Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Bad Date . . . a nightmare from the past!

This was my first attempt at entering a writing contest back in September of 2007 . . . and it was voted first place . . . back in the days of Yahoo 360 blogs.  

The story is unfortunately a true story . . . one of my first adventures with online dating after becoming a widow . . . I would say this story took place in 2005.

Kelly Clarkson~The Trouble With Love Is

It was time to move on . . . after all, it had been over two years since my husband passed away. Since I was already online 24/7 as a full time eBay seller and a certifiable computer geek, my friends encouraged me to try computer dating.

Huh? How do you "date" on the computer? lol 

 Then the thought occurred to me that I make my living online, do my banking online, pay my bills online, order pizza for delivery online, learned out how to fix my toilet online . . . hmmmm why not make a love connection online? 

John and I made our connection through an "online dating service" and then corresponded through chat and phone. Since I'm so picky and don't want to waste my time on someone who I know I would not like, I asked a lot of questions, wanted to see lots of photos and am very up front about what I am looking for. In turn, I do the same and accentuate my flaws as I don't want to disappoint anyone or waste their time either. 

After corresponding for roughly three months, we decided to meet . . . I know it was a long time, but I wanted to be sure and I was scared to death to jump into the dating scene. Keep in mind I was married 22 years and had not been on a "date" in a very very long time . . . a babe in the woods . . . thrown out in the jungle to fend for myself and find a new love to share my life with. 

John seemed to be everything I was looking for in a new love . . . he wasn't into playing games, was ready to settle down, no children, no nagging ex-wife, didn't hate women . . . NO BAGGAGE . . . from his photos, I was very attracted to him, he had an awesome personality that blended well with mine . . . we could talk for hours on the phone and time would just fly by, we liked doing the same things . . . . awwww seemed like a match made in heaven . . . 

The meeting place was a coffee shop at the mall. So far everything is cool and awesome, I was so anticipating meeting the man of my dreams . . . John seemed to fit all the criteria. As I walked into the coffee shop, I took a quick glance around and thought to myself that I must be early . . . no John . . . another thought, he changed his mind about me and I've been stood up. 

 I walk all around the place and as I was deciding where to sit and order a cup of coffee, I hear a familiar voice calling my name. When I turned around I could not believe my eyes. 

 This was not the man I had been corresponding with . . . well . . . it was, but he was using photos that were at least 20 years old. The beautiful hair was barely there and the sparkling blue eyes were lined with crows feet that were not apparent in the photos. 

 hmmmmm my italian blood started boiling immediately . . . I was deceived and all of a sudden I felt like the most stupid and gullible woman in the world. I wanted to run . . . very fast. 

He led me to his table and I ordered a cup of coffee, trying to be polite to this man that otherwise had become a friend, but definitely NOT a love connection . . . even if age was not a factor . . . HE LIED TO ME. 

 Yeah, he saw the disappointment on my face, I wear my emotions on my face, always have, even though I was trying to be polite and not hurt his feelings. But damn it . . . didn't he deserve for his feelings to be hurt? He wasted three months of my life, making me think he was someone he is not, deceiving me. 

 He finally asked me if I was disappointed . . . in my sarcastic witty way, I answered his question with questions, "Didn't you think I would be? Didn't you hear a word that I said about myself and what I expect out of a relationship? FIRST THING IS HONESTY . . ." 

When he said "I thought that if we spent enough time without you seeing me that you would fall in love with me, the person that I am before meeting me." hmmmmm it occurred to me that he was calling me a shallow person, but hey, I know what I want and I'm honest about it. Needless to say, with that statement, I had enough . . . the man was actually just as gorgeous as those photos, it was him, only 20 years older. 

 Maybe I would have given him a chance since we did hit it off, but the lie disappointed me so badly that I had a difficult time making eye contact with him and could not remain friends with him. 

Rule #1 . . . if you plan on meeting someone online, don't lie if you don't want to see the look of disappointment when you meet the person who is anticipating something else entirely. 

Rule #2 . . . insist on seeing someone on webcam . . . at least that was one lesson learned . . . Three years later and more than a few disappointing experiences . . . I'm embracing my solitude . . . and enjoying it more every day.

Jumping back to present day . . . I have found that person I was searching for.  It took many years, but good things come to those who wait.  Not everyone you meet online is a bad person . . . I met the most wonderful person in the whole world on Twitter.  It is not all bad . . . you just have to be careful when dealing with other people online.

