Accept it, live with it, don’t fight it!

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So I have no friends, that fact has already been established on my last post.  Now I must set about making new, hopefully available, friends.  This post should be about all my efforts and results in that endeavor, but instead it is the opposite.  It is about the reasons why I am doing nothing, or very little.

This “doing nothing or very little” is very hard for this impulsive all or nothing Aries.  My approach to problems has never been slow and steady.  Once I determine a task needs to be done, and I want it bad enough, I jump head first.   I go about it in crazed fashion only intent on results and missing everything else.  Not this time! This time I am going for non-reaction and non-action.  It is often told that we should challenge ourselves and get out of our comfort zone, and this “doing nothing” is definitely uncomfortable to me.

 “Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”  J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This is my way of attempting to learn not to react (and overreact) to events and situations.  This is accepting instead of fighting it and trying to change it.  I will eventually attack the task (making new friends), but the idea here is to have a better, more thoughtful and controlled approach.   I am controlling the problem, it is not controlling me.

This time I decided that perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to try to correct a situation that I deem wrong and unacceptable.   This situation, and any uncomfortable situation, presents a big opportunity for contemplation and learning.  Perhaps I should spend some time in the moment and in the feeling of being friendless.   I should learn to acceptance silence and stillness.  I have no friends, but I am surrounded by sound and busyness of my own making: TV, music, internet, books, games, etc.  I feel I am always on, not knowing what to do with myself when all else is off.

 “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I should accept the stillness and silence of the moment.  There is a need for friends but there is also value in the lack of it.  I am respecting the nature of things and God’s will.  There is a reason for this.  I will do my part, but I will not be aggressive and thoughtless, not that they are the same thing, but oftentimes that is what happens to me when I engage in something. I am in search of new activities that will lead me to new friends, but not with any urgency.  I am moving with the determination of a sloth, and I like it!

Perhaps this moment will yield some much needed creativity that I lack at the moment.   Perhaps the lesson here is humility, to realize that there is no shame in being friendless.  Being friendless should in no way have a reflection on the quality of my friendship.  Perhaps this approach will help me realize the need to take things slow and the need to focus.  Sometimes I lack focus, I do it all, and I do it all together.  I think I lack respect, respect for the function I am performing at the moment.   I am lucky that the result is always positive; things get done, and actually done well.  But I question if they are done as well as they should or could if I had really paid attention to each moment and task.

“You couldn’t relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile. You had to accept it as a whole–like the world, or the person you loved.” 
 Stewart O’Nan, The Odds: A Love Story

There is time for Book Clubs, gyms, Meetups etc, but there is only this one moment to feel the emptiness of the moment.  I always believed that happiness is an option,  and every morning as soon as I open my eyes I choose happiness. But happiness is also learning to be happy in this very moment, not on the moment somewhere in the future when I will have made new friends or in the past where I had friends to do things with.  Happiness is right here and right now.  I am still looking for friends and activities, but I got rid of the sense of urgency. I am learning to be okay with not having friends.   One can say I am basking in the glory of loneliness, I am letting it envelope me, but not to bring me sadness, but to bring me happiness and peace on my own.

I believe I am the master of my destiny so letting things happen is very hard.  But I am learning the benefits of letting marinate and flow as they will.  I always viewed that inaction and non-reaction as laziness.  It is actually the total opposite of laziness; it takes a real effort to let things be.  I have been amazed to realize that some things get resolved on their own without my having to do anything about it.  What an amazing realization!

 “The best way is not to fight it, just go. Don’t be trying all the time to fix things. What you run from only stays with you longer. When you fight something, you only make it stronger.”  Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Or maybe… just maybe… everything I wrote above is all a bunch of hogwash that I made up to make me feel good about my lack of effort and total lack of results.  :-(

The need for friends…

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“A friend is a gift you give yourself.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson

I NEED FRIENDS!!  This is very hard for me to write.  I pride myself in being independent and not needing anybody for anything.  I have learned a long time ago that if I want to do something I should go ahead and do it and not wait for anyone.  Waiting for others always led me to nothing and nowhere.  So I always did everything alone, from taking vacations to taking classes.  But at this point in my life I have been noticing this empty space that only friends can occupy.

This fact became abundantly clear to me on 4th of July as I watched the fireworks from my balcony.  (I attempted to invite someone, but this person didn’t respond)  As a particular beautiful and big display appeared in the sky I felt the want/the need to share with someone the beauty of the moment.  At that moment I realized that my wanting was not for a boyfriend but just for a friend. I guess my perception (real or not) was that the fireworks could have been even more amazing had I shared it with someone.

