Lose/lose Situations

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you JUST KNOW that there isn’t a good way out? Like, you will make it through but every choice will hurt you in some way?

I am in a situation right now that is just going to suck no matter what happens. I have someone in my life that is slowly bleeding me.

It was subtle at first. I didn’t even notice, I am such a people pleaser that doing for them was not unusual or a red flag of any kind. Except that the more I gave the more they took. Human nature to take the path of least resistance, it doesn’t make us bad people because I believe it is just how humans are wired. So, hurtful but not surprising that it was never enough for this person.

Fast forward to today. I am doing WAY too much for this person. Not only that, it is just expected now, not even a question. And more. Not expected more, but “one more favor” more. My life and plans are just not consequential to the asking or the doing. And I am done…with everything.

Here is where the lose/lose comes in. It is already happening, I am feeling guilty about wanting to have my own life back. I am guilty for wanting this all to end. I feel like I didn’t do enough, I could have done more. None of that is true. In the long run putting my foot down will help everyone. It doesn’t make it any less stressful, though.

If I DON’T put my foot down, it will just get worse and I won’t be able to live with myself. It will cost me mentally, it will cost me in other relationships, it will probably cost me physically and in my ability to do my job effectively. When making a pros and cons list, there really isn’t a choice at all!

My life is on track finally and I have to fight to keep it like that. Nothing worth having is easy, right? Even though I haven’t physically been to church because of COVID-19, God has my back and I feel his presence. I know that no matter what happens He will get me through it.

So…I pick door number one…the lesser of two evils! Look forward to a blog post (or 5!) as this plays out. It is going to be bad 😦

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

How many frogs do I have to kiss again?!

More adventures in dating for you. Tell me, first, why? Why am I bothering with all this? I mean, I don’t need anyone in my life. I have a want for a companion to spend my time with. I have a want for someone to talk to about cool things or not so cool things that happen on the daily. Honestly, I also want someone to tell me I am pretty! I know I am pretty but it is so nice to hear 🙂

I scheduled a date with a new guy recently. We met on a dating app and did not talk very long before he asked to meet. I did a background check on him of course (I am pretty but not stupid lol) and made plans. The thing is, after getting some information from him he told me he has cancer. And I couldn’t do it.

Please save your condemnations and criticisms. Yes, I know he was still a really fantastic guy without a criminal record (LOL). I actually REALLY hit it off with him. We did spend some time talking together but then after spending a night tossing and turning because a lot of his cancer “adventures” were exactly ones I had been through with my Beloved, I told him I couldn’t continue. The guilt I felt was unbelievable. He was so wonderful. He was funny and handsome. He was down to earth. Most importantly, he understood me (as well as he could in the short time we had spoken.) The bottom line for me was that it took me a lot of time to not wake up and feel alone and abandoned. It took me a long time not to be on the verge of tears basically every waking moment of my day. It took me a long time not to feel like my life had no meaning anymore.

I want someone to spend my time with. I want someone to be my partner in crime and my accomplice when I want to do something adventurous. What I DON’T want is someone to get lost in. I don’t want to forget how wonderful my life is without a man to tell me how to live it. And I can’t go through another cancer adventure with someone I love. Call me selfish but I am just not ready or willing to give up on the new life I have slowly built!

Fire is the devil’s only friend…not mine!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am afraid of fire. No…I am TERRIFIED of fire. It is a funny story really…

When I was a little kid (like really little…I don’t know, 4?) my brother and my cousin were playing with matches. Under the bed. As a grown up, that is so bad and so dangerous! But as a kid, I was a little awestruck actually. I thought they were so amazing and cool already. My Mom, however, did not think it was cool OR amazing. Actually, she kind of flipped out! Her response was to show them how dangerous fire is by burning them. BURNING THEM! Some 70’s child discipline right there, right?! She burned their fingers on the stove so they would never forget that fire is painful and dangerous. The funny thing is that my brother and my cousin both grew up to smoke so it wasn’t effective for them. I, on the other hand, still can’t handle fire. I can’t light a match. I can’t light a lighter. I can’t even stand too close to a bonfire without having heart palpitations about it. As a matter of fact, I have a fireplace in my home and there is a TV in front of it BECAUSE I WILL NEVER USE IT!

