survivingmiddleage

the ups and downs of life

Archive for the category “A day in the life”

Chances and Changes

In the last month, opportunities were given to me. Chances for change. I am not one for change. At all. I get caught up in all of the what-ifs and such. But I have wanted a change in my life and rather than let myself be talked out of it, I stepped out of my comfort zone. I accepted that the only way for my life to change was for me to change. So I am moving. Not just from my current residence. Well, that is part of it. No, I am really moving! I am leaving North Carolina and moving back home to Alabama.

I am terrified and happy at the same time. It’s hard to explain how that feels. It’s laughing in the middle of an anxiety attack. It’s spinning on one of those crazy rides at a fair and loving it and suddenly feeling like you need to puke. It’s realizing that you’re leaving your home that you have lived in for years to go back to a home that you haven’t been in for several years.

The panic sets in and I wonder if I can really do this? Can I really get this done? Can I really be ok? I’m scared. I have friends and family there who are excited I am coming home. I am excited, too. But will the new wear off for them? Will they forget me? If they did, would it be so bad? There’s been times here when I have felt forgotten. I know that I wasn’t, but my feeling was that I was. Perception and reality are two different things.

As much as I can’t wait to go, there is a tiny bit that hurts to go as well. Something is missing. My parents. My Mama especially. She was home. She was the person who welcomed me with open arms. She soothed me when I hurt. She would promise that everything would be ok when neither of us knew if it really would be or not. She would gently stroke my hair until I could breathe easier and stopped crying. She’s not there. And I am crying alone and praying that God will take this knot from my throat.

So I am proud that I am taking a chance on change. I truly believe it is the best thing for me. While I love my job, my personal life had become stagnant. I needed a change and I was lucky enough to have a wonderful friend to help me make a change. So I am leaving Thomas Wolfe’s home to see if you really can go home again? We’ll see.

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Where I Am

I was talking to someone recently and the subject turned to where we are in life. Am I where I want to be? NO. A solid, resounding no. But when I say that, it doesn’t mean that I can’t look at things and find something positive.

There are so many things in my life I would change. Oh so many! But something I wouldn’t change is my heart. I know that the bottom line is that I am a good person. That has no monetary value. And for some people it may not mean much. But the way I was raised, that means a whole lot. I was raised to be a good person. I was raised to treat others well. I was raised to root for the underdog. I was raised to help others when I might not have much.

There are times when I wish I could just be selfish and only look after myself without a care for others. It might make life easier. I might be further ahead in life. But how would I feel?

So when I do an inventory of my life I have to take into account the person I am as well as where I am. I also take into account the people who are in my life. I have had to shed some people from my life. I have also grown my circle. This is not an easy thing for me to do. While I love others, I don’t trust easily. But as I have gotten older, I have learned that sharing my life with others can bring me joy. So I have learned to open doors slightly here and there to see how it goes.

So where I am now is in a constant state of learning and growing. I would love to say I know everything I need to know. I don’t. At all. It’s a process. I am trying to learn and move forward.

Expectations

When we were younger we pretty much said whatever we wanted and really didn’t care what others thought. If it worked, great. If it didn’t, great. As we have gotten older, that doesn’t work. In every situation we must evaluate our words because they’re judged. There are some expectations in every circumstance when we communicate. Our words must have some meaning, some depth, some semblance of intelligence and humor all in one, or something like that.

I was thinking about this as I thought about some conversations about dating. The word “dating” immediately makes me shake my head and do an eye roll. I’m single so I shouldn’t do this. Dating is a necessary evil if I want to change my relationship status. But what also comes to mind with this horrific word is another word: expectations.

For many, online dating is the way to go. We are such a busy society that it is often difficult to meet people. Who wants to try to date at work? That’s a tragedy waiting to happen if something goes wrong. So many of us turn to dating sites to rescue us from the single state we seem to disdain so much. With this comes so many expectations!

We have to write a profile. Who likes describing themselves? Well, a narcissist would. But most people aren’t narcissists. Well, sometimes it does seem like they are, but I really don’t think so. The thing is that you’re selling yourself. As you write this profile you are hoping and expecting to find someone compatible. Some people spend hours writing and re-writing the profile because you want it to bring the perfect match.

Next we have to get the profile picture right. Do I look too fat? Do I look happy enough? Do I look too serious? The thing is that the person looking at your profile expects to find the perfect person. Expectations are high. If they’re paying to use the site, they want the biggest bang for their buck.

Next comes the interactions. All of the work has been put in and finally people are ready to chat, flirt, etc. It seems the expectations are different from what I have seen and heard. Men seem to want to flirt. But they don’t seem to know how to do it to the level of what women want. Women expect something more than, “Hey beautiful.” That crap doesn’t fly IRL and it certainly doesn’t fly in virtual world either. In fact, it is pretty annoying. Men, lemme give you a hint, if you’re looking at a woman’s profile, READ IT! We expect that. We expect nice words. We expect you to put some effort in!! “Hey.” That is not effort. I say that to the mailman. I am not asking him out.