Until now I suppose I never realized that huge void in my life.  God is my friend, my family is my friend, books are my friends, entertainment is my friend.  oh yeah, food is my friend.I never noticed anything anything missed, and when I did, I thought I missed a romantic relationship.

Do you know what I am talking about?  That person that you can meet on the spur of the moment and just spend time together and talk.  It doesn’t have to be deep conversations and confidence, it could just be laughs over the absurdities of life, or the latest gossip, or take a walk, go shopping, etc.

I guess the fact that my entire family lives in Brazil and I live alone in the US makes being friendless more noticeable.  One would think that because I have no family here I would have made tons of friends here, but instead, having no family here made me cultivate the dependence on only myself.

It may also be odd to you, if you read my post the other day where I thank God for the friends I have that I am now saying I have no friends.  The truth is I have great friends, but they are not available.  I NEED AVAILABLE FRIENDS!  The friends I currently have either live far (Brazil, Boston, etc) or they are too busy with their own lives.  They have commitments, family, work, other friends and all of a sudden I realize they have no time for me.

I love the friends I have, I feel blessed to have them in my life and I know that in an emergency they would come running (well, I hope :-). I also think I should make more of an effort to see them.  Perhaps I should be more pushy and let them make it clear that they don’t have time, instead of assuming that that is what the silence means.

I question now if it is better to have a few great friends that are not available or several no so great ones.

“A friend to kill time is a friend sublime.” ― Haruki MurakamiA Wild Sheep Chase

So how did I get here, 48 years old and no friends?  I am fully aware of who is the person to blame in all this: ME!  But I am a combination of my circumstances, environment, nurture,  personality, etc.  It is a combination of facts, starting in childhood.  Well, perhaps even before that, I guess it started in the womb.

  • I have an identical twin sister, so I was born with an immediate best friend, not needing any others
  • My mother instilled in us the need to be self-sufficient and not rely on others
  • Some of my Aries traits can work against me: stubborn, opinionated, honest to a fault, impatient. Always telling people exactly what you think is not always the best way to keep friends. Is a friend that want to hear lies instead of the honest truth a friend worth having?  Well, from my lonely couch at this moment I am going to say yes.
  • I relied on significant other’s friends and when those relationships failed, I made it easy on those friends by just leaving so they would not be put in the awkward position of having to choose sides
  • I always loved being alone, it always felt natural to me.  I guess I was always proud of the fact that I was never needy (that is why this post is extremely humbling and painful).
  • I was always focused in work, school and getting things done, results, leaving a minimal amount of time for friends.
  • Taking friends for granted and not really cultivating friendships. Letting silence reign instead of being the first to reach out.
  • A tendency to want people to go at my pace, and as I raced friends and potential friends fell by the wayside.
  • Nursing only a couple of friendships, instead of letting more people in.

I believe that focusing on the Shoulds, Coulds, Woulds now will not help, but being aware of how I got here will.

Please don’t feel sorry for me when you read this post.  There is nothing to be sorry about.  This is actually a huge opportunity. This is a great chance to open my life to others, to give more of me and to be accepting more of others. I love the fact that I realize that is not a man I am missing, but a person!

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson

How great it would be if I could meet my readers and fellow bloggers?  I have gained so much support, motivation and understanding from you all that I consider you a great friend.   Why couldn’t you all just live right here in NY, more specifically South Westchester?

So now I am embarking on this new friend finding mission I am setting on a course of finding new friends.  I am looking into Meetup, book clubs, physical activities, etc.  I will keep you informed of my progress or lack of it.

“Did you ever dream you had a friend, Alec? Someone to last your whole life and you his. I suppose such a thing can’t really happen outside sleep.” ― E.M. ForsterMaurice

ps.  Brazil lost again.  This time I was emotionless. I expected it. We needed a wake up call, and nothing like losing twice in a row in spectacular fashion in our own backyard to cement the idea we need a change. This was epic record breaking losses. We cannot afford to ignore it.  I predict that with great failure there will be great rewards.

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” ― Truman Capote

pps. guess what? I just got an invitation to go out and perhaps do some dancing.  I was tempted to say no, it is late (almost 10, and I hate last minute date invitations) and my hair is dirty, but I don’t have to work tomorrow and I happen to have shampoo and water :-), so I am going out of my comfort zone and will meet this guy.

Crying green and yellow tears…

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“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.” 
― Napoleon Hill

There are really no words in the dictionary to describe how painful this loss is to me and my country.  Something about futebol being like a religion to us.  My green and yellow heart cries in despair and confusion. How did this happen?

