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

Love at first site

So more adventures in dating this Sunday morning for you! Spoiler alert, I am overcome on this one and it is a sappy love story instead of the usual “wow, that sucked” story hahaha!

I met this guy on Hinge. He wrote about his kids and how they were his pride in the very first paragraph of his online profile. My kids are grown and my daughters don’t live with me but they are still an important part of my life. My son lives with me so he is a pretty big part of my picture as well!

We texted for a bit and then we video chatted. I am pretty new to the video chat way of dating but it was like a first date. I couldn’t figure out how to get my phone camera to work. Good clue to how he would handle frustration and unexpected problems! It is sad that I even notice or care about that stuff but unfortunately it is important for me to see, I have allowed people to make me feel less than and I am just not doing that anymore. He talked me through how to get it to work and it was smooth sailing from there.

Several online dates and then an in person date. I would be a big fat liar if I didn’t say I wanted to throw up for the ride to his house and probably the first half of the date! He ordered a pizza (can’t go wrong with pizza, am I right?!) and we watched a movie. Good thing it was one I had already seen because we spent the majority of the time talking. Our lives are so similar, we just clicked on so many things. Not going to lie, I could have stayed all night. TALKING, why do you have to go there?!

I read somewhere that the point of the first date wasn’t to impress the other person, you should have done that already. Nope, it is to decide if you wanted a second date. How wrong is it that I planned the second date in my mind throughout the entire first date? I am pretty sure I would not have accepted no if he didn’t want to have that second date hahaha!

So now it is several dates in and I am floored at how well it is going. There have been conflicts, I have gotten stuck at work and I have had a work crisis to deal with on a date. All fine with him. What? I am not used to having someone just roll with it and it is exhilarating and scary all at the same time.

I did not realize how much I feared another person’s reactions. I guess there is some stuff in my mind I have to work through since I am holding my breath every time something comes up I can’t control. I always just figured I was a control freak but it is so much more than that…I spent so much time trying to keep things smooth so there were no waves in my life that it just became a part of my identity. Don’t get me wrong, I work hard to make sure everything goes perfectly and that is a huge character asset. But always being on alert to put out fires is only a good thing if you are a fireman!!!!

So that is it. It is still early in the relationship but I plan on being in this for a long time to come!!

Aman-Splaining

Sitting at my happy place and reading blog posts is making me question my life. It is too early for this! Drinking my coffee at the beach is supposed to be a mindless adventure…what the hell, Amanda?!

I am “doing the work” to become a more well-rounded human. I am asking myself why whenever a thought comes into my head. Like, when you invite someone over and clean like a mad person but then say “don’t mind the mess” so they will actually look at all the cleaning you did. And for the record, I don’t do that! I may tidy up before you come over the first time but then I am all about transparency…as in, you should know that I eat dinner in the living room and don’t bring my plate and silverware to the kitchen until the next day because I only have enough silverware for a day or two and I need to wash it!

No. What I question is when I am telling someone something that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things but I feel the unbreakable pull to explain. When my son was little, he had this habit of telling me a drawn out story instead of just answering the question and I would say to him, “Just the facts, Jack” (Meet the Parents…if you haven’t seen it then we can’t be friends…) It is a disease…like ‘man-splaining’…’aman-splaining’?! Do you think guys get that they do that? I truly think I ‘aman-splain’ stuff because I am just the smartest person in the Universe so how could anyone else possibly understand without my input?

No one cares. If they want a novel they will buy one on Amazon. Or as my step Dad used to like to ask…Do you just like to hear yourself speak?! If people want more information they usually ask. And let’s be real, I am not the smartest person in the universe and people are GENERALLY smart enough to figure things out. If they are confused they will ask. Plus, it isn’t like I EVER talk about anything major!

So today, my goal is to say “just the facts, Jack” and not think I have to explain every little thing. Worse comes to worse, the cats always listen when I feel the need to hear myself talk 🤣🤣🤣

Is it really black or white?!

I am literally sitting at the beach right now and I don’t want to leave! The air is cool and the ocean sounds and smells are surrounding me like a warm hug as I sit on the sand.

I have been thinking about my life and my relationships this morning. I have been talking to this guy and we are making plans to meet soon (socially distanced, of course). There is my former crush that I am definitely not over even though I am forcing myself to move on. And then my biggest relationship, with Jesus. I have been ignoring Him, too; it is almost like I don’t want to disappoint Him because I am looking for something.

But is Jesus ever really disappointed in me? All my Christian friends would tell me that God loves all his children and nothing can turn Him away. I am not 100% sure I buy all that, though. And it is almost like I am a willful child who is doing stuff that I KNOW will push the limits of His love for me. I mean, as I mentioned before I am not interested in remarriage. It has ended badly for me twice, first time shame on you and second time shame on me, right?! I am absolutely looking for a man to share my blessings with, though.

Having God in my life keeps me in check so I don’t put the cart before the horse physically so I guess I am not completely off the deep end with my search. Every text or phone conversation feels like I am sinning, though. My black or white mentality is big and strong right now!!

I suppose the bottom line is this…having conversations with someone I want to maybe spend more time with is not wrong and if I get to the point that I want it to go farther I will have to work through that THEN. All this talk about finding what makes me truly happy means nothing at all without Jesus in my ❤

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!

