Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gettin' Over Hump Day with the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of the month this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day?

Since today only exists every 4 years, I think it should be a day to do whatever you want.  Can we get the President to back us up on that one?  So, if I truly could do whatever I want I would sleep for 24 delightful hours.

2. What has recently required a leap of faith on your part?

Ahh, easy.  Now is as good of a time to break this news as ever.  I recently let my husband move back into our home.  After being separated for 4 months and living apart, I had to take a leap of faith in him, and Him. 

3. We're one week into the season of Lent...are you marking these forty days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How's it going so far?

I don't usually give anything up for Lent.  Maybe I'll try that next year...

4. When was the last time you sat beside a fire?

Ohh it's been way too long.  I love me a good fire!  I'm gonna have to say it was last time I went camping which would be about 3 years ago :-(

5. Surf and turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak) or a menu so you can select another option?

Surf and turf, with the turf medium rare, please.

6. If you could have any television show back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose?

Simple! Sex and the City.  Or Six Feet Under.
7. They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?

Oh dear Lord, please give me my mind back!  As the saying goes: "out of all the things I have lost I miss my mind the most".


8. Insert your own random thought here.
I wish my life wasn't always so chaotic and crazy.  Just sayin'.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monogamy: the Ultimate Form of Love or a Restraint on Your Freedom?

A friend and I were talking yesterday about monogamy and open relationships.  We were able to cut the conversation short when we both realized that we had very different viewpoints on the subject.  But, as she always does, she left me thinking.  Essentially, my opinion was that if you do not naturally want to be monogamous to your significant other, then you are not with the right person.  Her side was that no one person can fulfill all the needs of another.  I did agree with this point, however, I consider that statement to be limited to things other than intimacy such as friendships and other forms of platonic relationships.  Interestingly, I have actually been on both sides of  this debate.  In my first marriage, an open relationship may have been the perfect solution for what I was lacking from my husband.  Now, in my second marriage, I am a much firmer believer in monogamy...I think...

 At one point in time, not too long ago, three-quarters of all human societies were polygamous.  Countries such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East still practice polygamy.  And what about polyamory?   According to Wikipedia, the definition of polyamory is : "the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved."  So essentially, both polygamy and polyamory involve having more than one lover, assuming by consent.  I am of the general belief that if everyone involved agrees, and nobody is getting hurt, then anything goes.  I am not here to judge. However, I do wonder, then what is the point of being in an exclusive relationship? If one wants several lovers, why not just be single?  I believe that love knows no color, race, sex, gender, or even age (as long as it's legal age, of course!).  But I also believe that intimate love should stay between two people.  After all, isn't that what makes it so special?  I believe that we can have strong feelings for and love others while being  in a committed relationship. But to share the depth, sensuality and intense closeness that two people share while making love is what sets that relationship apart from all others. I said in the previous paragraph that I have been on both sides of this debate, let's examine my two marriages:

In my first marriage, I received trust, stability, reliability and solidity from my husband.  I did not receive much intimacy-- sexual or otherwise.  He was quite closed off and  even prudish by my standards.  I, however, have always been a very sexual being.  I love sex, I love intimacy, and when deprived of it, I came to find that I was left looking for it elsewhere.  After four years of a marriage without intimacy, I decided that it was something that I could not live without.  At that point, I didn't want to leave my husband.  My needs for sex and intimacy seemed like a selfish reason to leave.  We had two young children together and he was a wonderful father and provider.  He was also my best friend.  But as the years passed there was no denying that I felt like more and more of a sister to him than a wife.  Over the course of those years with my first husband, I had toyed several times about the idea of having an open relationship.  We would remain together as husband and wife, the kids wouldn't be disturbed by divorce, and we would maintain our relationship but would be free to seek intimacy outside the marriage.  At the time, that seemed like the perfect solution for me.  For him, not so much.  I brought it up a few times, mostly in a joking fashion to test the waters, and he would immediately shut even the thought of the idea down.  He saw it as cheating.  And really, when I think about it, he wasn't the one missing or seeking intimacy so it would have been of no benefit to him.  One thing is for sure: if an open relationship it to be established, both people in the relationship need to benefit from it. 

