Sunday, September 30, 2012

Could I be okay... alone?

Wow, 2 weeks since my last post.

2 weeks since I wondered whether or not this long distance relationship was as good for Gentleman Jack as it has been for me. After all, I've learned to be even more independent and strong. I've learned to do things myself that I used to wish a man would do for me.

I thought about that enough that I wondered if I could just be alone, not in a relationship. Not that I have reason to leave my relationship with GJ, I just wondered, ya know? I'm all the time touting how I've been doing this on my own and that I probably always will. That I don't really need him so much as I want him in my life.

I wondered and then I thought... haven't I done this "wondering" enough during the 3 1/2 years we've been together?!?

I guess I need to question it, now and then, if only to remind myself that I DO need him. To remind myself NOT to take it - him or our relationship - for granted.

Yes, I am strong, independent and take care of things on my own. Yes, during our time apart, I stay busy and mostly content with my life. But yes, I DO need him. I do need to know he's there, as a soft place to land at the end of the day. His voice on the phone, his face in my Facebook feed, his texts, his emails, his t-shirts scented with his cologne. I do need that. In person, there's no question. These weeks apart? I'll admit I wonder sometimes.

Could I be who I am without this relationship? Could I do the things I do? Oh absolutely. But that little pep in my step? That's the little bit of extra something that only HE can bring into my life.

I'm sure that there's a balance of want vs need somewhere. Just as there is a balance of caring for someone and allowing them to care (or not care) for themselves.

I'm still learning. After all, life is a classroom... and Gentleman Jack is one of my greatest teachers.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

He NEEDS me... is that a good thing?

Gentleman Jack and I were able to spend the weekend together after a month apart. 4 weeks, ya'll. We were both busy and had a lot going on - obviously - but the last week was pure hell.

When we were finally alone Friday night, he told me about a few bad days he'd had during our time apart. There were some things at work, with his ex, etc. that we didn't get a chance to talk about because I've been exhausted from work. Many times, when we're on the phone at night, it's all I can do to stay awake.

"I kept thinking," he told me while holding me close, "that if you were here... you know HERE at my house... that I'd be able to handle things better. When I'm with you, I just feel like I handle LIFE better."

I agreed and admitted that I forget how much better I feel when I'm with him. I actually relax more, allowing him to take care of me. Again, it's probably a psychological safety net for me to not remember how good I feel around him or else I'd be miserable without him. Instead, I stay distracted and busy. I rarely have a moment to myself, honestly.

Don't get me wrong, I love my ME time but I don't get near enough to miss our togetherness continually. Still, there are those moments where I wish he was within physical distance... if only to feel physically supported.

**

Later during the weekend, we were hanging out with another couple. The guys were "peacocking" about, talking about working out and being fit. She and I rolled our eyes because neither of our men had been in the gym in ages.

GJ tried to tell us that it was because they were "happy" that they didn't feel the need to get all bowed up and fit, like they used to be.

"If we had to roam other pastures, we'd have to work harder."

Pfft. What's up with that?

**

In thinking about all of that, I started to wonder....


Do men have a harder time taking care of themselves and being alone than a woman?


I've read studies that say that married men live longer than single men. Maybe this is why?

I mean, sure, I'll admit that it'd be nice to have GJ around all of the time but I've also been pretty independent my entire adult life. I'm not sure I wouldn't crave more ME time.

But yeah, he has slacked off on taking care of himself under the guise of "being happy" and not having to try so hard. And yes, he does seem to have more of a tough time, admittedly, than I do when things are difficult.

We BOTH have our moments of weakness but I feel that I have a support system that I fall back on - faith, yoga, ACIM, blogging, friends. Plus I've learned to allow myself those moments of feeling, whatever they may be.

I often wonder if he feels like he's not supposed to be weak and therefore beats himself up even more.

Ahhh yes, that sounds familiar. Been there, got the t-shirt.

Something about being with me, being nurtured, loved and needed by me, makes him feel stronger, even when he is weak. Then again, there are moments when he feels SO weak that he's glad I'm not around. He feels such shame that he takes even worse care of himself. Maybe that is when he needs me most. Maybe?

Then I wonder about how he took care of himself before he met me. He was in the gym 5 times a week! Of course, he was also going out just as often. Now he's at home, wishing I were there too.

I get a little sad sometimes about this whole thing because I do feel like he'd take better care of himself if we were together all of the time. I think that's the codependent part of me that knows I'd take over the things he doesn't do for himself. I'd make him get to the gym. I'd inspire better eating habits. I'd cheer him up when he had a bad day.

