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In honor of Valentine’s Day… Fantasy BINGO

14 Feb

On this V-Day – wishing you love and happiness no matter who you are or what relationship status you may have!

As a single who spent 1/2 my life married, it is interesting to watch the explosive growth of dating and matchmaking websites (Match.com, eHarmony.com, POF, golfmates.com, and a myriad of specialized sites!)  USA Today cites that 49% of adults in the US today are unmarried, and the Florida statistics say that over 75% of marriages here end in divorce!  Is love dead or have we become too narcissistic and self-centered as a society?

Matchmaking experts recommend that single (or even married) people write down their list of desired and undesirable traits in a partner, should the right person happen to come along.   I thought about this and realized that a creative and light-hearted way to do this would be on a  B I N G O card – something familiar to North Americans.  For me, I do not expect anyone (let alone in Florida!) to measure up to my stringent BINGO card (I should have done this years ago!) – but it was fun to fantasize.

What would you put on your BINGO card?

p.s., This photo depicts an attractive male who approached me on Sunday. (No he didn’t score a BINGO!) Life in Florida is always a pleasant surprise.

The Royal We (me, myself, and I) wish you a wonderful Valentine’s Day no matter what your status.

Year-end resolutions… a fresh start

16 Dec

So many people talk about New Year’s resolutions that it makes for good commentary by mid-January (or by Jan 31 if it involves a month-long fitness program!) as most people break them.

I got to thinking about this and came up with:  Why not do something different this year?  (Along the lines of the Einstein quote:  Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.)  Why not set up healthy, end-of-year resolutions by December 15 and use them to propel your year forward?

By starting with a year-end resolution today – on January 1 either my resolutions will be ½ way to becoming a new habit (it takes a minimum of 31 days for something to become a habit!) or if I strike out, then I can still start the new year on a positive note.  Either way, my end-of-year resolutions will set me up for new year success!

And instead of an unreasonable number of resolutions – I’m going to go with numbers used in baseball:  3 resolutions (like 3 possible chances to hit a home run) and 4 possible restarts (for when life throws me curve balls I don’t expect!) And, I’m going to keep score and go public (I’m confident in my own ideas these days that I don’t care if anyone disagrees with me).

So here are my end-of-year resolutions:

1.      Prioritize the Royal We (me, myself and I) before anyone else.

I’ll be the first to admit that I used to share my energy, my time, and my talents freely with others – often to my detriment.  Whenever someone called me with their problems (often in the middle of the night), emailed me (for free advice) or asked me for help (usually impacting my schedule), I was there for them without as much as a second thought (and that’s the problem).  Typically, I ended up with the short end of the stick when it came to money, energy, or time for me, and I didn’t realize that I did it to myself.

Not that I will change the amount or the energy that I give to  others – but, I will take a moment (BEFORE responding) to  consider my Royal We priorities and how my response could affect them.  If there is no detrimental result on the Royal We to being there for the other person, I will continue to be my giving, cheerful, responsive self.  But if there is a downside (i.e., I will be short of time, money or energy by giving it away, or I will deprive myself of sleep without good reason), then I will respond with a gentle but firm – NO, and have confidence that the other person WILL survive.  (I will admit that this rule will never apply when it comes to a plea from my children.)

If you were raised to believe that you have to love yourself first before you can share anything valuable with others, I applaud your knowledge and understand that you are probably aghast when you hear me declare this.  Many of the rest of us were taught as children to put a higher priority on the needs of others (above our own).  While this works well for youngsters (share your toys, don’t be greedy, be generous with the other kids), it doesn’t bode well for adults. As a result, we end up with a sense of self-regret or self-loathing because we make promises to serve others before taking care of ourselves. And we cannot expect or anticipate that anyone else should take care of our needs – it simply isn’t the way of the world and it never was.

Therefore, my commitment going forward is to the Royal We (me, myself, and I) BEFORE giving my time, talents, or energy to others.  I deserve this me first treatment from myself!

2.      Listen to my intuition and ignore the noise outside.

If you’ve read my blog posts over the past 2 years, you’ll know that for many years I abandoned my intuition in favor of listening and cooperating with others who told me they knew (better than I could) what was best for me.  I now realize that controlling people (and almost everyone) behaves solely to help themselves (including trying to control others).  In so doing, I ignored and overrode my intuition to avoid conflict, and I tolerated toxic relationships for far too long.  No more!

This resolution is an ongoing process and not an easy one because it means severing and ending toxic relationships, setting up healthy boundaries to keep my esteem intact, and saying “Stop right there” when someone spews verbal diarrhea (or abuse) in my direction.  (You are right if you say that I should never have tolerated this, but live and learn.)