I sat totally motionless and emotionless staring at the TV while Brazil  totally fell apart right before my eyes.  It was hard for a moment to know how to feel.  How could this happen to us, the land of futebol?  We were playing at home and we wanted to re-write the past.  In 1950 the World Cup was played in Brazil and we lost the final to Uruguay.  This is not the happy ending we were dreaming of.  I vote for no more World Cups in Brazil :-)

Truth is we didn’t have a winning team from the beginning.  I knew it was going to be hard against Germany,  but I hoped the passion and soul of the Brazilian people would carry the team through.  Passion alone didn’t help!

So we lost, but not really a simple loss, this was record breaking embarrassing loss!

Well, we now have another four years to lick our wounds and come back with a better plan and a better team.   There are lessons here for everyone from the players to the fans.  I still don’t know what they are, but pain always brings growth.

I don’t want, by any means, to take any credit away from Germany.  They played a great game and made Brazil look like a bunch of amateurs.  I take my hat off to them.  The German fans should be proud! (thinking of you Ute and Steffi, to name a couple German friends among readers and fellow bloggers)

To Brazil I give you my tears and the hope that the country will unite in sorrow and come out stronger and better for it! It was not just a game!

“But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated. ” ― Ernest Hemingway

ps. thanks Heaven for humor!  My sister just relayed to me all the jokes that are being told in Brazil about this incredible embarrassment – now I am crying because I am laughing so hard.  There is hope when we can see the humor in it and move on.  I guess if we must lose just make it memorable. And we sure did!!  We broke a bunch of records.  And at least the loss was not to Argentina! :-)

Grateful for Friends, Faith and Freedom!!!

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I have been having a great time watching the World Cup games.   Watching Brazil’s game last Saturday almost gave me heart attack.  I keep telling myself it is just a game but my heart cannot help but beat faster any time Brazil is playing.  It is in my blood, it is country pride.   We have been lucky to have come this far with subpar performances.  Tomorrow we need to get our act together and play the way we played at the Confederate’s Cup last year; otherwise it saddens me to say it may be the end of the road. :-(

The proper means of increasing the love we bear our native country is to reside some time in a foreign one.  ~William Shenstone

In between the games I have been busy at work.  There has been a lot on my plate lately, but fortunately I am one of those people that work well under pressure.

There is always time for dating and friends.  I had a couple of dates that seemed promising but we haven’t managed to get together again due to scheduling conflict.  The best thing at this time is that there is no rush on my part anymore.  I know things will happen when and if they are meant to happen.  It is amazing how just adjusting my attitude a little I am all of a sudden engulfed in “dating peace”.

Last Sunday I was treated to lunch by a friend and his family at a new Croatian Restaurant in my town.  It was a beautiful place, great service and great food.  But the best thing about the lunch was the company and conversation.  I felt so honored that they drove 2 hours to come and take me to lunch.  It is great when you are in the company of people that get you,  that think that you are funny and smart and want you to meet their loved ones. It is priceless!

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” ― Anaïs Nin

I may have mentioned before that Ex’s mother  and I have remained in touch.  She has now moved from her home in the Midwest to his house in NY.  The other day I took her to a Broadway show and dinner to celebrate her birthday.    She believes, well,  hopes, that one day he and I will find our way to each other.  I have made it clear I am no longer interested.

We saw “Once”, the musical.  I thought it was cute and funny with bits of drama and heartache in the middle.   I found it refreshing and not very “Brodwaylike”, not a lot of costumes and set design.  The main focus is the music.  I really enjoyed the songs and the Irish accent was easy to understand (it can be heard some times).  For dinner she chose Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  I don’t particular care for themed restaurants, but we had a fun time having an early dinner while watching the throngs of people down on Times Square through our second floor window.

A friendship that can cease has never been real.” –   St. Jerome (374 – 419)

This holiday will be a quiet one.  I am looking forward to getting some sun, watching the World Cup games, and hopefully getting together with a friend or a date.  I am lucky to be able to see the fireworks from my balcony so that will be a treat.

The post today is really about my gratitude for God’s infinite love and ultimate plan.  I have always said I have this unshakable believe in God, but I have to confess, that in the last 3 years while trying to cope with the breakup I had instances of doubt  and questioning.  Why me?  Why now? And just plain Why?

-please note, when I say God, I mean that which you believe in (if you believe), the Light, a Superior Being, the Universe, whatever name you choose to call that invisible guiding and protecting knowledge you have in your heart and soul.

Why would God introduce me to a fairy-tale and then take it away in the blink of an eye? I wanted answers.  But as weeks, then months, then years passed, I started to doubt if I would ever have an answer.  I decided to just believe that God has a plan and a reason for everything on this earth, even though sometimes we are not privy to what that reason is.  I decided that having an answer for everything is overrated and it does not change the state of things.  Sometimes, the answer is right in front of our eyes and we just don’t want to accept it.

