I Hate “Facebook Couples”.

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I saw this really funny blog (on Thought Catalog … which I still can’t get to reblog proper) and I wanted to share it. It was just a silly little post where someone had just asked random people what they hate about Facebook couples. It cracked me up, because it’s so true.

I randomly surveyed people around my campus and asked them to tell me the one thing they hate about Facebook couples.

1.

Stop posting couple selfies as if the last selfie of you kissing is so much different from the other twelve selfies of you kissing. Congratulations, you like to kiss each other like the majority of the other couples in America. (4 people)

2.

Stop arguing over Facebook and then making up over Facebook. Look up “privacy” in the dictionary. We don’t need to know all your business. Also, it just looks like you both love the drama. (5 people)

3.

Stop posting how nauseatingly happy you are with pictures and emotes. We get it, you love each other or at least you think you do. Some of us would like to be able to log on without you rubbing your happiness in our faces. Sample quotes from those I interviewed: “My boyfriend just died, but it’s so nice to be reminded every day that yours didn’t.” … “I like to make bets with our friends on how long until you can’t stand each other.” … “I know when I see posts like this, they’re only just starting out and don’t know each other.” (16 people)

4.

Your pet names for each other. Really? I get that you want to be original. You can’t use “honey” or “baby” or something like that. You have to be original and use some stupid variation of a common pet name and then post it all over the place as if that makes your relationship more valid. When I see, “My Hooney Booney,” or “Luv u bubee,” and I know it isn’t a damn typo, I want to V8 pop you. (3 people)

5.

Posting pictures of their text messages. Posting that message where he cleverly changed what you said into an expression of love is so boring and unoriginal. Keep your swooning to yourself. How many times can we see your conversations of you two saying you love each other without it getting old? (1 person)

6.

This is usually one-sided, but stop posting how much you love them on every single thing that has ANYTHING to do with them. They tagged the person you love in a picture? Why do you feel like you should say, “So cute. Love you so much!!! *ten emotes and hashtags*” (2 people)

7.

Celebrating anniversaries for stupid time periods. Really? A two-week anniversary? Your relationships tend not to last this long, do they? (7 people)

8.

Changing your relationship status every week because you break up every time you have a little spat. It gets old to write a fake sympathetic “Aww, what happened?” when it happens so often. (1 person)

9.

The ones who clearly flaunt their relationship because they know their ex can see it. Grow the hell up. You probably don’t even like that person you’re with. You just want to make your ex jealous. How do I know? How about the fact that you keep your ex on your list but when you make a post, you only post it when they’re online, you only post things after they’ve posted something, and to top it off, you put in the title, “So happy with someone new,” or “He/She was everything I needed. I’ve been looking at the wrong people for years.” (1 person)

10.

The kind who post about waiting for their significant other to come home every single night. I get they’re at work and you’re bored or lonely, but why do you have to post, “Waiting for my man to come home” every single night? (3 people)

11.

The ones who say other people are bitter because they’re sick of seeing these things. Honey, no one is jealous of you, we’re just sick of your high-school romance. We’re all adults here, and we’d just appreciate it if you didn’t revert back to being a teenager every time you get into a relationship. There’s nothing wrong with being happy, but there is something wrong with being an airhead. When you call someone bitter for being sick of your crap, it makes it seem like we can’t have an opposing opinion without being biased because of our own love life. (9 people)

Panic Weight.

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Totally unrelated…

I’ve hit my panic weight. I’m pretty sure you ladies know what weight I’m talking about. It’s that one number that, if you should hit, sends you into a tizzy and gets your butt into high gear to take control back.

I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I’m stressed. For various reasons (which are personal in the sense that I don’t want to disclose because they aren’t my issues – but they do wear on me a great deal) I’ve been majorly stress eating the past 6 months – and it shows.

Which brings up my issue of letting others issues seep into my life and take control.

There are days that I stress about situations that are not even my own, rather they affect loved ones. It’s okay for me to empathize, but it’s not okay to let it stress me out more than it actually stresses the person it’s happening to.

I need to let go and realize that the only thing I can control is myself. Today, I am taking that control back.

