Monday, April 21, 2014

Obstacles: Turning Away the Uncomitted


I saw this on my Pinterest feed a few days ago and it made me think about obstacles in relationships.  

I think that obstacles can serve two purposes in a relationship:

  1. To spur growth between the people in the relationship - as they overcome obstacles, they grow closer, build trust and have a strengthened bond.
  2. To weed out the uncommitted. 

Spurring Growth

 

When I was married to a man, our first few years together were difficult.  Not in a relationship sense, but financially.  

We struggled to pay bills and had to get very creative.  I learned how to cook, we began composting, he took our trash with him to his office dumpster, we had rabbit ears that got us 3 TV channels and I went through my entire pregnancy in Georgia without air conditioning because the repair to our AC unit was too expensive.

These obstacles could have torn us apart and we could have blamed each other for not earning more money or spending wisely, but we faced our challenges together as a team and did some fantastic problem solving.  

It felt like each time we solved a problem together, we began to develop a deep and abiding trust.  He kept his promises to me and I grew to know him as a man of his word.  I knew that he always had my best interest at heart as much as he knew I had his.

We were together for 23 years - until I came out as a lesbian and needed to take my own journey without him.  


Today, we are friends and will always have fond memories of the life that we built together.  We are our children's parents and will always have a friendship that has survived the trauma that coming out later in life can bring. 


Weeding Out the Uncommitted


Unlike my ex-husband, who was willing to be solidly on my team and committed to the core, you may find yourself with a "partner" who is anything but a partner.  

My ex-husband rarely made me feel like he wasn't on my side.  In fact, the times where he solidly took my side are the times I remember that I loved him the most.

An uncommitted person will act like they are on an opposing team when you must face an obstacle.  You hope they will be your ally - a person to go to that will help and offer advice and support.  

But, no.

An uncommitted person will rarely tackle a problem with you.  They avoid being involved and leave it to you to solve.  You may be attacked and blamed and the conflict may then be used as an excuse to alert you to your other failings as a human being.  

(If you don't know what it's like to be kicked while you're down, these types of partners will gladly teach you.)

If you have a partner who uses obstacles to show you where you are weak, blames you for the obstacle, refuses to acknowledge the obstacle (especially if it comes from their sphere) and/or gets tired of "dealing" with it, please know that I am so sorry for you. 

These people are "relationship lazy" - they love it when everything is going well, but they don't want to be a part of the work that it takes to maintain a good one.  

Like everything else, things that are not maintained usually start to fall apart.  When they do, these people walk out looking for greener pastures (new partners).  

Take Away:


Let these people go.

Do not fight to keep them in your life.  They will always want to flee in order to avoid doing the work of maintaining a relationship.  The blame game is the only one that they know how to play.

Instead, look for the people who wouldn't even consider using obstacles as a time to vent or tell you what about you angers them, kicking you when you are down.  

You want someone who can communicate in a mature way, without feeling the need to blame or name-call; someone who can set aside their emotions for a moment in order to look for solutions that build relationship trust in the process.

If you are lucky enough to find someone like that, don't YOU be the dumb-ass that is too lazy to maintain it.  You hold on to and care for that person like they are the best thing that ever happened to you.  Because, more than likely, they are.

Sorry about your old e-mails coming in like they're new....



Last night, my e-mail feed sent out my latest post along with a few older posts.  I have no idea why - I have no control over the email feed.  In fact, I can't even see who is subscribed to receive my e-mails.  Anyway, I just wanted to apologize for the confusion.  It was weird...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Year, Schmear

After my marriage failed, a friend gave me some advice. She told me not to move anyone in with me until I had known them through *at least* all 4 seasons.  

How does she celebrate Valentine's Day, Easter, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas?  How does she fight?  How does she resolve conflict?  Is she high maintenance?  

You can't know these things in less than a year! 

I wanted to be sure that the girl I live with is a girl that I know well and plan to stay with.  So I purposed in my heart to wait at least a year after starting to date someone before I moved in with anyone.