“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” ― Max Lucado

In the doubtful moments I took a second look at my life and faith.  God has never disappointed and let me down.  Whenever I listen to my heart I know I am hearing God’s whisper.  Faith is only a virtue when is totally blind and unquestioning.  I decided that Faith and Doubt are mutually exclusive, they cannot exist in the same world.  Having that knowledge showed me what to do. I just need to continue on, following my heart, working hard and doing what is right.  My job is to believe in God’s ultimate plan for me and not question it.  If I believe in God there should be no room for doubt and worries.

It it is not about the destination, but about the journey, then it is not about finding an answer, a reason for something have happened. It is about the lesson contained in that experience.  I have learned so much in the last 3 years as a result of the breakup.  I learned enough to know that I know nothing, that I am just scratching the surface of my knowledge and growth potential.

“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Fast forward to the present moment and it seems I have my answer after all.  I am so blessed not to be in Ex’s life right now.  I will not go into details.  The issues are his and not mine so I don’t feel right talking about them.  What I will say is that if I was still with him at this moment, my life would be totally upside-down, I would be crushed in so many levels.  I would be immersed in chaos, emotionally, financially and in every way.  I feel for him but I cannot help but feel relieved. I always felt he did me a favor, now I realize how big of a favor it was.

Since being told of all the goings on, I have been praying more. I have been thanking God for ultimately knowing what is best for me and for sparing me.  I have also been praying for Ex, his Mom and his girlfriend as I would not want to be in her shoes at the moment.  I feel sad for him.

God really has a plan and things definitely happen for a reason.   Let time, space and faith work its magic.  Learning to accept events and let nature take its course has been hard for me but ultimately what I needed most.  I am learning more and more to be less reactive and let things marinate before acting.  I have learned to be more accepting, I cannot change others, only myself.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu

I am certain I am exactly where I need to be at the moment.  I should never spend a second of my precious and blessed life second guessing and doubting decisions I have taken, and situations I have found myself in. I am where and what God wants me to be!

I want to wish everyone an awesome 4th of July! I am taking this moment as an opportunity to be grateful not only for US’s independence, but also, taking a step further, for all the freedoms and rights I have.  I thank the ones that came before me and fought hard, and the ones that are still fighting (literally and figuratively) so that I can live as free as I live.  I am blessed to live in this beautiful and amazing land of opportunity.  Brazil is my roots, it is in my veins and in my heart, but US has welcomed me with open arms and made me what I am today, and for that I am infinitely grateful. No matter where you are, or which country you are from, let’s all celebrate Independence, freedom and choice! 

Love it or hate it: the World Cup is here!!

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I am in a World Cup mood!  I love love love World Cup!

There was a lot of controversy surrounding the preparations for the World Cup in Brazil. There was too much money spent with not much to show for, unfinished stadiums, airports not ready to deal with the amount of travelers, violent protests, etc, etc. There were even moments when some people doubted it it would actually happen, and if it should happen.  One way or another the World Cup is here, so we may as well enjoy it and make the best of it.

It is a known fact in Brazil that some people think that football and carnival is a way that corrupt politicians distract the Brazilian people from all the problems.  I think that perhaps there is a grain of truth in that, but I am choosing at this time not to discuss how passive we Brazilians tend to be and how easily distracted we are with music and sports.  Right now I am just going to discuss my enjoyment of the World Cup.

When I first heard that Brazil would host the World Cup I was so excited  and ready to attend, but when the time came I decided to watch it from the safety and comfort of my living room. My fear was not as much for violence, but more for the chaos and confusion.  I now question if I have made the right decision after all who knows when there will be another World Cup in Brazil.

I am enjoying all the games, but I have to mention the Opening Ceremony. It was a major disappointment.  This is Brazil, so much was expected, so little was delivered.  We put a major Carnival production every year that is truly majestic.  For the World Cup we had 4 years to prepare and all we came up with was something that looked like it was a high school production. It was embarrassing to watch!!  I couldn’t believe my eyes and kept hoping it would get better – it didn’t!  Why? Why? Why?

Well it turns out the answer is actually just simple four letters: FIFA!!!! FIFA was in charge, FIFA is always in charge when it comes to the World Cup.  FIFA hired 2 foreigners to organize it.  Why would they get someone from outside when we have so many capable and talented people in-house? Who better to produce and stage the ceremony than the host itself?  It was supposed to be our party, but it turns out we are just the host, we are just lending our land to FIFA. It was such a wasted chance to highlight to the world the beauty of Brazil beyond Rio and the Amazon, beyond beaches and dancing girls.

