Month: June 2019

Go Old School on Him

Maybe I should have titled this one “My Third Rant” as the first rant I did (https://strongerthanbroken.com/?s=my+first+rant ) was also about that damned cell phone.

One evening my husband and I went to have a bite to eat and hear a local band. I was stunned that the couple next to us. They were captivated by their cell phones instead of talking to each other. Oh well. I brushed it off thinking that surely they would converse at some point. I mean, the meal had not yet come. They were just whetting their appetites with pop until the food arrived, right?

Wrong! The food came and they were still looking and eating. I have no words. Well, yes I do.

My parents taught me that when you are at restaurant, it is customary to sit across from your partner or date, so you can have meaningful eye contact. Thank you mom and dad.

Still at it

I often expect this cell phone obsession from the younger generation, but here was a couple about our age. It made me so sad to think that their date night was all about checking their Facebook feed or sending a Tweet about being out on date night. Do you see the irony?

My solution? Let’s go “Old School” on our dates. Leave the phone in the car or at very best put the damned thing down when the food arrives. I love to post happy date nights on social media so I fully understand the need to have the phone with me, but honestly, I also need to look deep into my husband’s eyes. I need to see that special smile that he only gives to me. I need to connect in a way that signifies that we can still feel like lovers and not business partners.

Here are a few tips for your next date:

  • Do not talk about the kids, bills, or broken washing machine. It is a date, not a board meeting.
  • Use the phone to post a few cute pictures and then put it away.
  • If you have young kids and need to check on how the babysitter is doing, make sure you peek on occasion or put the phone face down so that you can see it vibrate if an emergency call is coming in.
  • Remember that date night is sacred, special, wonderful, fun and a way to rekindle romance.
  • Go home knowing you connected in a meaningful way and see where it leads when the lights are turned out.

89 Cent Cake Was Just Fine

Have you heard the term “reframing?” Just like it sounds, you place an old picture into a new frame. Your thoughts can be reframed until you start thinking in a positive way all or most of the time. So take that old thought process and put it into a new frame.

Recently I had one of those days where I could have been completely annoyed by the fact that I had to go to multiple places to get a cake for my husband, and ended up just making a cheap cake mix from a box.

The old me would have been so angry about all of the detours the day threw at me, but I have been working for so many years at being in my happy place on a daily basis, that shooting the first half of this video was actually a bit difficult. Enjoy a laugh if you have 3 and a half minutes.

Learning to reframe was not an overnight affair. It was work. I often had to “fake it till I make it” when in a long line, or when the cashier was less than competent. I frequently bit my tongue when someones opinion did not mesh with mine. I worked avidly at understanding a person who was so far away from my political viewpoint that I wanted to scream.

Does this ring true for you? When you go on a diet, it should always be the replacing of a bad food for a good food. In like manner, we can replace our bad thoughts for good ones.

When learning a musical instrument it is the day by day practicing that over time turns you into a true musician. In the same vein the daily practice of finding joy in a long line, or a traffic jam will make us enjoy our day to the fullest instead of lamenting over situations we cannot change.

Go an enjoy this day…and the next day….and the next. Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed, relished and cherished. Your infectious joy will spread and spread until you are truly an enlightened being filled with love. You will attract so much more beauty into your life. And, once in a while, enjoy an 89 cent cake.

89 cent cake from a box mix

Your life will open up in magical ways when you open your mind to joy. The right people will be attracted to you while the negative people will fall away, one by one.

Hope You Don’t Mind

Instead of trying to impress you with some brilliant revelation or entertain you with some silly story, I hope you don’t mind if today I shamelessly self promote a book that has brought me so much joy.

Letters to the Dead Men – Unexpected Revelations was written with all of the love I could muster and all of the raw emotions I felt when losing beautiful men that came through my life and taught me many lessons.

I have entered this book in the 2019 Author Academy Awards Contest and hope to break into that top ten spot for my category.

Last year Stronger Than Broken – One couple’s decision to move through an affair made it into the top ten and I had the opportunity to present the book at the Igniting Souls Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Although it did not win, the thrill I got from presenting to judges and a crowd still makes me hyped-up. I loved sharing.

This new book was written not only to help me find closure to the pain still lingering years after the death of some key figures in my life but to also help others through their pain.

Here are the instructions: Go to https://authoracademyawards.com and click on the red button that says “vote for 2019.” When the first page loads you will see in the upper left that you are on page one of sixteen. Letters to the Dead Men is on the fourteenth page of the sixteen.

When you get to page sixteen simply click on the book and that is your vote. If you truly feel inspired, you may also comment which book you voted for and share it to your Facebook feed. I sincerely thank you in advance for doing this for me so that more people can grieve their way back to functional.

It’s Not 50-50. Deal With It!

I have an acquaintance that I run into often at a particular Panera. If he is not with a client, he invites me over to his table. I bring my coffee and we chat. Somehow the conversation ends up being about marriage or something having to do with relationships.

Coffee

This man has met my husband on a few social occasions and seems to know just how to get under my skin by telling me that he does not understand why I put so much into the marriage. He makes comments about how it is obvious to him that I love my husband more than he loves me. Knowing the subject matter of the first book I wrote (Stronger Than Broken) he thinks that I did most of the work in the reconstruction of the marriage.

I admit that my first and very defensive response is “So what! Why does everything have to be 50-50?” In my union to the man I have loved for more than half of my life, I never look at things in a way that would make me question his effort. Just as a side note,  my Panera friend has had more than one divorce.

My husband has many talents and strengths. I have many talents and strengths. They can be quite different. Could you imagine if everything in the relationship had to be 50-50? Let’s envision that our children stayed in wet diapers for part of the day waiting for Daddy to come home because I had already done my half for the day. Let’s picture that when our roof needed to be replaced, I would have gone up on the ladder to do the left side and my husband the right side so it could be 50-50. That would terrify me when the first rain would come! When “we” homeschooled our children should I have graded only half of the papers so that he could grade the rest? Should he cook half of the meat on the grill and I the other half?

Maybe these are petty examples. I mean, relationships should be equal, right? Hmmmm. I’m not necessarily buying that. Where we are spiritually, how we were raised as children, what our socioeconomic level was growing up, our possible cultural differences and our personalities are unique.

Like the distinctive and delicious spices comingling together in a casserole that make the dish worthy of a feast, the strengths, weaknesses, and differences we have make our relationship flavorful.

Yes, perhaps I put more into the “relationship” part of our union. Perhaps he puts more into the providing part of our marriage. We share the cleaning and cooking and even the bill paying.

I know I am not the only woman who puts forth effort. I remember the first time I ever found validation that most women do tend to work harder on their relationship. It was when I began to read books by Laura Doyle. Check out https://www.huffpost.com/entry/exclusive-interview-with-laura-doyle-author-of-first_b_578535cce4b09c5504c4371f. Her views are refreshing in a world where we have become obsessed with equality. Laura describes successful marriages in a way that never makes me feel like a doormat and always reminds me that I am a wife to my husband and not his mother. Her first step when working with couples is the self-care of the woman. I resonate with that wholeheartedly!

Well, back to my Panera buddy. I tell him that I am thrilled that my husband and I don’t keep chits or memorandums saying who owes who what or who has done more of the work in the marriage. To me it is a big old so what!

So maybe this will still come across as defensive, but let’s get real. It’s not always 50-50. Deal with it.