But here’s another thing that I think we need to look at…ladies, I think we need to quit having such high expectations from these guys who really know nothing about us. Frankly, it takes some nerve for some of them to say hello. Sometimes they fumble over words and are not the brightest when it comes to what they should say. We are all different. So maybe we should give them a SMALL chance before swiping left. Sometimes you do just know. Believe me, I do know that. Especially if you know it was a copy and paste deal. But sometimes some of them have been as screwed over as we have. Sometimes some of them are as shy as we are.

Another thing I would like to tell men about expectations, women expect you to be a gentleman. If you don’t want to continue to see us, that is fine. But stop with the whole BS of ghosting. BE A MAN. Just say it. It’s really simple. Most women will agree. Most women will say that’s fine. But it really pisses us off when a man is such a coward that he can’t even say it. So man up!

All in all, I don’t think we should lower our expectations to a complete zero. I think, though, that we should all realize that we’re not perfect and we are dealing with other humans who aren’t as well. We stumble, fumble and fail. We’re not always going to get it right. We trip over our own tongues. Well, at least I do. There’s a reason I am single. I am great at communicating a lot of things, but not when it comes to matters of the heart. I am pretty sure there’s more out there like me who don’t always have the right thing to say and kick themselves for it.

Mother’s Day

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. It is a bittersweet day for me. I miss my mother so much that it feels as if my soul hurts. She has been gone 22 years. I am 47 so it seems as if I would be used to it. I am. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t painful. Certain things make that pain worse. I can get through the days without crying every day, but Mother’s day, certain holidays, birthdays, anniversaries…they get me.

While I would like to not hurt so much, I think it is a testament to how important she was to me. My mother was pretty awesome. She pushed me out of my comfort zone a lot. She comforted me when I was hurt or scared. She would rub my hair and make the world go away so I could regroup. She and I fought and loved hard. We had a bond that not many understood. Honestly, I don’t think I did for the longest time.

Tomorrow is also a bittersweet day for me because while I wanted children, I didn’t have them. Part of it was my choice. Part of it wasn’t. I really hate when people ask about kids. It’s a difficult subject. I try to just say, “No, I don’t have them. Just my fur babies.” People look at you as if you’re a leper. Especially here in the South. Sometimes it happens to where that’s the way it is. If you meet someone with no kids, just don’t push on that subject. It could be very painful.

For anyone reading this, I hope that whatever tomorrow is for you in respect to Mother’s Day that you have a good day. If you need to cry, I wish that you have plenty of tissues and rest after. (Crying makes me tired.) If you have your mother, I hope you have a great day with her. If you have a living mother but aren’t in touch, I hope you have a reconciliation because I would take years off my life for moments with mine. I know that isn’t always easy or even healthy so that may not be the right thing to do. I wish you what you need, though. For fathers acting in the role of mothers as well as fathers, thank you and I hope you enjoy the day.

I wish everyone a beautiful and healthy day. I hope you have what you need. Hugs!

Changing Times

It amazes me how things have changed over the years. I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way either. While we have made great technological strides, I think these forward facing technological steps have made us take several steps backwards in common decency, manners and overall common goodwill.

It is so easy for millions of people to sit behind their keyboards and judge others openly and often harshly. It is as if they have forgotten that having a filter is a good thing. Just because we have a thought doesn’t necessarily mean we should blurt it out, no matter if it is in person or typing it out. Anonymity doesn’t mean that it is ok to be hurtful. And yet people often spout off whatever they want to others.

Maybe we should take a look at how people are treating each other and realize it is not ok. We have people who are defensive most of the time these days because they have dealt with some of these internet jockeys. It is difficult to not blast these people because, frankly, they’re nothing but cyber assholes and bullies. I typically want to stand up for whoever is being bullied. Sometimes, though, that just fans the flames.

But what I wonder is why these people feel it is ok to be the cyber asshole? It is becoming commonplace. It’s spilling over into real life and people are beginning to do this face-to-face. All of this is unacceptable.

Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!!!! This is a great philosophy to live by. We might have a little more peaceful and civil environment if we did this. I know that people are jerks from time to time because they are human. We don’t have to add to it because we can.

We shouldn’t be so proud to be “tell it like it is” people. That’s just another cop out to be an asshole. It is one thing to speak your mind and it is another to be a jerk doing it. You don’t have to say what you think with a close-minded tone. You can give your opinion while being civil and it is not the hardest thing in the world to do. We should try it more often.

If we put as much effort into just being civil and courteous as we do into being heard and being right, we might have a more peaceful country. We might have more understanding and free flowing conversations. I know this is a lot to ask but I really wish people would focus more on lifting each other up instead of pushing each other down.

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