I was telling my dear friend, PLM about this, and she said that if I cared for myself with as much effort as I’ve taken to getting The Boyfriend  or EX on the right track in their lives (which she even said was a noble cause and that I shouldn’t even feel bad about that – supporting them) I’d be unstoppable. Of course, then she told me I should do it just in case, come next May, I’m back into the dating pool. LOL!

I don’t always put in the effort I do for others, into myself. I would go a thousand miles to make sure the things my kids need, the support they deserve, or whatever else was taken care of – yet here I am, neglecting my own feelings and body.

This stops today – not the supporting other people, but the not realizing that my needs and my own well being is just as important. I don’t have to sacrifice myself for others – especially those who don’t make any effort to be a part of my life in the same way.

I feel better and empowered just having written that. :-)

Love. You. Me.

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I want love. Not that storybook, happily ever after kind of crap where unicorns shoot rainbows out their a**es, but honest and real love. Not the cutesy couple that everyone adores on Facebook (because they are posting every damn detail about how in love they are) but the couple that lasts and, deep down, everyone knows why and is envious that their love is so strong, they don’t have to broadcast it to the world…their actions do.

I want to wake up knowing that I could get fired from my job, total my car, disfigure my face, and have my home burn down – and know you’ll still be there for me.

I don’t want to have to jump around or vie for your attention with anyone else. I want it to be just you and me. Period.

I want to know that I can have the worse day of my life, come home and wrongly take it out on you and you will forgive and love me just the same.

…and then not hold any of that against me.

I want forgiveness. Not “okay, I accept your apology” kind of forgiveness, but the kind of forgiveness where when I apologize, you say “what for?” and we move on.

I want passion. That deep, driving passion that is the force that drives you into my bed at night and makes all 20 of our toes curl.

Importantly, I want to give this all back to you in return.

I want you. I just don’t know if I have you.

Relationships.

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I am re-blogging this. It’s not necessarily how I feel about my relationship, but I won’t lie – there are some things in here I really identify with. It’s not about being with the wrong person, it’s about fearing you may be with someone who isn’t as in love with you as you are with them (or maybe isn’t capable of showing it how you need) but loving them so much, you are afraid to let go in case they are.

Re-blogged from Thought Catalog.

I want some sparks, dammit. I want to meet someone and have them be as undeniably crazy about me as I am about them. I don’t want to worry about their feelings for me or feel like I’m being annoying when I invite them out for a drink. I want to know. I want them to look me in the eyes and tell me they care for me and never have to worry that an hour wait between text message responses means anything more than they didn’t have their phone on them at the time.

I want to be swept off my feet. I want to be fucking wooed. I want someone to fight for me when I have doubts and remember that my favorite ice cream flavor is peppermint. I want Sundays curled up under blankets listening to the rain and arguing over whether to watch Breaking Bad or Luther. I want to have small arguments and slightly bigger arguments and be able to solve them all with a long, lingering kiss or a handwritten letter tucked in my bag to be discovered later in the work day. I want someone to remember all the details — to tease me about how I can’t caramelize onions because I’m impatient, how I couldn’t tie my shoes until the first grade, how I still call that one Who song “Teenage Wasteland.”

You’re so many things I’ve always wanted. You’re kind and thoughtful and gentle and smart but I feel so much like an afterthought. That being with me made sense so you did it. I don’t want to wonder at whether or not I can grab your hand or run my fingers through your hair. I’m tired of being the instigator. I’m tired of feeling so fucking desperate when you’re supposed to be mine and I am completely yours. What gives? Let me go if you don’t really care. Free me and stop half-assing this relationship because I’d rather be lonely and searching than be bound to someone by their own indifference. I was born for a great love. I can feel it. I know it. You most certainly were, too. Stop wasting both our time and rip this shit off like a band aid if you aren’t truly, genuinely, completely into me.

It felt so good for a moment. To know I wasn’t “on the market” anymore. I loved shutting down the booty calls. I loved telling my ex that I was in a relationship in response to a lewd late-night text message. And I liked you. I liked you so much. I feel like we’re cut from the same cloth, like we could have grown up together. You with your kindness and infinite reserves of friendship, your lack of judgment, your common sense. I was smitten. I would still be if it weren’t for my defenses going on red alert at the first sign of your disinterest. I’m trying not to think about how easy it is to be with you and that insane kiss in a crowded bar. I’m trying not to think about how you nice your arms feel, how right I thought they were. I’m trying so hard not to picture your smile or hear your laugh. I wanted to be done feeling like a silly little girl with a crush but now it seems I’m doomed to pluck petals off of daisies and strike through your name in never-ending rounds of MASH.

