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Ten Things I Learned in 27 years of Marriage

January 20, 2016

Ten Things I Learned in 27 Years of Marriage

Number 1:

I had more June Cleaver, Claire Huxtable genes than I thought. Nothing like love to make you feel oddly domestic in ways you swore you’d never do.

Number 2:

I don’t know where they got this from but I did not find that 2 can live a cheaply as one.

Number 3:

People have financial personalities. Savers gotta save. Spenders … have to get with the program.

Number 4:

A marriage will glide for a while but sooner rather than later you have to put your thrusters back on before you lose too much altitude.

Number 5:

A sense of humor is invaluable.

Number 6:

You never get to stop talking about it.  Ever.

Number 7:

Marriage counselors should be a go-to-whenever event, not a near-the-end-of–the-marriage event.

Number 8:

At some point you and your partner will find yourselves hanging on for dear life trying to survive the kids.

Number 9:

Number 8 can last a very long time … just sayin’.

DSC00352

“Hugging BigE”

Number 10

You know you’ve got the right guy when the both of you forget your wedding anniversary and both of you think it’s funny.

Today is a singularity

January 25, 2016

Photo on 11-28-14 at 10.19 AM #2

“Silly has Value”

Today is a singularity.

There will be other days.

For most, but not all of us, there will be a tomorrow.

But Today, this particular twenty-four hours is a one-time thing.

Once it’s gone you cannot get it back.

Of course, this idea is neither novel nor hard to grasp. Today and its singular nature happens everyday, which, in part, is the problem. Its regularity often obscures its singular nature. The very fact that there are so many Todays keeps us form realizing the immense value in any particular one.

And then there is the business of living that so often gets in the way. It is very easy to become consumed by every day emotional adventures. Traffic, bosses, schedules, children, waiting … it can be so constant and so immediate that it sucks up all of your attention. You can easily get overwhelmed by all the things you have to do just to get from one day to the next. You work, you handle problems and you put out fires. The business of living often leaves us feeling we have time for little else.

That said, I’d still like to make a plea for celebrating Today. To honor it doesn’t take much time and the benefits are enormous. There are a whole lot of different ways you can live any particular moment. Each one, in and of itself, is both an option and an opportunity.

You can fill it with worries despair or regret. You can spend it nursing old hurts and anger. You can zone out on the couch and binge watch your way into feeling nothing at all. Or you can take a moment, just one or two, and acknowledge the singularity that is Today. Then you can decide to do something special with it.

You can do one small thing that helps you achieve a dream you haven’t thought about in a while. Small acts in pursuit of a distant goal will get you there eventually. You can perform an unexpected act of care for someone you love. You can take a moment to care for yourself by entertaining a pleasant memory or get together with others who appreciate Today as well. Community, fellowship, support in general works wonders for all involved.

Valuing Today is all about taking the time to be grateful for it and doing something worthwhile in it. The context and meaning of your life is established from moment to moment. Don’t get so distracted by the day to day that those moments just slip away.

Forgiveness

January 30, 2016

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a peaceful thing. It neither excuses nor rationalizes. It just frees you from the emotional baggage of other’s wrongs.

Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person acknowledging their wrong. It’s all about how the person who has been wronged decides to feel about it. You forgive someone when you decide to let go of the hurt feelings the offense caused and no longer hold it against the other person.

The beauty of it is the other person isn’t involved. Forgiveness is YOUR POWER to take not theirs to give.

I know it is neither an easy nor instinctual thing to do but it’s a decision that you make about how you want to live. Do you want to hold on to an emotion that is doing you harm or are you going to let it go and be peaceful? It doesn’t mean you let people run over you but it does mean that you no longer volunteer to carry around the hurt caused by something that already occurred.

If you need to say your piece to that person before you let it go that’s cool. But if saying your piece will do more harm than good write it down on a piece of paper then tear it up. Let your feelings out and move on.

TO BE CLEAR, Forgiving isn’t re-living.

It doesn’t mean you keep letting people continue to treat you badly. Forgiving can be the period you put on a relationship that is not good for you. It allows you to move on without carrying any of the baggage they created on your back.

The Disposable Man Theory

February 1, 2016

The Disposable Man Theory

 

When I was 16, I thought men were disposable. . If one did anything I didn’t like, he was out. I disposed of them, regularly.

By 26, I thought men were indispensible. Wanted marriage and a baby. Not having one made me feel like a failure, fleetingly.

At 36 I had a husband, kids but in misguided effort to make the marriage seamless I lost my voice. My Disposable Man theory came back to bite me. I never learned to work things out with one. I was frustrated, increasingly.

By 46 I was unhappy and unheard. The constant calm I sought required endless one-sided compromise. I was resentful, relentlessly.

Here I am at 56, balanced and calm. I have an “Us Outlook” that doesn’t offend my Need 2 b me. I speak freely, compromise wisely. I am contented, completely.

Better Than Yesterday

EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY

SO I POST THOSE

WORDS

HERE.

NO PARTICULAR THEME OR REASON

MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT RELATED TO ONE ANOTHER.

THEY ARE ALL DATED AND TITLED THOUGH

SO YOU CAN TELL THEM APART.

**************

February 8, 2016

Better Than Yesterday

Part I

“She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”

 

Shanika asked for my thoughts on self-improvement. When anyone asks me that I invariably start with this. All improvement requires you to embrace what’s wrong with you.

Owning your weaknesses is not always an easy sell. It’s no fun to stare at the least of yourself but …

Do it anyway.