This story is one of the many nightmares I experienced in those days following becoming a widow, but in the end, I am so grateful I never gave up on trust and faith.


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

The miracle of change . . . and boredom

The feeling of boredom is often misunderstood and
 can actually mean we need to look under
 the layers for change.

Sometimes we feel that things aren't moving along fast enough for us and that the world is passing us by. It may be that time seems to stand still and that we are simply bystanders in our own lives. Other times it might appear that there is nothing new left for us to experience and that we are locked into a never-ending cycle of stasis. If we take the time to listen to these feelings we will notice that there is probably more going on beneath the surface, like our apprehension to venture out into the unknown. By taking a new look at how we live our lives, however, it will be easier to break through our sense of boredom and enter into a more positive state of being.

When life seems monotonous, it is usually an indication that there is something we need to change. Boredom can easily lead us down the path to despondency. Acknowledging our feelings and then setting the intention to alter just one small thing in our life can give us a much more affirmative outlook. This act of change allows us to step outside of ourselves and discover new and exciting things that are often already present in our everyday lives. 

Simple things such as eating a healthier diet, taking a new class, or joining a club are all ways in which we can go beyond our comfort zone and explore the wonders that exist all around us. Keep in mind that the moment we do something different from our usual routine, the more fresh energy, hope, and blessings we will manifest in our life. What this means is that we'll no longer see things as being tedious but will instead realize the preciousness of everything.

Being able to integrate these subtle changes on a daily basis allows us to recognize the miracles that are our lives. Even though we may think of change as doing something life-altering or drastic, gentle transitions from our habitual ways of doing things and an appreciation of all life offers us will truly bring about positive and lasting transformation.

Source: Daily Om

Being overwhelmed with way too many projects at one time tends to turn into boredom for me, especially if the projects are those I don't particularly enjoy doing, like housework.  I'm guilty of putting things off . . . procrastinating . . . then they build up, hitting me with the feeling of extreme boredom and overwhelm.  It may sound strange that too much to do bores me as much as not enough to do, but it does.

Then there is straight up boredom for whatever reason . . . sometimes I don't even know why I'm bored.

What I need to do is contemplate making some incremental changes described in the article from Daily Om . . . hopefully the article will give you some inspiration to make subtle changes in your life too.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Valuing Someone Gives Meaning

~ Magic | Olivia Newton-John ~

Showing someone that you value them resonates the soul within them and makes them feel loved and appreciated.

The need for love and being valued is so strong because it gives us meaning, and meaning is achieved through being of value to others in relationships. Valuing someone helps them overcome the fear of living a meaningless life - one of the primary adult fears. 

When was the last time you showed or told someone you valued them for who they were?

Source: The Soul Journey 

"Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep . . . wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you're just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have YOU . . . The one who turns to his friends and says, that's her..."

~ Author unknown ~

It is human nature to desire acceptance and love.  Isn't it?

For me, there is nothing like the safe feeling of being loved, valued and appreciated for who I am, like being wrapped up in a warm blanket on a cold day.  Relationships built on mutual respect, appreciation and value, as well as love, can be one of the most beautiful aspects of life itself.

While a person can live a whole life without a life partner, finding happiness and fulfillment in one's solitude, for me, there is something missing without that special person in my life.  Especially after losing my life partner at a young age, the emptiness within was screaming at me since I had experienced that safe feeling.  

The bonus is being loved as I am without having to change who I am.

"To love is nothing, To be loved is something,

To love and be loved is everything." 

~ Author unknown ~

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Just wanna be happy

~ Happy (Unplugged Version) | Leona Lewis ~

"So what if it hurts me?
So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out of ground
I gotta find my place
I wanna hear my sound
Don't care about all the pain in front of me
Cause I'm just trying to be happy, yeah
Just wanna be happy, yeah"

Lyrics from the song "Happy"
by Leona Lewis

As I was writing a post on my music blog about the song "Happy" by Leona Lewis, the lyrics of the song inspired me to write this post.  

The song reminds me of the scary time in my life as I contemplated moving on with life and starting a meaningful relationship with the awesome guy I met online . . . The Captain.

In particular, the "what if" questions drove me crazy, especially what if he hurts me . . . what if it doesn't work out . . . blah blah blah . . .

The song makes an important point about taking chances in life . . . 