For a while there, I thought I’d grown out of this state of mind. It was nice for a minute to just bask in my own indifference. To shrug at rejection and spend Friday nights alone doing whatever the hell I wanted. But then you came along and made me think “well, this is awfully nice” and once again I was craving the companionship of another human being. I’m so worried that I’m right that you don’t care, that I am going to have to end this, that I am going to have to get used to my own solitude again. But I’d rather be alone and heartbroken than with someone who doesn’t see a future with me. I’d rather cry myself to sleep than wake up next to a man who doesn’t think he’s lucky to have drifted into dreamland with me in his arms. I think I deserve more than contented tolerance. I think you do, too.

I want someone who will hold me when I’m sad, will squeeze all the angst out of me in a tender embrace. I want someone who I can share my dark parts with, someone who won’t turn and run when I show the slightest sign of emotion. My darling, I thought that was you. Maybe I shouldn’t have. Maybe I got too excited too soon. It’s something I have a tendency to do and it’s shot the foot of even my most passionate relationships. I don’t think I understand this world and the social mechanisms of love because the dating practice of keeping one’s cards hidden has never made any sense to me. I want to put it all out there. This is me and this is why I’m fucked up and also, darling, I am so, so into you. And I want that honesty to beget more honesty. I want to be met with enthusiastic agreement or direct rejection. No timid reaches for my hand if you care. None of that fading away over the course of a few weeks if you don’t. Be honest about your feelings because I have been honest about mine.

Life is too short to be tepid. And it is too long to spend it with people you don’t completely adore. God knows I want to keep you in my life, that I want to continue this courtship. Because you really are a beautiful human being. Because I don’t think there’s a mean bone in your body and I find nothing sexier than true, genuine kindness. But if you really aren’t that into me, if you’ve continued to pursue this because you don’t want to break my heart, then I would consider it the truest kindness if you were just honest and ended it. Because I want sparks, dammit, and it takes two to really make them happen.

Goals.

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My grandmother passed away yesterday. While quite sad, it was also in many ways a relief. She had started to mentally go downhill a couple of years ago – dementia or Alzheimer’s, I’m really not sure which. She wasn’t really there, my grandma’s personality and memory was robbed. Her body, however, was still holding up just fine. She was in amazing condition for 91. Then 2 months ago, she became very ill and ended up in the hospital. They found cancer that had metastasized. This was a quick kind of cancer – the “get your affairs in order” kind…and it took her physically downhill the past 2 months, until yesterday morning when she drifted off to eternal sleep. No more pain and her memory is restored; I’m positive she is in heaven right now.

This was a reminder to me that life here on earth is finite. We are placed here by chance, live by our own decision, and are taken whenever it’s determined our time will be – mostly not by our own choice. It’s that middle part I want to focus on. The live by our own decision part.

We make a choice to get up each day, walk out the door, do whatever it is we need to get done, and choose when to lay our heads to sleep. Again, it’s the middle part that is on my mind so strongly now.

My grandma passed away on my half birthday. In six months, I’ll be 37. That is taking me out of my mid-thirties and placing me in my late thirties – which I’m totally fine with. Am I where I want to be?

No.

I actually came to this realization about a week and a half ago. I even made a mental note (and a vague FB reference, so I felt like I had to be accountable) of it. Grandma passing away only solidified it more for me.

I’m going to return to school for my MBA. Not only will this help me in my career, more importantly – it’s a goal I feel amazingly good about. I like accomplishing things and this would be one accomplishment I would carry very proudly.

Of course, and unfortunately, all goals usually come with sacrifices or hard choices. I can’t keep up the back and forth lifestyle that I have now and the unrest and uncertainty of my relationship. I feel like I’m banking on something that may never happen. While I’m willing to take some risks, I am not willing to risk putting my personal and professional life on hold forever, even if the love is amazing and has the potential to grow to be so much more.

