Don’t SHOULD On Yourself…Or Others

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Don’t you hate it when you’re in a bad place emotionally, and a well-meaning friend or family member decides to take over?  They tell you how you should be feeling, and what you should and shouldn’t be doing.  As if you don’t feel bad enough….they give you that much more to feel guilty about.  (Chances are you had thought of some of their “shoulds” yourself.)

When I was digging myself out of the hole I had been in with ex #2, I heard something somewhere that I LOVED and have taken to heart.

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I have to tell you….the first time I told my parents I wasn’t doing this, or accepting them doing it to me…they were NOT happy.  So far its going pretty well….last week Dad made a suggestion that had no word similar to “should” in it.  Before my standing up for myself, he would have said “You should do X.”  What he said instead was “You were really good at X.  This time of year you could (should?) pick up hours easily doing it.”  (Thinking back, there MAY have been a small “should” in there….he prefaced it with flattery though to disguise it.)

Anyway…that wasn’t the point of this post, though it took up most of it.  Having friends and family who are able to make us feel loved and supported so we can focus on digging ourselves out of the situation is what’s important.

Do you have trouble with “shoulding” on yourself or other people?  Can you think of how you can change…or do you need to?

Just Being There

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Being a single parent when your children are with their other parent can be rough sometimes.  Yesterday at church I was getting all the hugs I could to carry me, since I won’t probably get another one until I pick up Miss M from school Wednesday afternoon.  You know from my earlier post that you need at least 4 a day, if not more.  Why do you think that is?

Could it be that as we are a social being, that not getting those connections with people hurts us emotionally?  We know that everything is connected, and what affects one system in the body will eventually affect every other system.  (When you’re sick, I bet you feel like litter box droppings…I know I do!)  So it would stand to reason that we need to care about our emotional state as much as we do our physical body.

So when you’re not able to physically get that connection, what’s the next best thing?  There are numerous ways to “virtually” connect with people.  Phone calls are one way…calling up family or friends is a big help.

Last night I was talking to my cousin who is like a sister to me while my football team (New England Patriots) was playing.  She turned it on too, and we ended up watching the last 2 nail-biting minutes together.  Today I will connect with one woman from church on the phone for a little bit.

There are numerous Facebook groups as well, for whatever makes you happy.  Many of my Facebook friends I’ve never met, but I feel a deep connection to.  It’s nice to know whatever you’re feeling, someone somewhere will be around.

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Hobbies: Just For Kids?

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What did you like to do when you were young?  What hobbies did you have, or wanted to get into?  Are any of them feasible for you to start up the practice of today?  Look around…online if you need to…to find where you can practice them with other people.  Common interests are a great way to make friends.

When I was very young, I took ballet and tap dancing.  Unfortunately, my class was only Saturday mornings….and since that was the only time cartoons were on…I didn’t want to take lessons.  (Yes, now you know I’m – gasp – almost middle-aged.  I got a late start having kids.)

I graduated to trying ice skating (my ankles were too weak), then found music lessons, and band.  I became a HUGE band geek in high school.  Whatever band there was, I was in.  I still loved dance though.  I got involved in the musicals in high school as well, and that was my first introduction to jazz/ theater dance.

Fast forward to college.  One of the things I got involved in (and it helped me with my imbalances I’d not fully resolved from the accident that changed my life in my junior year of high school) was theater dance.  We did both jazz and tap, and my instructor was really great.  She had been the youngest woman to have ever been a Rockette.

Each semester she would devote one class to ballroom dancing and it. was. a. BLAST.  I had wanted to get into it more, but in the late ’80s in NH the places you could take it were few and far between.  At one point I even tried out to be an Arthur Murray instructor, but since my coordination was still an issue, that wasn’t an option.