There is no shame in it. In fact, you actually need to get comfortable with it. You can’t fix something you are hiding from. But if you can look at where you’re weak without feeling embarrassed or ashamed then you’ll be able to pick apart what you do so you can figure how to do something else.

I have always thought that the easiest way to make others comfortable owning their weaknesses was to do it myself. So when I wrote my book, My Mother’s Rules back in 2007, I listed as many of my inadequacies that I could put my arms around. This is how it went:

I too much and I talk too fast and if I’m talking to someone who I think talks to slowly I will finish his sentences for them. I tend to look for the worst in everything and the best in every body. I bore quickly and spooked even faster. I have been known to get distracted by my own thoughts. I engage in worry as an art form and let the most mundane things unnerve me. Details can walk right by me and I’ll never even see them. I have no domestic abilities despite my ongoing and deliberate attempt to acquire them. I am a control freak and tend to suffer from all of the fears and power absorption that this trait often inspires.

My Mother’s Rules p. 19

 

The funny thing is as I look back on it now I realize that the woman I laid bare in my book doesn’t live here anymore. (Further supporting my contention that getting up close and personal with what’s wrong with you is the best way to be a better you.)

Of course, I am not perfect. In fact, I have a whole new list of things that I’m working on. But my new weaknesses are lower order inadequacies. I am better than I was. Which just goes to show

 

You can be true to yourself without

being glued to yourself.

 

Here’s what I realized the other day.

The woman who engaged in worry like it was an art form, while not gone, rarely gets a hearing anymore. She’s still there, to be sure, but when I see her coming, I can give the hand, “Bye, Felicia!”

 The chick who couldn’t find a detail to save her life has been replaced with a grown woman who can decide to be focused and well-oriented when circumstances require and dog a detail with the best of them.

 I can, again when focused, slow my speech and let others get to the end of their own sentences.

 Most importantly, the little girl whose peace was in pieces all the time has simply grown out of it. Took her 50 years but she’s gone. I can find peace On the Regular. Not On the Always but On the Regular.

 Still can’t cook. The only change there is I don’t care as much anymore. Kids are grown. Eric’s a big boy. I have nothing to prove.

Here’s my list of new weaknesses:

I over-mother sons #5 and #6 and (according to popular local opinion) the dog as well. I want things to work out. I tend to dip in when I should lean back. I understand that I drive my men a little crazy.

 I have not seen nor do I know anything about the concept of moderation. I am either at dead stop or over-drive. I am either taking over the world or taking a nap. I am an exhausting woman to live with.

 I still talk too much … I can curb that propensity when it’s brought to my attention, but otherwise I am all words all of the time.

 Though I no longer engage in worry as an art form I do it far too often. I am pressed, stressed and under duress when there is no need for it at all.

 I start things that I don’t finish. My life is a series of sentences that end with an ellipsis.

 I am cheap. I can hold on to a dollar so hard it makes George Washington squeal.

 

So there it is, my first recommendation:

Don’t just put your best foot forward focus on the one dragging behind.

That way you know what needs fixing.

 

In Better Than Yesterday Part II

I’ll tell you a few things I use to help me improve.

PEACE

More from JudgeLynn

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*Audiobook Version*
My Mother's Rules" is a humorous, easy to follow self-help guide to managing your emotional life.

My Mother's Rules" is a humorous, easy to follow self-help guide to managing your emotional life.

Using lessons learned on the bench along with humorous anecdotes from her own 30 year marriage, Judge Lynn Toler wrote "Making Marriage Work" as a logical and simple guide to bringing back the practicality lost in relationships over the years.

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Ten Things I Learned in 27 years of Marriage

Posted by on Feb 21, 2018 in This was on my mind | No Comments

January 20, 2016 Ten Things I Learned in 27 Years of Marriage Number 1: I had more June Cleaver, Claire Huxtable genes than I thought. Nothing like love to make you feel oddly domestic in ways you swore you’d never do. Number 2: I don’t know where they got this from but I did not […]

Today is a singularity

Posted by on Feb 21, 2018 in This was on my mind | No Comments

January 25, 2016 “Silly has Value” Today is a singularity. There will be other days. For most, but not all of us, there will be a tomorrow. But Today, this particular twenty-four hours is a one-time thing. Once it’s gone you cannot get it back. Of course, this idea is neither novel nor hard to […]

Forgiveness

Posted by on Feb 21, 2018 in This was on my mind | No Comments

January 30, 2016 Forgiveness Forgiveness is a peaceful thing. It neither excuses nor rationalizes. It just frees you from the emotional baggage of other’s wrongs. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person acknowledging their wrong. It’s all about how the person who has been wronged decides to feel about it. You forgive someone […]

The Disposable Man Theory

Posted by on Feb 21, 2018 in This was on my mind | No Comments

February 1, 2016 The Disposable Man Theory   When I was 16, I thought men were disposable. . If one did anything I didn’t like, he was out. I disposed of them, regularly. By 26, I thought men were indispensible. Wanted marriage and a baby. Not having one made me feel like a failure, fleetingly. […]

Better Than Yesterday

Posted by on Feb 21, 2018 in This was on my mind | No Comments

EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY SO I POST THOSE WORDS HERE. NO PARTICULAR THEME OR REASON MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT RELATED TO ONE ANOTHER. THEY ARE ALL DATED AND TITLED THOUGH SO YOU CAN TELL THEM APART. ************** February 8, 2016 Better Than Yesterday Part I “She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” […]