Ceremony is over, so now on to the games.  Brazil started off the tournament with the game against Croatia.  It was lackluster and controversial due to a penalty kick that was called that amounted only to poor acting. We didn’t play well but we won, and I am sad to say that in this case I will take an ugly win over a pretty loss. Our second game (against Mexico) was a nail biter.  It was probably the most exciting scoreless game I ever watched, but Brazil showed it needs to improve or we will not go far. And credit to Croatia and Mexico they played very well.  Mexico’s goalkeeper was just phenomenal!  It seems all the teams have forgotten who is the sheriff in this town! Lol  Would it kill them to just let us run away with the Cup?  All kidding aside, it is good to see some so-called underdogs thriving.  Speaking of underdogs, the US was brilliant in their first game and I am looking forward to US vs Portugal on Sunday. Soccer is one of the few areas where the US is considered an underdog, I think it is good – it builds character! :-)

We play Cameroon next and we should win easily, BUT, if there is one thing that this Cup is showing us is that there is no sure bet.  I will be glued to my TV with my heart beating out of my chest until the referee whistles the end of the game.

“Soccer isn’t the same as Bach or Buddhism. But it is often more deeply felt than religion, and just as much a part of the community’s fabric, a repository of traditions.” ― Franklin FoerHow Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization

It is hard for Americans to understand this passion for soccer.  They call the game boring.  I understand them, they were not born into it.  I am not going to try to justify it or explain it. I am just going to describe it what it is for me.

To me the World Cup is not just a sporting event.  It is tradition, it is culture, it is patriotism, it is love, it is passion, and it is pride.   For the longest time in Brazil we were in such dire economical disaster that it seemed that the only things we could be proud of was soccer and carnival.  Here is something that we are good at, here is something to be proud and happy with. (happy to report there is much more to be proud of)

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.”  ― Mark Twain

Soccer is a sport universally loved.  At World Cup time people don’t root only for their team, but for their country.  No matter your social status, religion, gender, color, political affiliation, anything, at this one time we are all together hoping for the same outcome.  For a month it seems we forget the differences (for the most part, unfortunately as we have seen in Kenya, some use the opportunity to level attacks).

This time brings me closer to my roots, to my country. I am also American and I will be watching and rooting for the US, but I cannot lie, my heart belongs to Brazil.  I am Brazil and the World Cup and Brazil and the World Cup are me.  I grew up with it, it is in my veins.  I rarely watched soccer, but World Cup is different, it is a whole other level.  I look forward to it and I watch every game I can.  At work I have 2 computer screens, at this time one is for work and the other is for the Cup. If Brazil is playing, then I go home to watch it.

I am looking forward to the rest of the tournament no matter how Brazil fares. (is it bad to say that I want anyone to win except Argentina and Italy? :) Argentina-it is a Pele vs Maradona thing, Italy- I don’t want anyone to equal our number of wins! )

I am looking forward to the fans and their crazy costumes.  I am looking forward to great goals and even greater saves. I am looking forward to the National Anthems. I am looking forward to it all. I am in a World Cup mood and I love it!

I hope that at the end the fans that traveled to Brazil will take back with them amazing memories of a country, that, even though it needs a lot fixing, is still full of amazing welcoming people.  I hope they remember the people, the beauty, the experience.

Go Brasil! Make me proud!

It is not rejection, it is kindness!

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My dating life is slow again.  There are potentials but then for one reason or another it just fizzles out.  We never get to go on a first date.  The last one was this guy that seemed like a great match for me.  We had exchanged emails so great that I was tempted to copy and paste on my blog.  Then, all of a sudden, nothing, just a deafening silence!

It is a mystery to me why somebody engages in conversation and/or long emails, seems all interested and then all of a sudden they disappear.  No “good bye”, no “I changed my mind”, nothing!

In the past I would have emailed/called and questioned them.  In the past I would have needed closure.  I would have spent countless hours analyzing and searching for answers.  Now I just think to myself: “Thank you”.  This acceptance is one of the benefits of experience, pain and growth.

I realize that knowing the answer wouldn’t change the fact that the person has chosen to go away. I now try to devote my time to more worthwhile activities instead of dissecting a futile situation.  I am still baffled but I know better than to look for answers where there is none that will make it okay for somebody to just walk away without a word.

All I know, and the most important lesson here,  is that whatever reason they chose to walk away it has nothing to do with me.   It is about them and what is going on in their lives.

I actually decided to take this it as an act of kindness.  They realized that we wouldn’t work out in the long run and they decided to go away and leave the path free for another person that will be better suited for me. How awesome is that? Heartache averted!!