I eventually left my first husband in search of "true love".  Intimate love, sexual love, deep, passionate connecting love.  I am happy to say that it didn't take me too long to find it, although he didn't come with all the bells and whistles that my first husband came with (read about my two marriages here for more).  With my second husband, monogamy came naturally.  I never had the desire to stray or even think about straying because I was 100% satisfied with the level and quality of intimacy.  This was the complete opposite of how I felt with my first husband.  It's funny because before I met hubby #2, I was convinced that serial monogamy was impossible for me.  It simply just wasn't for me and I was dead set on that.  But I also had never found an intimate, satisfying  love with anyone before.  Now that I had it, the thought of being monogamous wasn't even an issue, it was a given.  Luckily, hubby #2 felt the same way.  Monogamy worked for us. 

Now I have a new found opinion of the sanctity of monogamy.  And my question remains: is monogamy something that is not for everyone, or is it a state that can only be achieved through being with the right person?  If two people committed to being with each other want more, are they wanting more because they aren't truly right for each other?  Is an having an open relationship settling for less?  If you could choose to have a monogamous relationship that was completely fulfilling and satisfying to the point of not wanting anybody else, or a relationship that allowed you to stray, allowed you that freedom, which would you pick?  Should monogamy be the holy grail of committed relationships; something to be coveted and to strive for, or does it go against human nature?

I would absolutely love to get a conversation going here! I welcome comments from all walks of life, as I am very eager to hear your opinions on this topic.  So please share!  How do you feel about monogamy?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Joining in the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day...what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?

  • My three children most definitely make me prouder than anything. They are so intelligent.
  • They also keep me humble, two of them can beat me at Words With Friends!
2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?
  • Ha! There is this little space between the staircase that leads upstairs, and the staircase that leads to the basement.  All things undealt with end up there.  I chuckle because when we bought the house 10 years ago, the previous owner recommended we put a large plant there otherwise "it will become a dumping ground".  Never got a plant, now it's a dumping ground. 
3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What's your favorite?
  • Oy, not a good answer for this one.  Never, and even when I had the opportunity to visit one, I turned it down. I gotta work on that...

4. How would you define honor?

  • Honor is having integrity, respect for yourself and others, and trying to live the best life that you can.

5. Angel's food or Devil's food-which cake do you prefer?
  • Half and half ;-) 

6. What's the most recent road trip you've taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?

  • Woah! A four parter!  I'll be brief: Nebraska. My grandfather's funeral.  8 hours. We drove straight though at nighttime.  Coffee.

7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes.
The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?
  • Oh man I would be pissed if that happened to my child!! I don't even know where to start with all the wrongdoing here.  First of all, a chicken nugget meal is healthier than a turkey and cheese sandwich?? Who says?  I think not.  Sounds like the school needed more profit from their lunch program.  Conspiracy I tell you!
8. Insert your own random thought here.
  • Life is like a box of chocolates: just give me the one with the diagram and it's all good :-) 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life is a Purple Water Lilly

The Purple Water Lilly, I read, is the most delicate flower in the world. I read a blog yesterday that really made me realize how delicate and fragile our lives are.   In fact, it touched me so deeply that I became physically ill with empathy and anxiety for this courageous woman and what she is going through.  I am a very compassionate person, and I can actually feel other people's pain.  It is a blessing and a curse.  This blog was a blessing to come across.  It reminded me how fragile life is and how God only gives us what we can handle.  The blog, I will warn you, is very upsetting, especially if you have children.  It is not for those who are squeamish.  It is, however, one of the most beautiful stories of a mother and the love and dedication she has for her ill child. Courtney's writing is beautiful and so is she.  She was given an angel and learned so much from him. 
It is also an important reminder that we cannot take for granted what God has given us.  No matter how bad of a day we had at work, or how much debt we are in, or how our kids really get under our skin sometimes,  we cannot forget how lucky we are.  Somebody always has it worse than us.  Somebody has less people who love and care about them, less money, less luck, less health.  We need to appreciate what we have now and stop obsessing over the "if only I hads..." Enjoy each moment we have with those we love. With our children who will grow up before our eyes.  Enjoy your spouse, or partner, or your best friend.  Listen to their laughter and let it fill your soul.  Look into their eyes and open your ears to their words.  Give them a big hug and let their smells and touches encircle you.  Soak in every minute of every day, because it could be the last.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Thanks Kelly!