Then I step back and remind myself that I don't WANT to have to do that for someone. I want him to do that for himself. I want to see him "try hard", not because we're together or not together. I want to see him take care of himself not for me, but for him.

I just think that sometimes, he doesn't think that HE'S worth it without me.

And that breaks my heart even more.

I often wonder if this long distance relationship will be good for us in the long run. After all, I've learned to be stronger, more independent, less co-dependent. Maybe it will inspire him too? I'd rather think positive than to think that, in the 3 1/2 years we've been together, he's slowly given up on him because I'm not there.

I don't know. These are just the thoughts that swirl around my head when I long to be with him even more. It's a struggle when I've long been a codependent nurturer but choose not to do that anymore.

The most ironic thing of all?

HE'S the one who's taught me that.

I love that man. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Inspiration Anywhere: Fitness Videos From Gaiam TV

Since I began the new job, I've been busy like whoa.

Then when I get home from the job, I don't have much energy to do anything else. I'm brain dead at the end of the day. I'll admit I've not been taking as good care of myself as I usually do. Sadly, I'm beginning to feel it.

I've not been able to run or stick to any sort of triathlon training. My body is in dire need of rest and quiet. Yet, at the same time, lack of movement makes me feel like, well, my age. I miss going to yoga regularly. I miss attending my A Course in Miracles study group. My brain is BEGGING me for meditation.

I needed something... and... as life seems to remind me... I am fully supported. Because that "something" appeared right when I needed it.

I was contacted to write a sponsored post about GaiamTV.










Of course, practicing yoga for over 10 years, I'd heard the Gaiam name. They're well known for their yoga products and videos. I'd even curiously looked at their Facebook page a few months ago. I loved the streaming video concept... sort of like Netflix for people like me.

  • Streaming inspirational movies, documentaries and topics. 
  • Fitness videos, cardio workouts like Pilates, The Firm and Jillian Michaels. 
  • Health and wellness videos (which you KNOW I love) for preventative or natural healing
  • Kid and family videos, including nature documentaries (my kids and I love these)
  • Spirituality and metaphysics. They even have videos on A Course in Miracles! The Dalai Lama! Deepak Chopra! Marianne Williamson! Pema Chodron! Seriously, if they've been quoted in this blog, GaiamTV has a video of them.
  • Art, culture, science, technology...
  • And of course, what drew me there to begin with, yoga videos....including meditation!


The really cool part about their fitness and yoga videos is that you can choose your level, style, instructor (love me some Rodney Yee) and how much time you have. The website then searches their extensive collection of videos to find a perfect workout for you. What a great idea.

I tried the GaiamTV streaming by doing some yoga out on my back patio one morning. I was able to stream an online yoga video from my phone and have my own personal time on the mat while being gently instructed. Sooo... nice...


Y'all know that I don't typically promote something unless I believe in it. But was this made for me or what?

THANK YOU UNIVERSE!



Ok, what's the catch, huh?

Yeah, there actually is a minimal fee to stream all of this awesome content. I mean, you pay to stream from Netflix, right? But this content is richer and honestly, more likely to change your life, don't you agree?

How about $9.95 a month?

I think my kids and I would even benefit more from paying that than what we're paying for cable. No contract. Unlimited streaming. Cancel when you want.

Plus, because you're my dedicated soul-healing, spiritual-seeking, body-bettering readers, GaiamTV gave me a great deal to offer you.

10 days of free streaming

And...they also said that the first 25 of you who sign up for the monthly service will get a free yoga mat!


Seriously? How cool is that?


Right now, they're doing a fall fitness challenge to inspire more people to use their site. Check it out and let me know what you think.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

When a Long Distance Relationship Comes to an End

I didn’t really write much about Jobo, MommaSunshine or Canadian Bald Guy after meeting them at our Epic Summer Bloggy Meetup back in June. Things got a little crazy after that with me starting a new job and having the kids around more.

I think now is a good time to mention it… because Momma Sunshine and Canadian Bald Guy’s long distance relationship is coming to an end.

It’s a shame because one of the things I loved about reading their blogs was that I could relate fully with their experience. I understood the challenges of wanting to be with someone who was 3 hours away. I understood those lonely nights when you went to bed alone, your heart somewhere else. I knew the agony of the goodbyes and the butterflies in your stomach when you woke up after 10 or more sleeps, thrilled to see your partner that evening. I knew their pain of trying to create a blended family when you so rarely saw each other. I got it when they longed for more time together, not imagining how that would ever come to be, and wondering if, despite the beauty of their relationship, they should call the whole thing off.

