In fact, she often touts this about me, and when they had to do a Mother’s Day assignment in school and fill in the blank for “My Mother Is Good at ____,” she wrote “Barbies.” Most kids wrote “hugs,” “cooking,” “stories.” Cooking? Not my forte.

This reminds me of when I first got divorced, and I was in the local coffee shop. I looked at the bookshelf to my left, which had a few straggling books left behind. One of them was titled Cooking for One. Something about that title just strikes me as inherently depressing. Like, in buying it, you’re admitting to yourself a life of solitude.  Perhaps being alone works for some people. And that’s great. However, I’m not one of them. I’m a ENTJ, or whatever those acronyms are. Simply put: I like to be with people. I’m more of a social animal, like a dog or a hyena. Wait…

Anyway, I hope those of you who are home alone today–or even feeling alone with people–know there’s someone here who empathizes: me. We will get through these times.  As Charles Dickens once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Oh, and I hate people who quote Dickens. The end.