I haven’t seen much effort from The Boyfriend. Well, check that…I’ve seen a TON of effort, but only when I push him in the direction and motivate him to do it. He clearly isn’t working toward a goal, rather I’m pushing him toward it…which ends today. I’ve put him in the path he wants to be – fixing up his place, helped him with budgeting, etc., now it’s his decision whether to keep up with that or not. I have a sickening feeling (which I hope is wrong) that he will fall back into his old “comfortable routine”. He’s already not kept up with the budgeting thing, he’s not saved money to complete the last 2 tasks in his apartment, and he’s not truly began looking for a job down here. As much as I know he loves me and thinks he wants to do this, I think his fear is stronger than his desire and love. As sad as that makes me, I can’t be mad at him for it. We are all human and all have flaws – his is very passive procrastination. He’s comfortable where he’s at and he will sacrifice happiness for that comfortable routine. That’s a choice and I truly am not spiteful or hateful, just very sad about that.

I’m applying to MBA programs, the type of which start in the Summer and run for 2 years either online or on every other weekend. To do either of these options, it would be impossible to schedule the nightly calls, the weekend trips (either up to see him or back and forth to get him to the train station and back). So, with a very heavy heart, I’ve decided that if within the next six months, if he is still unable to relocate, things will be done between us.

That’s painful to write. It breaks my heart. However, I don’t want to live my life alone and honestly, I’m quite lonely. Not that The Boyfriend makes me feel lonely, he is quite good at support…but I don’t want to do that over the phone forever. I need a physical presence. Maybe that’s my flaw in this whole thing.

My grandparents had an odd relationship. I’ve never met two people more opposite. To be honest, they were a horrible matching for each other – but they both decided to stay committed to each other. What an odd concept for me. They stayed together through totally different parenting styles (which caused some pretty major issues in their lives) and even through infidelity. That was their choice, a choice both consenting adults made and lived with. In the end, they did truly love each other. Not out of convenience, not out of duty, rather out of respect. They respected that the other person put up with so much crap from them and loved for that. Now, that is not the kind of love I want (aside from the eternal love part), but it reminds me that I do want a partner, a person here that I can grow old with, that has lived my life with me and seen my kids grow up on a first hand basis which, quite honestly, that time is going by fast. I need to know someone is here, and I mean really here for me. Not just physical location (which, as you can tell, is quite important) but emotionally here for me. When I need them, I need to know they would cross every mountain, swim every ocean to be there for me. That’s the kind of spectacular love I hope I have, but if I don’t – that’s what I want.

I saw this really great thing on another blog that I’ll repost this afternoon, along these lines.

Strong Women.

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I “like” (and actually like) this page on Facebook called Thought Catalog. It’s a site where various people have shared experiences and often lists of things. Sometimes they are goofy, other times serious, and other times quite thought provoking. When I click to read them, I notice that they are actually blogged on WordPress, but when I try to share them on my blog, they never link quite right.

Anyway, I read one today on strong women, which I totally identified with. The Boyfriend can tell you – it’s not easy loving a strong woman, but the rewards are bountiful if you are man enough to do it. Of course, The Boyfriend would laugh at that statement too. He is always telling me how he’s too sensitive to be a man’s man, but in reality, being yourself is more telling of how strong a man you are, especially when being yourself doesn’t fit the neat little package that everyone tries to fit you into. I think that is one of the many reasons we are such a good fit – we buck the stereotypes that are out there for us and we don’t even give it a second though.

Here is the list, as seen on Thought Catalog.

30 Things Every Independent Woman Should Have In Her Life

1. A tool kit, complete with a screwdriver, hammer, tape measure, spare light bulb, and a long-burning candle and matches just in case.

2. A workout routine she can reach for when she needs to blow off steam or give her peace of mind.

3. A budget, a healthy savings account, and a financial plan that involves knowing how to handle all of her bills every month and take care of any emergency things that may come her way.

4. Health insurance. Really. Even if she thinks she’s young and invincible.

5. A sense of style that is unique and doesn’t require spending hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars on things that are trendy or fashionable but she doesn’t even really like deep down.

6. The self-confidence to run to the corner deli in sweats, because A) she values her comfort over what other people think of her appearance and B) who cares if they’re looking anyway?