Professional Room Temperature Checker

Once upon a time there was a girl who only thought of herself and how to make herself happy and comfortable. She was selfish without realizing, she honestly believed that by taking care of her own destiny she would be making everyone around her content as well. “You can’t love others without loving yourself”…”you can’t make people happy without being happy with you”…”you do you” and all those cliches. People around her pointed it out (a boyfriend dedicated the song Cold As Ice by Foreigner to her at a club during a fight) or they followed her around like the goddess she just knew she was. Life was good. Or was it?!

All the narcissism was an act to cover the fact that she didn’t feel important or needed. Fake it till you make it was the true cliche she lived by–she just knew someday she would find the person who would make her want to care about someone other than herself. She even got married right away so she could have a reason to put someone else first. She didn’t know that at the time, just like she didn’t know that caring for her younger brother growing up instead of being a kid who was incapable of caring for others like a normal 4 year old was a huge reason for her codependency and whirlwind relationships.

Then she met someone who was so much more narcissistic and self important. Now, instead of being the rule maker and the front runner, SHE was the follower. She drank the kool-aid, she didn’t make a decision or have a thought without getting his superior opinion first. And again, she was unaware. She fell right in line with the belief that she was less than, she did not think twice about the fact that she had no original content anymore. She had finally found the person who she loved more than herself. The person she checked the temperature in the room for to be sure it was perfect. She could just put on a sweater or a short sleeve shirt if she was uncomfortable, how she felt was irrelevant.

When he left, she began to wake up. She looked around and realized she was temperature checking the room for everyone in it, she still felt like she was irrelevant. Even though she tried to go back to being the leader of the pack, she knew she wasn’t happy in that role.

She is still growing and changing, she always will be. She has found a new person to love and adore, except he doesn’t have a “love me fully or you are worthless” vibe surrounding him. And the funny thing is, she feels like she has known him her whole life. With all the “if I don’t take care of me no one will” decisions she had to make in her life, it is pretty clear that He was steering her then. She knows in her heart that everything that happens, every choice she has to make are put in front of her to help her become her best version of herself. She knows that when she is unsure or worried about something she can go to him and talk freely. And when life is good and things are going smoothly, she knows that He is steering that as well. Turns out He is always with her and always ready to listen. Life is good, for real this time.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope…Jeremiah 29:11

The weighted blanket of grief

This post is off the subject of my attitude for gratitude, but I need to get it out. I feel like I have changed in my grief process; and it is enough of a change that I actually can FEEL IT.

My grief has been like a weighted blanket or shawl I have worn around my body. Some days, especially in the beginning, I would wrap myself up and go to bed. I could hear his voice whispering in my ear that it was all going to be okay. And when life got hard or too many people were around me I could put the blanket over my head and just breath in the smell of my Beloved that surrounded me in my cocoon of grief, using the blanket to wipe away the tears that fell with every thought of him. It was strangely comforting to always feel that weight on my shoulders, while it was reminding me that he was gone.

The weight was so heavy sometimes that I could only manage to do what I had to do in a day and nothing more. That was frustrating at times because I was stronger in my mind than I was in my physical body. I would go to the gym, a place where I felt welcome and empowered, and I would not be able to do even the easiest of exercises. I would cry when I walked in because of all the reminders; and I would cry when I left because I was so weak that I failed miserably in my workouts. What I didn’t realize was that the blanket was making it hard to do the things I did before Al died. Even though I had not been away from the gym for a really long time, and even though I had been walking and exercising at home while he was sick, lifting my body while the blanket weighed it down was a struggle all in itself. Instead of feeling empowered, I felt defeated.

Then something unexpected happened. I woke up one morning and the blanket had slipped off a little during the night. It was still on me, but only part of my body was covered in this weighted grief. I moved my arms and they felt lighter and stronger than they had in a while. I went to the gym and although I couldn’t finish a full workout I finished more than I had before. I still didn’t feel empowered, but hopeful that maybe I would one day be as strong as I was once again.

Days and weeks past with that blanket wrapped around my waist, making it easier to move and harder to hide. The comfort of my grief cocoon was gone, I could no longer smell Al when I wrapped it around me because it was too far from my face, but I heard his voice this time telling me that I was stronger than I knew and that it would be okay. I was able to walk farther than I had before, all the way to the beach near my house before I had to stop. It was getting easier.

Yesterday when I awoke I had thrown the blanket off completely. I got up and got dressed, grabbed the blanket and left for my morning work. Except, I didn’t wrap the blanket around my waist like I had in the past. I put it next to me on the seat and went on my way. When I got home, I put the blanket on the back of the couch and took a walk to the beach. And back. Yup, I was strong enough to go there AND back. Today I was able to do almost a full workout at the gym, while the blanket was in a cubby with my phone and keys. Still ever present, but not weighing me down and making my life feel hopeless and hard.

That blanket will always be there. When I move it will move with me, when I go on vacation it will be in my carry-on. But it has lost its weight and heaviness. I still wrap myself up in the grief cocoon when life is hard, and even though I no longer smell his smell I know Al is with me. And his voice in my ear? It is saying, “I told you!”