So someone needs to pat me on the back or high five me or something because I did something super scary and something super cool today. I lit my own charcoal grill. Yup, you heard that right. I LIT A GRILL WITH FIRE. I cooked 6 turkey burgers so that I didn’t waste the charcoal. And I cried. I am not going to apologize, it was such a big deal for me! I will probably not cook on the grill again but I can now. I was not sure I could do it but my friend knew I could. He encouraged me and honestly I only did it because I didn’t want to tell him that I didn’t even try. Peer pressure, am I right?!

Anyway, I guess the moral of this story is that fire is a metaphor for life. It is so scary to go out and do something instead of just putting my chair far enough away from the bonfire so I could still enjoy the warmth and hear the crackling but not close enough to smell the wood burning or have my cheeks turn red from the heat. Or risk getting burned by the fire. Sometimes life is dangerous like fire and sometimes I get burned. I can’t play it safe all the time, I have to light the grill sometimes. I can walk through life and watch people do things or I can try to do them myself. I might get burned but I might learn how to do something cool like lighting a grill. And who doesn’t want to be a cool grill master?!

He’s just not that into you!

My friend I met on a dating site and I have not met yet. Still. Now I know how impatient I can be (thanks Mom for always getting so mad when I said I would do something later!) but it has been a few weeks of texting and talking on the phone so I don’t think it is too soon. And of course, Frank is having a field day with this all.

Everything is going really well, we text most days and I am slowly learning about him. I know what kind of music he likes and I know his favorite songs. I know what movies he is into and his favorites. Where he grew up, siblings, family. His favorite color and favorite food. We are having a great time getting to know each other and it is definitely not a physical thing (I am totally attracted to him but not ready or willing to go there!) so why is meeting so important to me, anyway?

Frank’s (the mean voice in my head or affectionately known as my Crazy) voice…maybe you are too much for him and he doesn’t know how to tell you so he is just slowly phasing you out? Maybe you work too much and he doesn’t want to compete with that? Maybe he knows you are super impatient and doesn’t want you to meet and get bored so he is dragging out the meet? Conversely, I have been very clear about the fact that I am looking for a relationship and not a casual fling so maybe that isn’t what he is interested in. OR MAYBE HE IS JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU!

Frank is not all cynical, he also puts worms in that are over-confident and arrogant like…he thinks you are too pretty and won’t be interested in him, and you are pretty successful–you know that is intimidating, right? just to round things out a little. Oh, and my favorite one of all is when Frank tells me to realize that I am single for a reason and it isn’t because I am too wonderful. Nope, it is because I am too much for most guys!

The real Amanda knows that none of this stuff is true. I don’t think I am too much. I don’t think I am too pretty or too successful or too impatient. And yes, I know that the perfect person is out there for me and I just have to slow down and enjoy the ride. And honestly, I have a pretty perfect life and I just want to share it. Breath, Amanda!!!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you know YOU?

I am beginning to have questions about my recent failed relationship so I figured I would share.

First question–was it really that good? I mean, I truly had a great time with my male friend. We did a bunch of fun stuff together. Except it was HIS fun stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it WAS fun. So much fun! None of it was my idea though. As a side note I must confess that I don’t actually know what to do that is fun and adventurous. A list is called for, I think! Then the next time I find myself in amazing company I will have something to offer. But the bottom line is that in the short time we spent together the boat was clearly being steered by the captain and I was the first mate.

That brings me to my second question, do I NEED someone to steer? I already said that I don’t know what to do that is fun. I work, I watch TV and I read. What a boring existence! In my making of a list, I am going to steer my own ship. I am going to find stuff to do that I enjoy. Just like Julia Roberts in the movie Runaway Bride, I need to figure out how I like my eggs instead of just liking them the way my guy likes them. On my days off, I am going to start doing the stuff on my list. I started today by joining a gym. I didn’t stay and work out but baby steps. I joined. I love the feeling of going to a gym and working out. It is so much better with a group but that will come. And fishing! I used to go fishing with my step Dad so I think on Thursday I am going to do that. Which means tomorrow night I will go night crawling for worms. I haven’t done that since I was a kid either. And taking myself on a picnic. I used to love taking the kids on an impromptu picnic with Subway sandwiches when I was out pet sitting. I love to sit outside and look at the sky. Sounds like a good list item! There are so many things I love to do but for whatever reason I haven’t allowed myself to do them. Somewhere along the line I decided I wasn’t good enough to have fun on my own or smart enough to come up with stuff to do. I am so afraid of trying something and failing that I just concede before I even try. What the heck is that all about?!