While I was with my girl’s father though, we did get into it…he wanted to show off at his company party initially.  I liked the connection we had from it, but it was so. much. FUN!  I really DID feel alive, as the quote above mentions.  When the marriage was falling apart, we stopped of course.  (I wasn’t going to put myself out there emotionally if he was done trying, as he’d told me he was.)

I finally started back in this past spring on my own doing it again.  So many of the instructors at the Arthur Murray studio we went to before have moved on, but 2 of them were still there.  Quite a few friends I had made there before are still going though, and it’s been great to reconnect with them.

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This was back in August, at an all day dance competition.  When my instructor came out of the dressing room with his shirt that way, another instructor teased him that she didn’t know his décolletage would exceed theirs!  I wore this dress to dance the rumba in….I even (surprisingly) placed among females at my level that danced the same time I did!  (There were a good dozen total couples on the floor at the time.)

So don’t give up on hobbies!  You’ll be so glad you didn’t.  What hobbies did you have as I child that you’ve kept up now that your an adult?  Or what did you wish you had kept up with?  Let me know!

Is Self-Love A Good Thing?

loveyourself learning2balone

When you think of someone “loving themselves”, do you cringe inside, or think “Gimme a break?”  There are lots of people who have an unhealthy amount of self – love, and can be quite hurtful to others, sometimes to the point of abuse.  That’s not what I’m talking about here.

No, what I’m talking about is what both quotes above allude to.  If you can’t stand being alone with your thoughts, chances are that others will not want to be around you either.  When you’re ok with being alone, you won’t end up running for the first potential mate that shows up; you can really sit back and think…is this person really the best?  (This is the place I’m at in my journey right now.)

Have you ever gone alone to a movie, or out to eat?  If you can, I encourage you to try it.  Go see the movie that you’ve secretly been wanting to see, but no one else wants to go.  Take yourself out to dinner at the nicest restaurant you can afford.  Instead of watching a favored team in your living room, go to a local bar to watch them in community.  (That’s what I did for last year’s Super Bowl.)  If you feel like it, strike up a conversation with someone there.  If not, thats cool too.

Next time, I’ll be giving you ideas of different activities to engage in where you can make new friends, and tell you some of my experiences.  (I may even post a pic from something I did back in August.)

 

Finding Your Tribe

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How long has it been since you have gotten together with the friends you grew up with?  If you’re like me….WAY too long.  You (or they) may have moved, your life now gets in the way, or whatever.  You may not want to socialize much more than you really need to with coworkers, so few, if any, true friendships there.  We were never meant to be an island, but our intrinsic makeup needs to be social, to varying degrees.  So how do you keep from ending up feeling alone, even while surrounded by people?  I’ve got a couple ideas for you to help find your “tribe.”

If like me you’ve gotten away from being the friendly, easy-going person you once were, start small.  I have been a member of an email group since before Facebook was around.   Some of the friends Ive made this way I’ve ended up meeting IRL (in real life) and are really close friends, even though they live far away.  Our antics and the fun we have had when together has been EPIC.  (More on that in another post.)

If you would rather do something a little more (or you don’t use email for anything other than work), there’s also another option.  On Facebook, do a search for groups with similar interests to yours and join a few of them.  Then be as active in them as your life will allow.  Just be careful how many you join, as it can overtake your life (and I speak from experience here).

One other option, but by no means the only, is to find a local group of people interested in the same things as you.  Meetup.com has innumerable groups all over, and you can search for whatever you’re interested in.  Setting up a profile is free, but most groups ask for a nominal membership fee.  I just logged in to my profile, and over 130,000 meetups are happening this week, 16 in the 10 groups I’m a member of.  When you meet people with a common interest, it’s easier to strike up a conversation.  The organizers at these group events are supposed to be (and in my experience DO) make sure no one is left out, and everyone has a good time.

Next time, I’ll talk about why we need to be our own best friend.  Have any thoughts about my post?  Don’t be shy…leave a comment!  I will read and respond to everything.  (Unless its trolling…which should go without saying, but…thats my boundary.)