I take this opportunity now to thank every person that comes into my life for the lessons and experiences.  I thank the ones that choose to stay, but I thank the ones that choose to leave even more!

I realize I am not for the faint of heart.  I can be aggressive and not afraid to speak my mind.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  Therefore, it will take time to find the right person for me, the person that will find that a good thing and will not be intimidated. I am searching for a needle in a haystack, but I am never afraid of impossible propositions.  It will make the rewards that much sweeter.

Each guy that walks away leaves the path clear for the right guy to come along. Each guy that leaves means progress, one person closer to the right person. Each experience is also making me enjoy more my single life and realize how awesome it is.

Today I am celebrating this new improved me!  Here is for a healthy attitude adjustment!  It is not what happens to me,  it is how I perceive it and how I react to it!!

“These are the few ways we can practice humility:
To speak as little as possible of one’s self.
To mind one’s own business.
Not to want to manage other people’s affairs.
To avoid curiosity.
To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.
To pass over the mistakes of others.
To accept insults and injuries.
To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.
To be kind and gentle even under provocation.
Never to stand on one’s dignity.
To choose always the hardest.”
― Mother Teresa

Where there is Faith, all is not lost!

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“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

How do I move on from a mistake?  That is the question that has been the topic of most of my thoughts lately. I am not talking about Ex, relationships mistakes or anything like that.  on a side note, I am getting up and doing a happy dance right now for realizing that Ex no longer populates my thoughts and controls my actions. Has the big day finally come that I am free from him?  oh I smell another topic coming. lol

I am talking about little daily actions that amount to big disappointments.  I am talking about little mistakes that normally would not mean much, but it accumulates to the point of disaster.  I am talking about my actions in regards to diet and exercise lately.  It has been a roller-coaster of little accomplishments and broken promises. I am talking about

I normally say I am the easiest and most forgiving person on myself, but lately I am wondering if the opposite is not more of the truth.  My little sabotaging ways could actually signal that I don’t really like myself.  Otherwise, why persist on behavior that is damaging to myself?

Last night I had a cupcake the size of my head and didn’t exercise.  I had had half a huge cupcake and immediately was mad with myself.  The smart and right thing to do was to say to myself: ok, that was not smart, but it is not the end of the world. Now get up and do at least a few minutes on the elliptical or go for a walk, something active.  But NO,  what I did was to feel miserable and to feel like all had gone to hell in a hand-basket.  And since all had gone to hell I may as well have the rest of the cupcake. So I did, while sitting on the couch and watching TV.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” - ― Gautama Buddha

I seem to be having more and more episodes like that, where I know what I should do but I don’t do it. Are those the actions of someone that loves themselves?  It doesn’t seem so.  I am not saying I don’t love myself, I do, well I hope I do.  I am saying that I need to look more into my actions and their consequences.

All of a sudden I seem to have embarked into this love affair with food.  What is up with that?  I always loved sugar, but now that love is out of control, and it has traveled beyond the usual chocolate, it seems I am attracted to anything unhealthy.  It is becoming an obsession.

I overeat or eat something that is not good for me, then I promise myself to do better next day and what do I do the next day?  I repeat this damaging pattern. I keep doing it again, not exactly the same actions, but the same results. I will overindulge in some calorie laden treat and then no exercise or exercise very little. The result has been disatrous. I see it on the scale and in my mood and attitude.  I have returned to tennis lesson despite my nagging hip, but 1 hour a week of real sweat can hardly do anything to counter the effects of sitting on my behind the whole day at work.

“It’s not worth our while to let our imperfections disturb us always.” -― Henry David Thoreau

This is clearly a case of emotional eating.  I will have a nice delicious meal of salmon, brown rice and broccoli and then immediately after, when I know I am not hungry, I will be looking for a snack. Why?

I am trying to look into it deeper than to just think that I am in a lazy rut and need to snap out of it.  I am thinking that this is perhaps a defense mechanism.  Perhaps if I get fatter and hate my body so much I will feel too ashamed to ever be naked in front of anyone.  If I am too embarrassed to be naked in front of someone than I will avoid actually meeting someone.  Is this a warped way that my mind has found to protect my heart?

Clearly I am full of theories but have no answers.  But I have powerful allies on my side: the gift of faith and redemption. We have been blessed with the continuity of life, with the gift of life.  With each new breath we can reinvent and recreate ourselves.  Each new morning presents a new opportunity to try again.  We don’t have to be stuck on the mistakes of the past.  This crazy cycle doesn’t have to continue.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou

I just need to get into my head that one little misstep doesn’t mean the battle is over.  I just need to put one foot in front of another, hold my head high and move forward.  I shall not feel disheartened by steps backwards either.  Sometimes we need one or more steps backwards to shake us out of our comfort zone, to wake us up.