7. A proper education on sex, regardless of where she stands on sex itself — knowing how her body works is key in taking care of it.

8. Her own Netflix account. Few things are worse than using an ex’s account and having to think about them every time you want to watch a movie.

9. A special pump-up song that always manages to rally her mood whether she’s sad, focusing on something, or just getting dressed for a night out.

10. A healthy relationship with social media that doesn’t involve getting into Twitter fights, posting endless selfies, or stressing over how many likes something got in the past hour.

11. A good relationship with her mother, or with a maternal figure, at least. You might think you need your parents less as you grow up, but really, the relationship just changes, and it helps to have an adult around who has already been. there.

12. A well-tailored professional outfit that she always has clean and on hand because life is full of surprises, and you never know when your dream interview or meeting is just around the corner.

13. A bottle of champagne in the fridge for impromptu celebrations.

14. A bed she can retreat to when she needs it most — think quality sheets, a nice comforter, good pillows, and a mattress that wasn’t purchased used or donated from a friend or family member. Getting a good night’s sleep makes all the difference in the world, so why not invest in it?

15. A good number of meals that she can whip out on her own. Because you can’t live on Seamless for the rest of your life, and there’s a maximum of times you can see the delivery man in one week.

16. A driver’s license — even if she lives in a city with great public transportation — because you never know when you’ll have to step in and take over the wheel. (Bonus points if she has a working knowledge of stick shift, and how to change a tire.)

17. A signature accessory, whether that’s her rings, a lipstick, a nail polish, or a perfume. You don’t want your most marked accessory to be your cell phone.

18. Thank you notes and stamps, and penmanship that doesn’t make her cringe when she sits down to write a note (be it to a prospective employer, someone who gave her a gift or invited her to a party, or simply did something nice for her).

19. When the WiFi, her computer, or her TV blows out on a Thursday night and all she wants to do is get lost in Netflix or her favorite show, she can fix it without smashing the modem and thus restore her night in and her personal mental health.

20. A freak’um dress, a classic LBD, and a dress her grandma will be proud of her for having. Because an independent woman is prepared for any and all dressy occasions.

21. A book in her bag for any time she has to wait for a meeting, appointment, or when she’s traveling.

22. Actual silverware, and not just plastic forks and paper plates. Investing in steak knives might be the advanced course, but baby steps (and maybe a few real wine glasses) count, too.

23. The self-awareness to be grounded in her own beliefs — be they religious, political, or anything in between — but the open-mindedness to respect when other people do not share her views.

24. A knowledge of what she wants from a relationship and not feeling any need to subject herself to tired dating rules — and refusing to settle for anyone or anything less.

25. A favorite drink that she orders without hesitation, whether it’s whiskey on the rocks or the most basic Cosmopolitan ever.

26. The memory of at least one relationship that does not make her cringe in retrospect — or if it does, she also has the knowledge of what went wrong, what she’d change (about herself), and what she can do right next time.

27. If she’s into sports, she has her favorite teams and doesn’t need anyone to explain rules to her.

28. That one friend she shares a special language with, and whom she can text at a moment’s notice for a pep talk, a rant-fest, or anything in between.

29. The knowledge that she looks good, and that she deserves to feel as good as she looks — no external compliments, signs of affection, or cat calls required to think she’s worthy.

30. And the humility to suck up her pride and ask for help when she needs it — be it from a man, another woman, her boss, her parents, whoever. Because you can be an independent woman and still need other people, and let them know how grateful you are to have them in your independent life.

A Happy Medium.

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An immense amount of stress has been lifted off of me since The Boyfriend has agreed to do all the traveling. I think part of it was done out of guilt, since he couldn’t seem to meet the September deadline we had fuzzily set for him to be moved down here. It’s nice though and I have no intentions of going back on this part of the deal. I just wonder how long it’s sustainable. How long will he continue to go back and forth every weekend – 8 plus hours in a train, just to keep this relationship going? I guess it will be a test of how serious he truly is about us moving on together with our relationship. It’s the waiting part that kills me though. Feeling, from time to time, that maybe it’s not worth it. That’s what makes me doubt this more than anything. As my friend LLE said “he needs to fish or cut bait”.

