The Puffy Green Chair… OR – The End of a Marriage

My puffy green chair, or “divorce chair”, is still sitting like a silent sentinel in the basement, tilted to face the over-sized, flat screened television on the wall. At one time, this chair was my prized possession. After voluntarily fleeing from my home and husband over nine years ago, I awaited delivery on the few pieces of furniture that could complete my apartment ensemble. One of these is the afore -mentioned puffy green chair.

In this chair I spent time dreaming, crying, laughing, posturing myself on my little laptop, finishing my first book, “34”, and cruising and condos that I could buy with funds from half of the house we owned. It is a perfect chair, just the right size for me, and cozy in a way that makes you feel like you are being hugged, which I desperately needed at that time.

I had been married for 25 years (almost), and decided to either make my life my own, with all of it’s oddities and curious meanderings, or stay in a basically respectful, but loveless, marriage in order to appease the world. I chose the former. I have many reasons for the things I have done, many of which wouldn’t make sense to an outsider, or anyone other than me, really. And in the end, we have to live our lives in a way in which we continue to learn, and grow. I felt I could only do this if I went on without him.

Luckily, I found another soul who feels the same way, and went through a lot of the same struggles that I did. I live with him now, and we don’t take each other for granted. We have synchronous, yet separate lives at times…..and that works perfectly for us. We take solace in each other and want to move through the future times together.

All of this being said, I do have moments of “back flashing”, when I wonder about my steps. I have occasional dreams that I have to marry my husband again, or I have to choose between two very different and difficult things. The subconscious does not lie. We have to work on ourselves and our psyches for many long years. Ending a marriage with children is done every day. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard, and suffocating, and sometimes scary. People are more self-aware now. We aren’t going to continue in relationships that stunt us, and I think that is revolutionary in a way.

Will marriage continue to be a societal norm 100 years from now? I do hope so. I know many wonderful, happy couples that couldn’t imagine anything but the arrangement they have made. However, if you are struggling to choose, I hope you can talk it out, be adults, and make the best decision based on YOUR requirements for your life – not someone else’s.

So, sometimes, I walk down the basement stairs and really look at that chair. It symbolizes my freedom, in a way. I sit in it and remember that turbulent and transitional time in my life. I am thankful to the point that makes tears run down my face. I am happy, and I think my ex is happy as well. I do want the best for him, because he remains my good friend until this day. And then, I start looking at the present day and what I will do, because I am not living in the past….but going ever forward.

Have a wonderful weekend, and please follow or share to someone who may need this right now. Deb

Set Your Schedule

As many of you are quarantined inside your home with your pajamas on this afternoon, I would like to temp you into setting a schedule for yourself until this irregularity ends.

Some estimates are, that we may not see any semblance of normal until the end of this year. I think we pretty much have to have a vaccine in order to step outside of uncertainty and get on with life as we once knew it…..if that is even possible.

So, for the meantime, I have told myself that the best way to remain physically healthy, and mentally sane, is to pretend I actually have things I HAVE to do each day – like a job almost.

Here is the rough schedule:

7 a.m. Get out of bed! This one is a no-brainer. I have been waking up at 7 on my own and have to use the bathroom anyway. Plus, my dog is looking at me and wondering when I will get up.

7-8 a.m. (give or take) Take my supplements, feed the dog, and drink my coffee while in the recliner. After all, I have to catch up on any emergent news from the last 12 hours.

9ish – 10ish Get my exercise clothes on and go into the basement to workout. I have been using Youtube for dance, kickboxing, yoga, or sculpting classes. I also have small hand weights, a band, and a couple of club weights that I get creative with. This is actually one of the best times of the day. I get to sweat and eliminate all that lethargy and any anxiety that I’m holding in.

10-11ish This is the time period for personal hygiene, spot cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc. I usually have my breakfast in here somewhere.

11-2 Computer time. If I am lucky enough to have any work I can do from home, this is the time. I also check email, write, strategize about finances, surfing in general.

2-3 Nap, or meditation time. This sometimes starts out as meditation, and ends up in naptime! Most days, I can concentrate enough to elevate myself into a calm meditational state that is peaceful and I usually don’t want to come out.

3ish Doggie walk around the neighborhood. The length of this depends on my energy level and the temperature outside.

4-5 Experimentation with food. What do I make for dinner? It’s usually a hodge-podge of things in the fridge, and storage non-perishables from the basement. 5 o’clock denotes glass of wine time. Yea! Feed the dog…again.

6-7 Take doggie on last walk of the day. This is usually the warmest time, with lots of neighbors doing the same outdoor activity while keeping 6 feet away from each other.

