Friday, March 13, 2015

When Love is In The Air...or Not

I've been unhappy these last few days.  You know I'm taking a Relationships Course online.  To discover how I am contributing to my loneliness.  I'm embarrassed about how little I understand about this 'girl friendship' thing.   Did you know, it's been proven that most women respond to stress with a 'tend and befriend' impulse?  Connecting with other women releases a soothing hormone, oxytocin.  I guess women call it hashing out their feelings and stories.  One such night happened just before Christmas at my sister's house, and I headed for bed instead.  The male gender typically doesn't head out with a gaggle of men to talk out their feelings.  No wonder I prefer men!

The Loving Relationships Course is wonderful. I'm the only single person taking it and odd, I suppose, but it's invaluable.  This is what I'm learning (besides that fact that loneliness is a human condition we all try to address):

If we try to feel good about ourselves THROUGH others, we're setting ourselves up to be lonely.  Meaning, DO NOT assign others the task of taking care of our feelings or our loneliness.  They didn't cause either.  We can believe that they do.  Who doesn't know someone who dumps her feelings on us so we will take care of them?  It's like someone is thrusting themselves into our arms, asking us to be their mommy.   We can feel the pull and our energy drain from her (or him).  It's yucky.  Well, in some ways, I'm a puller.   I want to thrust myself into someone's arms, asking them to be take care of my feelings and make it better.   And sometimes I'm the person who wants to feel powerful, like I can take care of someone else's feelings.  Dumb...

The key to happy, healthy relationships is to adore ourselves, to have an inner loop of love within ourselves, and not pull it out of others.  Emotional support pulled out of someone isn't love, it's compliance.  Emotional support freely offered is love.  Love is a gift we can only invite.

    good    day
  Learning how to deal with   

Monday, March 9, 2015

Pendants and Patience


This is a story about a pendant. Two of them, actually. Everybody must have a "What was once lost is found" story.   This is mine.

The story of this pendant really began on 9/11/2001.   I live not 50 miles from World Trade Center.   What I remember that day was the eerie silence of the sky.  The shock, the realization that the future is promised to no one.  My husband and I looked at each other and said,
"If not now, when?"

For the next two months I poured over travel guides, countries, flights, hotels, resorts.  And on January 22, 2002, we set off for Paris, then Beijing, then Australia, then Hawaii.  Around the world from west to east. We'd spend the bulk of our time in Australia - six weeks.  I asked an Australian acquaintance for recommendations.  "You must visit the opal mines!"  Wonderful idea, but easier said than done, actually.  So she referred us to a miner, and he invited us to his home in Adelaide.  In March of 2002, we learned all about opals.  Did you know that the finest opals have a flash of red deep within?  The Japanese are the biggest collectors?   We bought two with deep flashes of red.   We planned to have them set when we returned home.  Instead when we returned, we learned the future was not to be, for one of us.

In 2007, still numb from grief, and thinking about the legacy of the opals, I met a jeweler at a craft show.  She could do justice to the opals.  Together we designed two pendants, and I left her with my money and my opals. 

I had the sales slip.  I knew she lived in California.  In 2009, the first opal arrived set in gold.  It was stunning.  The jeweler also informed me she'd burned her hand badly and the second pendant could take some time.  Did I want her to return the opal? 

Now think of the stupidest answer one can give.  The worst outcome.  "No.  Keep the opal,  I can wait until you're well enough to set it".  Except that...She vanished into thin air.  No reference to her on google.  Phone out of service in 2011.  No e-mail address.  It gnawed at me.   I resolved to hunt her down in California next month, if she was even alive.  Two months ago I googled her.  The friggin woman had moved to Pennsylvania!  In 2014 she had resumed marketing her jewelry in crafts shows throughout the northeast.  There she was.  Facebook.  Website.  E-mail contact.  Still no phone number.  I blanketed her with messages.  Remember me?  Weeks went by. Now I know where she lives. 

One week ago I heard from her.
"Sorry for the delay in replying to your recent inquiry. 
I am not a frequent Facebook person so I  saw your message a few days ago.
After reading your email, I searched & searched through my studio looking for your second piece.
I recalled having completed it, and thought it had been sent to you a longtime ago.
I have found the pendant, completed per one of the sketches we had drawn.
I do have an old email I found from you in my archives, but do not have your current address.
Please send your address and I will sent the opal pendant on Monday."
This morning, finally, the opal was in my hands.  All I had to do was sign for it at my post office. 
Can you blame me for going a little ape****  on the photos?
   Good evening   
      May the stars dance in your eyes  

 Model from Tasmania, souvenir from the same trip 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Time Now!