This was a very hard post to write.  Harder still to post it.  I am a very strong Aries woman, I feel blessed and I choose to be happy.  I have it all together, for the most part.  I have a life that many would envy, so to acknowledge weakness is painful.  But, as they say in AA, acknowledging I have a problem is the first step.  So hello All, I have an issue with food!  Now I get to raise my sleeves and get to work in dealing with it.  I now get to prove what I am really made of.

The people that have a normal, healthy relationship with food may not understand this post, me and my weakness with food, the same way I don’t quite grasp people with issues with alcohol and drugs or perhaps an abusive relationship. I have never tried drugs, I am perfectly content with just one glass of wine and the moment somebody raises their voice or hand I am out of there. It seems so easy to say:  Just don’t do it, just stay away from it! But it is not that simple, we are all addicts, we just use different drugs to numb our pain.  For some reason or another we let something, some substance to control us.

But what is this pain? What is this hunger?  How do I find its source and go about conquering? Slowly, one breath at a time, with stumbles and falls and with the grace and help from God(Universe, Light, Powerful Being, etc)

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. - Mother Teresa

 

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

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“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” ― André Malraux

If I meet another man that has lied about his age or height in his online dating profile I am going to scream and pull my hair out. ARGHHHHHHHHHHH, just picture me screaming and pulling my hair out… yes I just met another one!!

This guy listed his age as 43 years old.  But his picture betrayed him.  He was sporting a full head of completely white hair. I thought by his picture he was at least 55.  He sent me a message and we started chatting. After a few back and forth messages I asked him how old he was.  He said 52.  He said it in a way that it seemed very matter of fact.  There was no explanation, no apology, no reason given for that discrepancy between the profile and reality.

Has this become the norm? I thought it was kind of expected for a woman to shave a few years off of her age, but a man?  and almost 10 years? It doesn’t seem very manly to me!

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.”  ― Walter Scott

He is not the first liar I have encountered and I am sure he will not be the last.  Some of the guys have acted embarrassed and apologetic about this lie.  Most have a problem with my calling it a lie.   They try to explain it as this being a necessity since they think they look younger for their age.  Well, I hate to break it to them, they don’t!

Others say that they were being contacted by women that were very old so they put a younger age for searching purposes.  Well, that is equally bad, since it tells me they want to be contacted by much younger women instead of women their own age.

Most stress the fact that this is a matter of marketing.  I believe in marketing and I know that online dating involves some of it. We have to make ourselves look good so that we get contacted by potential mates.  I forgive some embellishing, but shaving almost 10 years and sometimes more from your age is not creative marketing, to me it is deceptive advertisement.  I think that there are laws against it.  I guess Buyer Beware is the Modus Operandi when it comes to online dating.

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

I do approach my online profile as advertisement because that is what it is.  I do try to put my best foot forward and show my best features, but everything in there is real, including my age, height and body type.  I used to have my body type listed as Average, but I have changed it to Extra Few Pounds.   I want to lose anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds so that to me makes my body type a Few Extra Pounds.  I want to be told the whole truth and decide for myself and  feel that someone contacting me should have the same right.

It is all a matter of perception! Just this perception of a lie is enough to turn me off.  I want a real man!! Real about his age, real about his height.  If you think I am going to meet you and fall in love and forget that you shaved many years from your age and many inches from your height, you are totally clueless.

Being older and shorter than me are not grounds for me to disqualify you from my search, but lying about it is!  If you are lying about your age, what else are you lying about? Would I ever be able to trust you?  What else are you willing to fudge about?

So, is it marketing or deception?

Because something has become a norm, an acceptable practice, it doesn’t make it right and it doesn’t make me have to accept it.

Since I have changed my profile from Average to Extra Few Pounds I have been getting 90% less messages.   My pictures are there the same way they were before, so I find it funny that a simple label has made such a difference.  But that is just fine with me.  I believe in quality and not quantity. If a guy cannot accept my extra few pounds then he is not the guy for me any way.

 “Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.” ― Jane Austen

A snob is out and about

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Life continues to be amazing!  I am just so happy to be alive and to be able to continue to remain upbeat and positive even when facing adversities,  no matter how big or small.  A positive attitude makes all the difference.  Even a forced smile can change a day around.  I fell like welcoming challenges so I can rise upon them (yes I am crazy like that some times)

After Mom left I spent a couple of quiet weeks, now I am back trying to get out of the house.  I am just so content staying in my apartment that sometimes it takes a real effort to get out of the house. I love having all the curtains closed, I love the dark.  Even I find that strange for someone as upbeat as me.  I find safety in the dark.