7-9 Talking and watching random TV shows. Right now, we are stuck on Homeland, so we allow ourselves one episode a night, so as not to binge.

9:30-10ish Bedtime. I go to bed at 9 when I’m working, so I don’t want to get off that schedule too much. I’m usually quite ready anyway, so off I go for a solid 9 hours. Luckily, I have had no issue with sleep.

Notice that I don’t spend much time browsing the depressing news feed or social media sites, because it hasn’t been helping me. I also take time to pray for my friends and family when I go to bed, and spend time on gratitude when awakening. For more on that, see my post here:

I am consciously taking this time to improve my overall spiritual state. Introspection, gratitude, and sense of duty to myself and community all play a part in this. If I can take 1 year out of a life that may last over 80 to do this, I think it’s really not a big deal.

I hope that if you’re feeling a little aimless, this might motivate you to set your own schedule. It’s for the best in the end. Before you know it, we’ll be going to work and out to restaurants with friends. Until then, be your best advocate.

Cheers, and have a wonderful weekend. If you have a schedule, let me know in the comments below. Take care and be safe out there. Deb

Future – and present-shock

Grandma’s family

I remember reading a book long ago called, “Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler. The title Future shock was used to identify the psychological effect brought on by an rapid increase in technology in too short of a time period. It goes on to explain the social implications of having too much going on, and basically too many choices in life. When in times gone by has there been “too many choices?” Probably no era of the past has seen the explosion of advancement that we have in our lifetimes. My mother, for instance went from running to the road to see a car (instead of a horse), to looking at a horse on the road as an anomaly. She has seen the advent of television, cell phones, microwaves, fast food, the internet, and on, and on….

Toffler pointed out that the rapidity of situations in daily life multiplies the number of roles we must play, and the number of choices we have to make. Sometimes, this becomes overwhelming, to the point of exhaustion. No wonder people get depressed, feel stressed and anxious, and doubt the meaning of life in the first place.

People need things to be simplified. Thank God we have Amazon, so we can just sit down and order stuff to our front door, instead of getting in the car, driving in traffic, shopping, and driving back home. What a time saver!

Another thing Toffler predicted, because this book was written in 1970, is that we would live through a “subcult explosion”. What he means, is that in order to find an identity in this convoluted, mixed-up mess, we would join something to identify us as a certain person. What do you mean? Examples include: online communities of various sorts, people who eat certain things, identification with unique exercise communities, meetup groups, or groups identifying with different ways of thinking. The list is seemingly endless!

So what is my point in all of this? I am going to give you a list of priorities when you are faced with a multitude of different activities in a short time (like one or two days). Let’s say you are invited to a wedding, can babysit your grandchild, need to clean and organize the basement, and have to get online to go through 25 emails that you have been neglecting. My order of priority goes like this: free time with self, time with family, time with friends, social obligations, and chores. Whew! Guess what? Time with yourself doing absolutely zippo is at the top of the list because we need to do that in order to feel centered and present in our lives. Unless you have time to decompress, meditate, nap, or simply think about stuff, you won’t be successful in anything else, including relationships. Love thyself.

So, from the above list, I suggest resting for a half hour with yourself, then choose babysitting to spend time with family, followed by wedding, followed by chores such as basement cleaning and emails. Let’s face it, emails will eventually get done, and that basement isn’t going anywhere. Maybe you can get creative and have your grandchild help you go through basement items…. Then again, simply coloring or reading with the child will have the biggest bang for your (and their) buck. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Hope you aren’t feeling future shock at the moment, and can sit on your patio and have a morning cup of coffee. Take a deep breath and watch the birds in the tree, or talk to your dog. Life is going by at a rapid pace, but you don’t have to. Love and cheers, Deb

Looky, Looky

Egyptian cosmetics

Have you stopped worrying about what you look like yet? How old are you, and do you really care? People tend to think the obsession with personal appearance has just ramped up this century, probably since the beginning of television, movies, and social media – that somehow we are more obsessed with our looks now more than ever. But I am here to tell you that the obsession with personal appearance has been going on for a lot longer than that. One article states that ancient Egyptians were so obsessed with their own appearance, that “some spells from The Egyptian Book of the Dead stipulate that one cannot speak them in the afterlife if one is not clean and presentable, and it is clear this means in a physical sense” (Ancient History Encyclopedia).