Until I got this text today from my girl:




                                 (Don't worry about why I called her "My whore" - it's not important)

Who cares what her Thanksgiving traditions are?  I can totally work around that.  


Year, schmear! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

INTJ Personality Type: 'Introvert' Does Not Mean 'Shy'

I've been learning a lot in my new media classes.  The one that I'm taking that is giving me a grade for this blog has been especially helpful.  In analyzing what keywords people use to arrive at my blog, I noticed a special one: INTJ.  


The INTJ


What the hell is that, you ask?

Introverted
iNtuitive (don't think that "N" instead of "I" shit doesn't bother us because it does...)
Thinking
Judging

I think we will start talking about this on a regular basis but for today, I felt it was important to get a fundamental truth out of the way:

Being an introvert does not mean that you're shy.  

I'm very outgoing and can talk to and get along with almost anyone. 

Do I want to?


Hell no.  

But I've learned how to be friendly and a good listener out of necessity and I'll do it if I must; it's just not my favorite thing. 

An introvert is someone who recharges by being alone.  An extrovert gets charged up by being around people.  

To be clear: It has nothing to do with shyness or being outgoing.  

You are almost certain to have an introvert in your life so I thought I would borrow this handy chart that I found on Pinterest to help guide you in your care for the introvert (INTJ) in your life:


 

If you offer this type of love and support to your introvert, you will be valued and prized above all others!  You may even be invited into our private world.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What Would Lindsey Say Vol. 3


Yesterday, I got a random photo text from Lindsey.  It was this one of a bag of multi-colored pasta shaped like a penis.  

Knowing that I am quite gay and find the penis to be a useless and ugly appendage, I knew the photo was designed to gross me out.  After all, the thought of eating this type of food was...  no.

The following is a screenshot of our conversation:


She is such a joy in my life.  And if you have not ordered your copy of her book, "Ashway", please CLICK HERE and get one today!

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Bit About Losers


Success isn't hard to come by.

A winning attitude, a strong work ethic and the ability to stay focused are really all it takes.

For some people, this simple recipe is nearly impossible to do.  They start looking at what others have and they feel jealous and insecure about their own lives.

Instead of staying focused on making their own lives better and creating success for themselves, they fixate on others who are working hard and staying focused.  They may even try to cause them to stumble or get sidetracked in an effort to gain the upper hand.

You can always tell a winner by how much they focus on winning as easily as you can identify a loser by how much they focus on the lives of the winners.

If you want a life that you can be proud of, stop obsessing over others and appreciate what you have in front of you.  Review your goals and start doing things to reach them.  

Oh, and if your goals are mostly ones where there is a financial benefit and not a personal growth benefit, you are already on the wrong road.  Only losers think making a lot of money is what defines you as a winner.

Children

Do you have good kids?  Do they show you love and respect?  Are they always in trouble or turmoil because you've been too lazy to parent them?

Friends

Are your close friends ones you've had for your whole life or is your circle full of people that you only recently met?  Do you spend your spare time gossiping and cutting others down to try to make yourself look bigger or is truth and beauty on your lips?  Do you invest your time supporting your friends or are they only around to suit your needs?

Love

Do you cycle through romantic partners or are you a person who can be comitted to a relationship?  Do you seek to advance your partner, even at a cost to you?  Do you have open communication with them or do you only tell them certain things?

Time

Do you waste your life away in front of video games or television?  Do you share it with others in the community who need your companionship, expertise or labor?  How about volunteering - ever make time for that?  Or is your spare time only for your entertainment?

Discuss... what makes a winner and why are losers so jelly of them?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Life: It Just Gets Sweeter



Remember how my grief therapist, Tanya, helped me sort the shit out in my life back last year when my dad was first diagnosed with cancer?  

She told me that if I would just find the courage to let go of the things that were a source of strife in my life (instead of hoping that they will change), I would make room for new things in my life that would bring me love, peace and joy.

That bitch didn't lie.

Things have been going well.  Really well.

It started with just finding peace and solitude with the strife now gone from my house and my life.

I could just focus on doing me and being absolutely fantastic on my own.