Gentleman Jack was nervous about traveling to the other side of the country to meet people that I’d not even met… simply because I knew them from their blogs. I tried to explain the commonalities between all of us – divorced, in love, trying to build a new life despite the seeming “failure” of relationship loss. He finally recognized those commonalities when we did all meet in person.

We didn’t miss a beat, really. There was not only instantaneous connection between me and these “bloggers” that I’d long called friends, but he too fell right into step with Canadian Bald Guy and Jobo’s love, M.

It was nice to have discussions about our trials and tribulations and find so much likeness. GJ and I felt understood as we offered understanding. I like that he knows my friends now… even if it is a bit surreal…and cheers them on as much as I do.

So, hearing that Sunshine and CBG were ending their long distance relationship definitely affected me and my man.

We both stood back in awe at the challenges and faith with which they are taking their next steps....

TOGETHER.

Next week, CBG makes the leap to join his love of 4 years in her town, in a home they chose together, blending their families together.

 No more long distance longing. No more lonely nights.

Together, facing new challenges and new successes.

Together, blending their families with more solidarity.

Together, making a home filled with the love they have for each other. A love that has survived years and miles and hours but never wavered.

Sure there are still some worries and fears…. But there is also faith, love and trust. Communication, honesty, connectedness.

I wish the best for my friends. My heart feels as if I’ve taken this journey with them. To see a happy ending, well, it’s like watching a movie where you stand at the end, cheering and applauding with joyous tears in your eyes and hope filling your chest.

As the credits roll, you know the couple has a road ahead filled with bumps and bruises but just as many days filled with kisses and laughter.

I love you guys. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I'm thrilled to continue to read more. We’re all cheering you on!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Exposed: The Real Truth of How I Feel about my Ex-husband's Marriage

I was on the drive to pick up my daughters from the ex/new wife’s house and dreading it.

It seems like anytime I’m there, I leave feeling as if I’ve got a few daggers in my back. So I decided to pray about it.

Funny when I’m “praying” about something, I’m usually talking out loud, seemingly to myself, but knowing full well that this process opens up a possibility to see something differently.

What could I possibly see differently?

I feel like she doesn’t like me.

Ok well… I can’t change how SHE feels, now can I? Maybe she hurts when she sees me? Maybe she has bad memories or fears from childhood?

I’ve tried to consider that, hoping to see her with more love. It’s not working. I guess my own hurts, memories and fears are blocking that. All that I can do is deal with me and right now, I’m not liking her.

The next thoughts whizzed through my brain and out of my mouth before I could stop myself:

It must be nice to have two incomes under one roof. What’s it like to live with your partner, call him ‘husband’, actually have time to go out on date nights when neither of you have your children? Every week possibly! I wonder if he does take her on date nights? I couldn’t beg him enough to take me out on a date night. Nooo, he was too tired to take me out. He worked too hard, traveled too much. I was just a pain in his ass when all he wanted to do was relax. He didn’t think I could relate to what he was going through but he never gave me a chance. Oh and now she gets it all because SHE supposedly understands him better. Pfft. All of the good stuff that he was “too tired” to give to me when I know he just got tired of trying to please me when I was always wanting more. THEY get to see each other all the time. THEY get to be together anytime THEY want…. I guess to him, I was easy enough to give up on. I wasn’t good enough. I’m not good enough to have all of what they have…. 

WHOA.

I surprised even myself.

I didn’t realize that, when I entered their home, I was carrying a LOT of stuff in there with me. Forget the stuff that she was suffering, that she projected on me, I did as much damage with my own baggage. Baggage I was only acutely aware of. Baggage hidden in the deepest recesses of memory and hurt.

It was time to cut myself some slack.

Then, when I thought about it, I realized how annoying it was for me to pretend that I wanted to get to know her better, than I genuinely cared what she thought of me or what she had to say when she made what little effort she could to be kind to me. I did care, at one point. Now I'm tired of trying. Besides, it must be just as annoying for her to see me try so hard.

Fuck it. I’m not going to try. She doesn’t like me and, quite frankly, I'm pretty much done caring if she does or not.

By the time I pulled into their driveway, I’d made a vow to stand outside the doorway, not enter the home, not engage with her and simply wait patiently and silently for my children.

My ex-husband came to the door with the children. She was nowhere to be found. I guess avoiding me works for her and that’s fine with me.

I’ve got to give her credit. At least she’s honest about it.