During the reign of Elizabeth I, the hot look every woman went for was a huge, freckle-free forehead….don’t we all? As soon as shaving was available, people started plucking, shaving, and shaping beards and hair on various body parts. The beard popularity cycle has gone up and down through the ages, usually influenced by the leaders of society. Women have endured physical pain to pull in their stomachs with rigid, laced bodices. We have also produced actual physical deformity with foot binding and the wearing of high heels. Personally, I had to give up this silliness with the last two foot surgeries.

What is it that makes us care what people think about our personal appearance? At what age will we finally stop caring, and start accepting the age and the condition we are in? The reason I am asking this question is, I have seen a few friends and acquaintances recently that care waaaayyyy too much for the age they are. One woman took a picture of herself in the most crazy fake eyelashes and almost black lipstick on her puffed-up lips and posted it to facebook with a caption stating something like: “just got a makeover”, or something like that. We didn’t know if it was a joke or real. Some thumbs up, but a couple of laughing faces. Just so you know….it was for real. She’s in her late 50’s. If I see a selfie of someone over the age of 40, I start to lose respect, unless they had to do it for a picture identification or something.

Since I work in an operating room, and we do a lot of plastic surgery, I get it. As a matter of fact, I have done a couple of things to improve the way I look. I was tired of spending my days helping other people achieve their dreams of reducing imperfection, and not helping myself, so I did. Not to worry, I haven’t done anything drastic. I have exercised my entire life, eat a good diet, and generally take care of myself. But I have a “stopping point”, so to speak. This is an inner level of tolerance for the amount of work I will do in order to look acceptable. I won’t get a facelift, or lipo, or work out 7 days a week, but that’s my line.

This is not to say that improvement is bad. Quite the opposite, improvement is just one of the ways we take pride in ourselves, display our positive self-image, and generally become a person whom others will not be repelled by. But at this time in my life, I’m starting to feel that for me, I have had just about enough. Not wearing makeup to the store – okay. Maybe not wearing makeup all day – okay. Not washing my hair before going to work – always okay because I wear a cap. Appreciating my stumpy, cellulite-ridden legs because they take me where I want to go. I feel gratitude I can walk, and dance, and touch my toes. Realizing I won’t be a bodybuilder – okay. Realizing I won’t climb a 14er or run a marathon, because I really don’t care and don’t want to put in the effort at my age – all okay.

I’m writing to you today to get some feedback. Where do you draw the line? Is it an age, or just a maturity level? Some people never seem to care, and I’ve noticed that the younger people are, the less they really care what someone else thinks. I feel this is a good thing, that maybe we are starting not to compare ourselves to others. Maybe we are starting to measure our self-worth by the deepness of our thoughts, or the openness of our hearts. Media be damned! It’s time to limit our exposure to toxic thought processes that do nothing to enhance our insides and well as our outsides.

Shoot me a comment, follow for more stuff, and have a great week. Cheers, Deb

Stop It!

Stop it. Stop talking to yourself like your worst enemy, just stop it. Stop the abuse. If someone else talked to you like you talk to yourself, you would never see them again. So, just stop it.

Stop it. Stop doubting yourself; stepping on your own head. Stop asking why things are wrong, always go wrong, or never go right. Just stop it. Stop thinking everyone is against you, because we’re not. Stop it. Stop lying, stop lying to yourself, stop skirting around issues and skipping steps because, “you don’t want to.” Actually, yes, you do want to.

Stop being lazy, procrastinating, and wasting your time. You only have so much time doled out to you, so stop it. Stop wasting other people’s time; they only have so much time too. Stop being a jerk to others and yourself. Stop being sad, whiny, and always wishing for things that you won’t take action to fix. Just stop it. Stop arguing about everything with everybody. You don’t have to be right, and frankly – no one cares if you are. Stop being disrespectful when you know (and you should, and you do), that everyone else is human just like you are and we all go through the same crap as you. Stop it.

Stop thinking you’re above the law, other people, and general rules of obedience in a society that has to have general rules in order to operate successfully. Stop being rude to yourself and others. Rudeness hides insecurity and hate. Stop thinking you know it all, because you don’t. Just stop it.

Stop being negative; just be positive for one day and see if it makes a difference in your personal interactions. Stop being a martyr. Once again, it’s just annoying and no one really cares that you are superficially sacrificial. Martyrdom=unattractiveness. Just stop it. Stop denying that you need certain things, like fresh air, good food, love, and laughter. Stop selling yourself short.

Wake up knowing you have everything you need – it’s inside you. You have the ability to see everything in a different way than others and spread positivity to yourself and other people. Wake up grateful, you just woke up again! Use time wisely. Share encouragement to people everywhere, because without it, we sink. You have to breath from the oxygen mask first, though, before you put it on your neighbor. So, stop hurting yourself….just stop it.