I’m willing to wait a bit longer and see if he’s serious or not. The relationship is worth a little more investment in time (and headache of still having my weekends interrupted by trips to the train station 25 minutes each way) in order to find that out. <3

Support.

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Sometimes when I get bogged down in my own life – the stresses of work, pressures of family, and the duties of being a single mom to three kids…I have to take a step back and find my support system.

Many times, this is my wonderful mom. I always joke that she’s the best husband I’ve ever had. She helps with the kids when needed, she’s done loads of laundry for me to help get me caught up, she’s done homework with my kids, activities, and even been a chaperone to their field trips (since my work flow doesn’t often permit me the time to take off in the beginning of the week easily). When she sees me get really run down, she does all she can to help get me back on track.

Other times, it’s PLM, my lifelong friend. She’s someone I can always go have a good cry on her shoulder and vent, vent, vent – then she always reminds me what an optimist I really am. She may not live the same stress I have, but she empathizes totally within her own and gently guides me back on track as well.

Occasionally I turn to The Boyfriend, although it’s more difficult to feel support over the phone (although he’s amazing at it when he’s actually here, with me <3  ). I know he tries, but sometimes he’s not able to respond. I know that’s because instead of me being able to tell him face to face, he’s got his own life – 240 miles away. Recently when I reached out because I was having a panic attack, he was tied up at work and never really was able to respond. I assume by the time he got home, he was probably so exhausted, he just couldn’t deal (his days at work have been long recently). This turned out to be a good thing because the anxiety (and having no outlet for it) actually convinced me to step out of my box and take up an offer of a social situation I may not have normally put myself into.

Recently, I met a new friend at a party. I swear, single parents have a radar for each other. I don’t know if it’s the circles under our eyes, the silent sadness of having to watch your kids be their amazing selves while having no one to share in that joy with anymore, or if it’s just the desperation we all feel to try and have a social life, the way “single” life is supposed to be – but it’s there. As my new friend and I were joking about endless laundry that you stay up at night watching guilty pleasures on TV or bad movies, H said “there’s a group of us”. I laughed and asked “really?” Then I was invited to join this group for a movie night, on a Tuesday. I have to tell you – it was fabulous. This group of single moms and dads get together, often during the week because we all have the same issue of our weekends being filled up with kids and activities, so they have it on nights when their ex-spouse has the kid(s). They typically meet up in a town about mid-way between the locations of the friends (which is about a 20 mile radius from the town they meet in) and just cut loose.

It was so nice to have that presence. Even going into a room of essentially strangers, it was nice to see their eyes weren’t just saying “who is this person” rather “hey, we know your story because we are living it. What’s your name?” I felt totally at ease.

It’s nice to have that physical presence of people who won’t judge me if I can’t make an outing because they know how crazy my life is. They won’t be bored if I talk about work or any of my geeky likes, because they are so happy to not be talking about kids for a couple of hours that anything is a relief. Although, I have found that single parents that have primary custody of their kids do tend to like a lot of the same nerdy things. LOL!

It was nice not to come home to an empty home, wishing there was someone else there to tell about my day while my kids were at EX’s house for a few hours. It was nice to feel understood. It was just nice to be in a room where I could be with others, feel support, and possibly even put some of the things stressing me on the back burner.

Finding your support systems and using them is the only way to get through life – especially as a single parent. <3

Optimist.

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There are days I still struggle. I am definitely not a bitter person, but there are times where I feel a little bitterness creep into me. It sinks in deep, into my bones, and just infects my mind and body.

After having a happily hectic weekend with the kids, which was amazingly productive but exhausting, I realized that I was only so happy because it was hectic. It was so hectic, it allowed me to temporarily forget the stuff that has been plaguing my thoughts, as of late. This lead to me the realization that I needed to work on those issues instead of just putting a Band Aid of being so busy I didn’t have to think about them.

In life, it’s easy to not deal with situations or issues. It’s easy to either avoid them or just go on, pretending they never happened or aren’t looming in the air; but they still are. It’s like the 5,000 pound gorilla in the room that no one talks about – and it’s sitting on my chest at the moment, staring me in the eyes.