I spent the day in a dark cloud because I haven’t heard from him. I sent a bunch of messages and I have been left unread. But when I really think about it, am I upset about being ignored by him or just being ignored in general? I feel like I am throwing a tantrum because my little inner child is being ignored and she doesn’t like that! We dated for 2 months. Not two years…MONTHS. I definitely think I need to get a grip on that reality. Fabulous time, but still only 2 months. Not even long enough to plan a vacation together without rushing things.

I updated my profile on one of the online dating sites so I can start talking to new guys. I even sent out a few conversation starters..but as I spent the day swiping through profiles it occurs to me that I don’t really know what I am looking for so maybe slow my roll for a little bit. And anyway, that was a gut reaction to my temper tantrum I talked about above. I am not lonely or needy. I have a pretty awesome life all on my own and am not truly “in the market” for someone else. Nope, the only person I need to be worrying about getting to know better is AMANDA. She is pretty awesome and fun to be around, especially when you get to know her 🙂

I gotta have Faith…

Remember that song by George Michael? And I know all the games you play because I play them too…umm, yup. I have been playing games and I need to have faith instead!

My best friend’s husband died about a week ago. He was having surgery and it didn’t go well. The thing is, he had been in a car accident a few years ago and several surgeries since then. He even learned how to walk again! So why did God chose the final surgery to be the one that ended everything? And why did God let my bestie find her true love only to take him away?!

I haven’t written about God lately and to be completely honest, I haven’t spoken to him much either. Everything that has happened to me and everything I have endured didn’t turn me away. Something lately has really taken Him out of my focus, though. I don’t know if it is the virus and how the new normal is making me feel crazy, or if I am just tired of trying to justify all the bad by saying, “I just know something good is coming for me, God wouldn’t send me through so many fires and not have something on the other side to make it all worth it.” Nope, I have lost my Jesus mojo.

I started seeing someone a few months ago and it has been so amazing in so many ways but not in so many other ways. The thing is, he wants a casual relationship. He wants to be able to just have fun and hang out but not have any of the pitfalls of a relationship. Pitfalls? Like what? When I try to tell him about my day or something that is happening at work he listens but then doesn’t respond about it. Actually, his response is usually something to change the subject! Except that sometimes he is all ears. And he makes me food when I go to his house. Lately he had been opening up to me more. It is starting to feel like a relationship amd I am confused!

When we first started seeing each other, I told him a lie. It was a douzy, too. Not going to get into the details except to say that when I talked about it in the past I was not met with peace and understanding so I chose to keep it to myself this time. We were casually dating, after all. Except that the more he opened up to me, the guiltier I felt. One day last week I blurted out the truth. He was shocked but not too shocked to get up and leave. It has been almost a week without any contact. I texted him every day to say I was sorry and to tell him I hoped he would be able to talk to me. The last text I sent was to say I was not going to text him anymore and if and when he wants to talk he could. Now I am left to my own devices. And that is not usually good hahahaha!

To bring it back to my friend, I have been thinking about the whole soul mate thing. I am alone right now, hoping he will reach out to me. I still want that to happen but if it doesn’t that will be okay, too. I am enjoying spending time with this man and I love the feeling I have when I am not with him and I am remembering something we did. But I DO want the pitfalls of a relationship. I want to have a bad day and have him tell me I am being terrible. I want him to be a jerk because of something going on in his life and me to understand why because we are talking about everything. And I want to be able to tell him it will be okay and that he is being a jerk! I hope I am strong enough to tell him that when we talk again.

One thing I do know is that I need to go back to understanding that Jesus is walking with me. I am not going to sit here and say that I have full faith again but I am going to work on it. I am stronger when I know God has my back! I gotta have faith!