Since I’ve stopped tolerating abusive behavior from others, I’ve realized that I’ve always been whole, complete, and perfect in the universe after all.  My intuition and sense of self has rebounded, and I know that it’s the right thing to do!

3.      Create expectations only of myself.

Another realization is that I can only ever influence or control my behavior and not that of anyone else in the world.  This is major for me because in the past (and sometimes in the present), I unfairly expected that the Golden Rule also applied to others (not true!)  If I choose to treat others well there is no connection with how others will behave or treat me – there is no correlation!

Again, I was raised in the belief that everyone followed the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would like to be treated yourself) but the world is not holistic.   It WAS disappointing to discover that we cannot take anything personally (ignorant people are ignorant to many people, kind people are kind to many people, etc.)

While it is my choice to follow any given philosophy (the golden rule, give and take, be kind to others) – I can only ever affect my behavior.  To have expectations of anyone else sets me up for disappointment and failure.  People act in their own best interests and follow their own set of rules for life, and now that I know it’s got nothing to do with me, how can I take anything personally? (Thank you to don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements for this illumination).

This resolution won’t be easy because it means overcoming a lifetime of training and reinforcement that set up the false belief that I have something to do with what others do or say.  It is simply not true – people will say and do what they want regardless (and in spite of) what I do. (This can be a big relief!)

I’ve already started to live these resolutions today and the results are promising!  Assumptions about w I’d like others to respond withered before my very eyes in several conversations, and I don’t feel any disappointment (or happiness) in what they said or did.  People simply are who they are – I’ve got nothing to do with that, nor should I.

What do you think?  Are year-end resolutions a possibility for you? Do you share my outlook or resolutions?

Wishing you success, prosperity and many happy memories today and as we approach the new year.



So many reasons to be thankful

25 Nov

It’s interesting how we typically need a special occasion (like Thanksgiving) to realize how grateful we are (or can be) for the little things in our lives.  And, then when we do, it might be trivialized because of high visibility and self-consciousness of the occasion (such as at a big Thanksgiving family gathering!)

So…. here’s my short list of 50 things I am eternally grateful to have in my life:

1. Health

2. Healthy grown children

3. Unconditional love from same grown children

4. Ability to see the positive when life throws you lemons

5. Ability to feel what I do without having to stuff it (divorce is a wonderful thing!)

6. Friends who truly care

7. Acquaintances who might turn into friends someday

8. “Friends” who don’t care (they teach me the value of #6!)

9. A promising emerging (still) career

10. Invitations to speak (present) around the world

11. Unconditional love from the Royal We (me, myself and I)

12. Friends/acquaintances around the world

13. Self-esteem (and the new understanding that you can never have too much)

14. Pets (and the spirits of those who have gone before)

15. Parents who are still alive

16. Family members with their own families

17. Ability to see the humor in things (SNL situations abound)

18. Tampa FL weather

19. A house (even over-mortgaged)

20. Promises to myself

21. Inspiring writers (like my daughter!)

22. Uninspiring writers (who make #21 more relevant)

23. Sense of adventure

24. Youthful outlook on life

25. Freedom to associate/speak/disassociate

26. Freedom to do what, when and where as I choose

27. Incredible shoes (with more space in my closet)

28. Receptivity of foreign audiences to listen to me in English (when it is my only fluent language) when it is not their first language

29. Travel and the opportunities to do so

30. Nature

31. Wonder of life all around me

32. Ability to forgive myself

33. Ability to forgive others (when warranted)

34. People in my life who are willing to forgive me

35. Foresight to (hopefully) learn from past mistakes

36. Good humor to laugh at the past

37. Optimism

38. Good craft breweries around the world

39. Food and friends and fun (at the same time)

40. Florida weather (again and again)

41. Enough money (and work) to pay my mortgage

42. Simple needs

43. Smiles from strangers

44. Empathy and understanding (both giving and receiving – often different people are involved)

45. A future (and a vision that draws me to a achieve an incredible one!)

46. The ability to cut toxicity from my life (this is a new-found skill – I was a hoarder before!!!)

47. The present (in whatever time zone) – it’s a gift we give to ourselves

48. Being short on airplanes (so I don’t need first class always!)

49. So many things for which to express thanks

50. The past (so that I can learn from it, remember the good times, and smile at life’s nuances)

Wishing you a life filled with everything you want, desire and deserve – in other words the best of the best!



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