I want to take a moment to thank Kelly from Kelly's Korner for putting a link up on her blog from last week.  Thanks to being able to add my blog to her site, I received over 600 hits in one day!  Thank you to those of you who suscribed to my blog as well. I really hope you enjoy it, and I hope you will recommend it to your friends!  Have a happy week everyone!


Friday, February 17, 2012

One Little Plastic Bottle

 I am in love with a man who is flawed.  He is a broken and lost little boy who never dealt with his childhood traumas.  He is a man who turns to the bottle, cigarettes or some other self destructive form of behavior to numb his pain.  He will do anything to run from it, to not feel it.  He was doing this when I met him 4 years ago.  He stopped and got sober for awhile, and when we separated last October, he went back to his destructive lifestyle.  The last four months have been trying, to say the least.  I have cried more than I probably have since the hormone-fueled says of high school.  I have tried to envision my life without him, to no avail.  Fast forward to this very day, and he has finally begun the process of healing.  So where does that put me?

About 3 weeks ago, my MTBX (I have changed the reference from STBX to "Maybe to be Ex") saw a psychiatrist.  It was at my suggestion-not by force or demand as my former codependant self would have.  He was agreeable.  I knew that nothing would ever be solved between us if his brain chemistry was so off balance and causing him to be so irrational and moody.  The psychiatrist diagnosed him with Major Depressive Disorder.  I was pretty shocked.  I figured maybe moderate depression, but this was the real deal.  She put him on a stronger anti-depressant than he had been taking and told him it could take 3-4 weeks to begin feeling its effects. 

He is also seeing a therapist.  This is his second therapist--he didn't like his first one.  Said he just sat there and listened without offering any advice.  He likes this one, and I can tell he already respects her opinion.  She has told him that he is not to drink, especially on this new medication.  Luckily he hasn't binged in a couple of months. He seems to finally be serious about getting better.  All his ducks are in a row.  He has the tools and resources and support he needs.  Whether or not he will now do the hard work is up to him.

In my recent months of realizing how codependant I am, I have learned a great deal.  The more you try to force somebody to do something, the more they will resist.  You can bitch and moan until you are blue in the face, but the person has to change on their own terms.  That is sometimes easier said than done when some of the things the other person does can affect an entire family.  That is the line I am having a hard time staying behind.  If he goes out and spends $200 on something that is totally unecessary and not in our budget, that affects the whole family because when you are living paycheck to paycheck, something else will have to give.

 It is also so very hard to be around someone who is depressed.  I feel so helpless.  I can't do a thing to cheer him up sometimes and Codependant Lisa takes that personally.  "If he really loved me and wanted to be back together with me, wouldn't it make him happy if I suggested we go out on a date?"  His reaction is blank.  A forced "sure" makes its way out of his mouth. 

The anti-depressants seem to be working a tiny bit, but his Dr. said to give it an entire month before uping the dosage or switching to something new. So right now, my fate seems to be held inside one little plastic bottle.  If it fails him, it fails all of us. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Picture Perfect Wholesome American Goodness

Finally, I feel ready to post again!  As you can see I have made my blog all purrty now and am quite proud of how it turned out.  It took me some time to come up with what I now have but it's feeling like blogging home! 
To get some ideas for the design of my blog, I endlessly browsed other blogger blogs.  Which leads me to the subject of this post: what the hell is going on in bloggerville?!
Now if you don't believe me, see for yourself.  See that tab at the top that says "next blog"?  Give it a click or ten. (Just come back to read mine).  Did you observe what I observed?  If so, you would have seen something like this: White all-American family with gorgeous professionally taken portrait, smiles abound and perfectly coordinated outfits.  Next: white wife happily in love with her hubby and beautiful, perfect children writes about how fun it is to raise them.  Next: maybe an art site or two, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, then back to all-American splendor.  You get the picture.  Where are all the REAL blogs?  I have come across a few and I have subscribed to them in support of the guts to write about real life; not the fairytale that so many women get caught up in.  I may have to put an "adult content" warning on this blog, but at least I know I am keeping it real.  Don't get me wrong, the picture perfect blogs are beautiful.  But I believe true beauty comes from the nitty-gritty truth of real life.  After all. a flowering bush has to bloom and die a few times before it reaches its prime condition, doesn't it?