When you've taken a siesta from posting, is it difficult for you to get back into it?  Is it for me, but I missed you so much!

Back now, caught up enough to put my feet up and chat.  And check out your blogs!

My brother had his hernia surgery.  I got to look after him for five days, a real treat for me because I adore the lad.  Dear grumpy old Dad?  Well, he was there, too.  This time his youngest daughter arrived prepared.  Soup enough for all.  Coursework to continue.  Snowshoes to try out.  Road bike and its trainer stuffed in her car and lugged upstairs into his house, beyond his prying eyes.  I got some great riding in.  In three weeks, I have not missed a day of my alternate day training schedule, and I wasn't about to miss one up there.  Snow outside, oodles of it of course, but in front of the TV upstairs I rode around the hills of Maui.  Sweet.  I tried out my new snowshoes in the serene Berkshire Hills, too.  Magical!

Dad I pretty much steered clear of.  He was wrapped up in preparations for his month long stay in a respite care facility, starting tomorrow.  He'd carefully put black tape round the hands of a small clock, so he can know the time.  He'd assembled his collections of bolo ties.  I think he should bring one, don't you?  And a sports coat, too.  This facility is full of sweet old ladies, and he may take a shining to one.  It is hard to picture him out of the house he's occupied for 70 years, but I'd like the chance.  I know every one of dad's four kids will breath a sigh of relief once he's settled in somewhere he can't get into trouble.  Rather, when he does get into trouble, it's they who will have to clean up.  The last week or so grumpy old dad has been putting us on alert.  He may just stay there more than the month we have paid for, because his house is so cluttered (NOT) he can't even find the comb he uses anymore!  I secretly hope he chooses to never leave the lap of luxury he's moving into, but as of now he's scheduled to return home before I've returned from Hawaii next month.

Oh, dear.  I started writing with the intention to catch you all up on my coursework on Loving relationships.  I will save this for another day.  Just want to say now, I'm happy to be back.

   Good Sun ny day
  After noo
  Wishing you 
What your heart desires    

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Few Days Off

I'm back at the family homestead taking care of my brother after surgery.  Will be back in a few days. 

  Have a super week, with much love 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Magnets, One End or the Other

Nothing terribly earth shattering in this weekend's topic in my Loving Relationships course.  We've probably read this stuff in some magazine or other.  However, as I'm the one who needs a checklist, I'm the one who has trouble making new friends, I'm the one who may not even want to make new friends, it is timely.

Day Four: Controlling behavior - How do You try to Control?

Do you try to control by 
  • Criticizing, judging
  • Hitting
  • Blaming
  • Being sneaky and deceptive
  • Analyzing
  • Denying
  • Debating
  • Explaining
  • Making jokes all the time
  • Giving advice
  • tsk-tsking others
  • Deflecting
  • Keeping it light and agreeable
  • Using sarcasm
  • Interrupting
  • Whining
  • Withdrawing
  • Being enlightened, a know-it-all
  • Being 'overly nice'
  • Being indispensable
  • Being invisible, blending in
  • Teaching, pointing things out without being asked
  • Hogging the conversation
  • Putting yourself, or others, down
  • Using threats
  • Sexually assaulting
  • Sexually seducing
  • Making yourself helpless
  • Needing rescue
I can't say I do ANY of these (liar, liar, pants on fire!) I mean, really, some of these behaviors can be appropriate ways to share love. It all depends on our intention.  If it's all about me, my wants, my fear, even a baby will pick up on it.  Makes me the wrong end of the magnet.

I love the way the teacher writes 'TRY to control'.   Sure, you can influence how someone behaves, but ever had any luck trying to control how someone feels about you?

The teacher goes on (I paraphrase):

1.-Some people feel loved and safe when the other person behaves the way we want them to behave.  Love means someone trying to please you.  Love means getting someone to do what you want.  Enter control

2.-Some people feel loved and safe when the other person is warm, accepting, and understanding. Love means getting people to be compassionate toward you, warts and all.  Enter control
  geesh.  I'm exhausted trying to be nice.

   Have a