I could have all of my time and energy to myself or share with the people that I wanted to give to instead of giving out of obligation and guilt to people who were demanding and unappreciative.

I started to meet new people and got involved in volunteering for causes that I care about.

Then, I had the sweetest offer from the most beautiful woman to help me find ways to help my dad.  Our friendship grew and then, we started to see each other romantically.  (After all, how could I not be attracted to someone who would spend time trying to help my father get well?)

Our casual dating took a sudden turn - I remember the moment: 

She was spending the night and was in my robe with sexy fuck hair piled into a messy bun wearing a hot pair of nerdy librarian glasses. She looked absolutely stunning.  

One of my besties, Ande, came over and started telling us about her really fun night. I listened to Ande but watched my girl.  She smiled as Ande told us whatever she was telling us - I could hardly follow because I could not take my eyes off of this gorgeous creature.  

When Ande told us that a guy that she liked asked for her number, my girl clapped her hands and ran to hug Ande and said she felt like a mom when her daughter got asked to the prom. She was just so happy because Ande was happy.

She derived sheer joy from the happiness of others and it took my breath away to watch her watch Ande. 

It was at that moment that I realized that I was in deep.  She was no longer a girl I was dating; she was a girl that I now had feelings for. 

She has been teaching me a lot of spiritual, zen things about energy, reiki, positivity and healing.  It has benefited everyone around me, especially my dad.  

The fact that she is always thinking of ways to improve his cancer battle and helping me and my family shows what an enormous asset she is to my life.  There is not a time when I see her that she doesn't have some way to advance one of us in an area that we may struggle with.

Example: She knows I am in the home stretch of finishing my degree (less than 4 month until graduation!).  To help me stay focused, she gave me a necklace with a rune symbol for "completion" on it to help me finish all of my tasks. 

Whatever negativity that happens now just rolls off my back and I can't help but to smile and feel happy and positive.  When you are happy, you want everyone else to be, too.  It's a great feeling!

My new sweetheart could not be more positive and each day that I know her better, I feel incredibly fortunate to have her in my life at this place during this time.

Oh, and these little quotes on this post?  These are things that she has sent to me - I get them on a daily basis.  

She is always loving, always encouraging, always positive and always ready to pour herself out for other people.  

I am SO glad I followed the advice of my therapist by clearing out the negative things in my life to make room for the positive ones. It took some time and effort but making those decisions about what stayed and what had to go were the smartest decisions I ever made...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It's in Writing


It's official... she loves me.  She put it in writing on a bathroom wall. 

Did I mention that I love bad girls?

Monday, March 31, 2014

My Week in Pics

These are some things that:

1. Made me LOL


2. Made me think

3. Made me agree


4. Made me smile - I had never seen this pic of my grandfather before and now I know where my daughter got that beautiful dimple in her chin.

5. Made me smile SO BIG

6. Made me really glad I have the people that I do in my life.

Life is short - you've gotta enjoy it!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Outed on Amazon.com

No Warning...


I let my daughter handle the deets when it came to writing her book, Ashway.  She signed her own contract (her dad reviewed it) and had it edited by someone else.  

In fact, I still have not read it because I was trying to buy a case at a wholesale price and was not able to get anywhere with the publisher on a timetable that I could live with.  

So today, I went to Amazon to order a copy.  (You can get your own by clicking HERE)

Ooooh!  There are 2 reviews (5 stars by verified purchases) and wow - they have a thing where you can look on the inside and also see the back cover now!  How exciting... a short author bio!  And I LOVE that pic of her.  

Oh, she mentions being homeschooled.  How adorab....

Wait.

Did my kid just OUT ME AS A LESBIAN ON AMAZON.COM?!?!


Fuck yes, she did!



No warning.  Nothing.  

THIS is how I found out.  

Damn her introvertedness...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Love My Girls


The girls that I love all came over this weekend.  This pic is now my favorite of all time (it even has my sweet puppy, Ke$ha in it).  

This one is my second favorite:


I had a great weekend with the people that I love and feel so thankful to have so many wonderful, amazing, strong women in my life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ashway : A Post-Apocalyptic Tale by Lindsey Bradford

ASHWAY by Lindsey Bradford

Yes, my kid is now a published author!  