"I can't stand by the side
And watch this life pass me by
So unhappy
But safe as could be"

Unhappy and safe . . . was that truly living life to the fullest?

It wasn't for me . . .

Long distance love worked for The Captain and I . . . it took a huge leap of faith and tons of patience for both of us.  In the posts of this blog, my life after the death of my husband depicts the raw emotions of life, the horrors of grief and the emptiness of a life without love.  I'm so happy and grateful I took a chance . . . it changed my life to all I ever wanted it to be . . . happy.

What if I had not taken the chance . . .

Check out my music blog post about the song . . . click here

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Conscious direction into this moment

~ Feel The Spin | Debbie Harry ~

"Today, be aware of the power of your mind. Give it your focus and consciously direct it. It will run away on its own, of course, but your goal is simply to redirect it back to the ways you wish to think and be… Today, your goal is to pull yourself back into now, over and over, whenever you find your mind drifting to thoughts of the past or worries or daydreams of the future; come back into now, this very moment, and once here, focus on the most important things that you need to accomplish, do and be right now… Every moment of every day, bring yourself back into now, erase any feelings of victimization, fear or doubt, and come into a peaceful center, a place where you can fully shine and be. And in this place, consciously choose how to act." (Quado through Carrie Hart)

Maybe it is the heat of the humid Florida weather or it could be the calm after the storm of life circumstances that have come at me like a fast moving freight train.  I have run out of energy, my concentration levels and focus is all but gone and I just crave rest and relaxation.  Throw in a little anxiety and depression I'm attributing to guilt for all those things needing to be done that I have not been doing.  I'm straight up tired and absolutely cannot motivate myself to do anything!

We all have those times, don't we?

As I was cleaning out my email box today, I came across my featured quote for the day.  It got me thinking about what I need to accomplish at this very moment.  The conclusion I came to as I let my mind drift . . . I need to chill out . . . just flat out DO NOTHING, relax and let my mind continue to drift to those peaceful places it wants to go.

Honestly, our minds and bodies tell us what we need when we need it . . . we just have to listen.  Sometimes it is necessary to DO NOTHING, chill out and just be.  In my working days, they were called "mental health days" when I would call in sick and stay in bed all day.  It is like giving yourself a little vacation from everything that is bothering you.  

All of life's pesky little things will still be there waiting for you when you get back.  The difference is that you can deal with those things more effectively with a rested mind and body.

Go ahead . . . do nothing!

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Does procrastination hinder your life?

~ Get On Your Feet (Darren Rich's Ultimix) | Gloria Esteban ~

Life is Always Movement
By Sarah Ban Breathnach

Life doesn't ever calm down long enough for us to wait until tomorrow to start living the lives we deserve.

Life is always movement, always change, always unforeseen circumstances. There will always be something to grab your attention.

Let's just acknowledge that as far as real life is concerned, we are only one step away from dealing with dysfunction....Procrastination has robbed us of too many opportunities.

The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.

Whatever we are waiting for - peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance - it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.

About the Author: Sarah Ban Breathnach's work celebrates quiet joys, simple pleasures and everyday epiphanies. She is author of the New York Times bestsellers, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy and Something More.

Visit her website

 "Telling someone who procrastinates to buy a weekly planner
 is like telling someone with chronic depression to just cheer up."

Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at De Paul University in Chicago 

Does procrastination hinder your life?  

It does mine . . . I am a classic procrastinator.  I've come to the conclusion that the root of my problem is simple rebellion that developed in my pre-teen years.  While I understand it, have come to terms with it, I still have not learned how to effectively deal with it.

Along with rebellion are unattainable perfection expectations for myself . . . having unreachable standards discourages me from even starting a task.  The task is put off until the "perfect plan" is in place.

With a little research, I came up with a overcoming procrastination scenario for myself that I hope will help . . . maybe it will help you too.

Just jump in and do it . . . 

Stop spending time planning and
 do the task you dread the most first 

Give yourself a short time limit and
 alternate the task with something you enjoy

Realize that perfection can never
 be attained . . . do your best

Focus on progress

Reward yourself along the
 way of progress

Turn on energetic music to keep
 you moving and motivated

Don't push yourself too far . . . 
realize this leads to boredom or
 frustration resulting in no progress

Are you also a procrastinator?

If you are . . .
How do you motivate yourself?

If you aren't . . .
What is your secret?

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