“Get busy living or get busy dying.” – Shawshank Redemption

In the past several days I have hardly been home though.  I have seen Kinky Boots on Broadway.  I thought the show could have been a little better.  Then again, I have seen a lot shows and have high expectations.  After I that I had dinner at Triomphe, a French restaurant.  The food was great, but not amazing.  I wouldn’t go back based on the food alone.  The staff and service were impeccable, so I would definitely go back based on that.  I think truffle oil is over rated!

I went to Jazz Standards and saw the Steven Kroon Sextet. They were awesome and extremely talented.   Before the jazz I had dinner at Blue Smoke, the BBQ place next door. The ribs were delicious.  I could have the Warm barbecue Potato Chips with blue cheese and bacon dip every single day of my life (and I don’t even care for blue cheese) – they were crazy good.   I was a bit disappointed when the dessert menu came. I noticed that the Sticky Toffee Pudding cake was absent.  The waiter explained that they take it off of the menu for the summer. :-) I was so disappointed I decide not to get anything.  Oh well, I guess I have to go back in the winter!

I also had dinner at a few different restaurants in my town.  All different cuisines: Mexican, Peruvian, Italian and Indian.  All awesome and within walking distance from my apartment.  I am a lucky girl!  My outings were a combination of entertaining clients, being with friends, and dates.

“A good place to meet a man is at the dry cleaner. These men usually have jobs and bathe.” ― Rita Rudner

There were 3 dates in total. All 3 very different from each other but all great guys.  I didn’t click on a romantic level with any of them.  I wouldn’t mind seeing them again as friends, but nothing else.

At my last date I found out I can be a snob.  My date chose to skip the knife and use his fingers to scoop the food onto the fork.  That annoyed me.  But…I am pmsing big time so every little thing annoys me. I think that if we had clicked perhaps I would have been more forgiving.  Perhaps I should stay away from meeting new people in the middle of PMS.

I felt really bad for being so focused on that and not on the real important things!  I should be looking in the qualities that matter…and I know what they are!  Instead all I can remember about the date was his way of using the utensils! I used this opportunity to look at my own way of eating.  After all it is normally the case that we are guilty of hating in others what we ourselves are guilty of doing.   Truth is I love touching my food and don’t mind picking things up with my fingers (I do use a knife though when necessary though, and don’t push food on the fork with my fingers).

“A judgmental heart keeps listening to the things that annoy.” “― Toba BetaMy Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

Another thing that came to mind is that perhaps I am, once again, trying to sabotage possible relationships.  Am I looking for things wrong so I don’t have to get involved again?  I say I want a relationship, but do I really? Why didn’t we click?  He was the guy that I had the most fun with, did I choose not to click?

I am so comfortable alone. I have been enjoying my freedom so much.  I am also thinking I am going as far as avoiding exercising and I am eating all the wrong stuff so that those pesky 10/15 extra pounds continue to stay around and ward off potential mates.  Who wants to be naked in front of a new guy with extra pounds?? Not me!!

And the learning and growing continues…

Here is to becoming aware of and confronting our actions,  patterns and emotions that may be holding us back!

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” ― Oscar WildeThe Picture of Dorian Gray

 

 

Where is my baby?

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“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” ― Abraham Lincoln

I wish all the mothers out there a wonderful Mother’s Day! May your patience be rewarded!

On dates such as this I remember how blessed I am to have my mother. I am grateful for her and for still having her around. It is not a perfect relationship, we have issues as all families do, but we love each other and we are always there for each other.

But I must confess, there is nothing like Mother’s Day to highlight that I am childless. It seems my life has skipped a whole section, the section where I get married and raise kids. Where is the cute baby that should be in my arms? Where is the trouble making teenager that I need to discipline?

oh well, I never really heard my biological clock ticking, it is just that every now and then the idea of a baby pops up in my mind. There is no regret, just the feeling that perhaps I am missing something. I always wanted to adopt. I talk about that since I was 10 years old. As I got older I thought I would have a partner that would adopt with me.  To adopt a child alone doesn’t seem fair to the child, specially since I would have to continue to work and leave the child in daycare.  In which case,  what would be the point of adopting a child to leave him/her for others to raise?

I am happy to say that the childless feeling doesn’t last for more than a couple of minutes. It is replaced by this certainty that God has a plan and that everything is as it should be.  All I need to do is look at all the blessings in my life to realize how truly blessed I am.  I am following the path I was intended to follow. Always learning, always growing!

“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

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