Her first book came out yesterday and I would love for you all to order 10 copies.  You can get it here or, on Amazon.com here.

I will be posting reviews (and link-backs to your blog) if you'd care to write one.  Thank you for your support!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What Friends Can't Possibly Know


The Problem

I had dinner with a friend last week.  

She was sharing with me how she felt this amazing, unexplainable connection with her ex.  They had gone their separate ways and dated other people. 

They recently ran into each other and reconnected.  They talked and the spark was still there.  They both felt it and began to discuss the possibility of a reconciliation.  

The problem, however, was that they had gotten together and broken up so many times that their friends were discouraging any type of communication between them and would never support another reconciliation.

Been There, Done That

 

I listened with interest because I know what that feels like. I was crazy in love with my ex and when she left our marriage, my family and friends suffered along with me.  

-My daughter saw me break down and cry more in those first 2 weeks than she had in her entire life.  

-I sat in my friend Gina's car asking, through tears, what else could I have done to make her happy?  

-Night-owl, Donna, got 3am texts from me asking her to tell me what she did to deal with it when she went through it.  

-Pals Kelly & Karen took me for more than a few margaritas to coach me through the first broken heart of my life (at age 42).  

-My parents were as sad as I was because they loved her like a daughter. 

It was horrible for me, but also really bad for those who loved me. 

When my ex returned and wanted to try again, most of my friends were skeptical but sort of left the ball in my court to decide. After my ex left a second time and the break up was the ugliest in lesbian history, there was not a single one among them who would have supported our reconciliation.

I was torn between:
  • feeling grateful that they helped me to stand strong when I wanted to believe that things would be different if I took her back when she was asking me to
AND...
  • feeling annoyed by them for telling me to let her go because they didn't know her like I did.  They didn't see her specialness.

What they see vs. what they can never know...

 

During a break-up, our friends see us suffer and they hear what we deal with and they get our side of the story.  Maybe they will give the other person the benefit of a doubt and assume that you both contributed to the break-up. Either way, they only see a limited perspective.

Not only have I had these friends, but I was almost one of them myself.  When one of my besties, Ande, had a horrible second break-up, I was tempted to threaten her to not get back with him.  But in the end, if it had been possible for them to reconcile and for her to be happy, I wanted that.

At the core of it all, I realized that there are things that none of your friends can ever know.  Things like:
  • The true depth of the love you had
  • The connectedness that you never experienced with anyone before
  • The inside jokes that only they would ever be able to understand
  • The knowing looks across the room
  • The perfect physical intimacy that only comes when you really know someone's body 
  • The way that you both know that you know that you were made for each other
Friends only know they are sick of hearing about the problems and want to see you happy and not struggling with the same, tired issues that you can't seem to resolve.  

"What would you think...?"


After hearing about this, my friend asked me, point blank, "What would you think if we got back together?"

I thought about all of that and then, I said to my friend, "I know what it's like to not only feel, but really know in your heart, that you were meant to be with someone.  I support your love.  If you both feel it, you owe it to yourselves to try again."

She was shocked and moved to tears.  "I never get that support from anyone.  Thank you."

Where is this going? 

 

Yes, these two will have to talk about what went wrong and be committed to making changes to avoid those same problems.  They will be careful about what they say and do because they have a new perspective of what life was like without each other.  

I have every confidence that if they can make it, they will.

If they are both willing to try and they both feel like they should be together, then we, their friends, should stand by them, cross our fingers and hold our breath.  We should add positive energy to their mix and facilitate good communication.  We should restrain ourselves from gossip and only put good things out into the universe for them.  

If the attempt fails, we will hug them, wipe their tears and be sad with them until they are ready to join the land of the living again.   

If it succeeds, we rejoice with them and take our place on the victory stand with them.  We know we had an important role and supporting a love that was meant to be.

In the end, if we can't be optimistic about love, what will we ever have to be optimistic about?  

I believe...

Lesbian Post #345


I can't stress this enough....