Oh, when that love comes down without devotion
Well, it takes a strong man, baby
But I’m showin’ you the door–Faith by George Michael

Adventures in Dating

Hey there! Long time no hear…I am sorry. I must be honest, I have not been feeling myself lately and I haven’t wanted to write about it. I still don’t, but I have to. I have to get it out or else I am going to be like a bomb and blow!

I began seeing someone. I was having such a good time and I think I forgot that I am great when he was being a smooth talker. Every day I tried to become more of the person HE needed me to be instead of the person I am trying to become. He wasn’t a bad person, just someone I wanted to please even if it meant losing myself again!

After a month we stopped seeing each other. No reason, no problems, just stopped. I am reflecting on how quickly I started to be absorbed into another person. Do I need to have someone else tell me how to “be”? Why?!

I am smart. I am beautiful. I can do anything I need to do and if I can’t I figure it out. I spent so much time being told that I was almost there that I go above and beyond as a rule. I am the definition of a “catch.” So why don’t I believe that?

I believe every relationship brings you closer to being the best version of yourself and the take away on this one is that I have to be super careful about handing over my mind, body and soul. Even if I don’t believe it all the time, I am a powerhouse. And the person I am is the person (fill in the blank) is attracted to so becoming an extension of them instead is not good! Also, I have been scared to try and start dating and now I know it is okay and I am ready. Dating adventures…take one!

It’s Not Real!

I have been struggling with anxiety so much lately. I spend the whole day and sometimes the next day crying or on the verge of tears. The thing is, I know what ever it is that I am upset about is not true or not real. I get this little voice in my head that tells me some little untruth and that is all I need to start spiraling out of control.

I am like a little kid on an Easter egg hunt. I run around with my basket and pick up all the untruths to drop in. I sit at the end of the Easter egg hunt with my basket of lies and look around at the other people with the other baskets. Except I am not happy or proud that my basket is fuller than everyone else’s. Actually, I can’t breath and I can’t move because the basket is full of all these heavy boulders. I look around and everyone is laughing because I didn’t pick up any eggs at all. They were all rocks that I mistook for eggs. It’s not real!

The Bible says “…  if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. ” (Matthew 17:20) The devil knows this and has told me I don’t need to read my devotionals and I don’t need to write in my blog. I don’t go out except to work because I don’t want to run into anyone and have to explain why I am carrying around these useless rocks. When I do interact with anyone, the devil is certain to plant a little untruth in my head so I can run with it. Except I foiled his plan today–I went to church and heard the word of God. Pastor Darren always begins the sermon with a prayer for our time. And you know what he says? He says Thank you God for your word and thank you that it is true…

After the service I talked to a friend about my crippling anxiety. She confided that she also fights with irrational fears. Actually, it turns out that everyone I have talked to is struggling with a very similar problem. Satan is a busy little bug! Anyway, back to my friend. She told me that her husband likened the anxiety to a mosquito. It buzzes around in your ear and can’t really do anything (I mean, besides like malaria or that new infection EEE but that is SO not the point!) but it irritates you and ruins your plans. I have always thought of my anxiety like a guy in the back corner of my mind (Frank) sitting in a room playing solitaire. Every now and then (more often lately) Frank comes out of his room and whispers stuff to me so he can start up some drama. When I finally get a hold of his lies, he goes back into his room. Always there, lurking in the background and waiting for the next opportunity to try and ruin my plans.

I left church and talked to some of my coworkers about it. I explained to them that I get these irrational fears and they just blow up. I asked them to, if they see that I am spinning out of control, remind me that it isn’t real. But I don’t think it will be much of a problem, I am writing in my blog and I am going to put the Bible on audio so I hear it even when I am asleep. (Did I mention that I wake up at 2 am almost every night lately?!) Tomorrow I am going to take a walk to the beach (another something Frank has talked me out of doing) and I will go back to reading my Bible and thanking God for all the good and the bad in my life. It isn’t going to be smooth sailing; Frank senses when I am just a little weak and comes right out. Hopefully, though, when that happens I will recognize it and pull out my index card that I wrote the verse about moving mountains on. I will flip it over and see the words in capital letters IT’S NOT REAL!!!

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8 NSB