Not every one looks at life the same as me. I think it mostly goes back to the influence of my dad. He had lots of -isms he would say to me that I still think about today when I’m going through life.

Even though when I was younger, these saying would occasionally get on my nerves (mainly because my dad was right), as an adult I now keep these in mind:

“Is this a hill you want to die on?”  Is the problem big enough that it’s worth upsetting the other person? Is the problem (and the person) worth expending the energy to fix it, or will it be a waste of time – either because the friendship/relationship isn’t worth it or you know the other person is 100% unwilling to listen or compromise? Does the problem hurt the other person somehow (which would be the ultimate test, because if it does, my dad would say, you have a moral obligation to discuss it)? Does the problem greatly affect you in such a way that it needs to be addressed for your own well being?

“It’s not always what you say, but how you say it.” Oh my, how true this one is. By how you say it, it’s the inflection in your voice, your body language, and your facial expressions. Those were the main things my dad was implying to me when he’d say that. What I’ve found now is that it’s not only those cues, but also your choice of words. Choice of words can be so difficult because everyone’s meaning of words can be slightly different. A funny example of this is a conversation between The Boyfriend and me. I was talking about some past discussion between us and I said something about him yelling at me. He got a little defensive at this point and said he didn’t yell. Before I went off and started to rehash the conversation (which didn’t need to be done, so thankfully I stopped myself) I recalled what a stickler for words he is. He has his own certain associations with specific phrases, which since we’ve been together so long I know this about him, so I changed it to raising his voice. He was okay with that. Inside, I was immensely frustrated that a simple conversation had to be stopped because of, what I perceived as semantics, but since it wasn’t a “hill I wanted to die on” I simply turned it into a laughable discussion of the differences in communication between us. It wasn’t the meaning of the sentence that ruffled his feathers, it was how I said it. The context was still the same whether I said yell or raised his voice.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff.” My dad used to tell me this and it would make me want to blow my stack. LOL! From time to time now, it still does. It’s true though. Even the stuff that seems like big stuff, in reality, it’s really just small stuff because you always have a choice on how you live it. You choose what you allow into your life. The big stuff, the stuff that messes with your mind and works on your self-esteem, you can almost always eliminate if it’s not a hill you want to die on. Plus, if a problem is that big that it can’t be fixed, it likely needs to be eliminated anyway.

Life is full of choices. There is always an option and very few definites. For instance, over a year ago, I had told The Boyfriend that since we had finally decided to move in together, and because with my kids I am missing out on so much being gone every other weekend, it needed to happen by September of this year. I was so happy and focused with that decision because it would finally put an end to the back and forth, it would give us both an actual support system at home full-time (instead of just over the phone, which just isn’t working anymore), and it would finally allow our relationship to continue to grow. However, by September he was not ready. I had the choice of no longer traveling, taking that part of my life that soaked up 8+ hours on a weekend I had off from the kids, delaying a ton of housework and also delaying my school time OR I could continue a relationship with him, choosing to let him keep his life where it was (for the time being) until he was better prepared to move. I chose him. I looked where my priorities were, I looked where my emotions were, and he was the better option. I could maintain the stress (at that point, at least) of the travel, of having to drag my kids out every other weekend very late at night, of hindering their ability to have friends spend the night Friday night (and Saturdays are not an option due to a lovely 8am mass time), and the stress of essentially putting my social life and academic life on hold, for him. That was a choice, there is no way he could have forced me to do it.

Ownership. Ownership of my actions, ownership of my decisions (good and bad), ownership of what life hands me, and realizing that I have a choice in it all – that’s  my personal outlook on life which allows me to stay an optimist. I will not blame others for my circumstances, rather realize that I have the choice and decision to change them.

So, today, life is good. You know what? I have a feeling that tomorrow will be even better.

Effort.

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Sometimes, you have to make an effort. You can’t just live your life, expecting everyone else to accept your issues and your faults and for them to completely re-vamp their life to be focused on just fixing you. Sometime, you need to fix yourself. Sometimes, you have to put others feelings over your own and do the right thing for them, even when it’s difficult for you.

Sometimes, I need to take time and figure out if people are actually capable of respecting what I need, in addition to their own needs.

Just a random thought after a dark, difficult week.