Marriage Dynamics

A post over at livenowandzen this morning reminded me of the lecture given to my mom and dad when they drove across a state border, picked a name out of the minister section of the yellow pages and got hitched without needing pesky parental signatures:

“You must understand that you are not just two people getting married.   There is who Dallas thinks he is, who you think he is and who he really is and the same goes for you.   You will spend a lifetime learning to integrate these six personalities into one union.”

Of course, the pre-marriage counseling was longer and probably not exactly as paraphrased above, but you get the idea.

Add to this wonderful six-some,  the scientific belief that within seven years, every cell in our body has died and been replaced by a new one.   Hence, there is not a single thing about me that is the same as 7 years ago…

We now have, just by basic thought processes and biology, 42 different variables –

Hey!  I like to do math my own way, -k-?

Add to this the notion that we grow into new passions and out of old ones – we change our life priorities due to epiphanies and traumas.

Count the number of life-changing moments you’ve experienced, multiply by 3 (your half of the marriage personality equation), and then take that times 3 (to account for the perspectives of the other three personalities in your marriage).

Take this number and multiply it by 10 every time you answer yes to the following questions:

  • Has your household been under financial strain?
  • Is a member of your household terminally or chronically ill?
  • Do extended family support or hate your union?

After doing my own version of math, I’m no longer surprised that after 17 years, we ended up divorced.

Because that number represents the odds-to-1 that a marriage faces.

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Shortly after the death of my son, we found ourselves in counseling.   I learned that 87% of couples who lose a child end up divorced.   I really wanted to be in the 13% who made it –

It was not to be, because aforementioned odds were already a long shot even before the child was lost.

But it has clarified my thinking on the matter – – And what I’ve learned has helped me in relationships other than marriage.

There is only so well I can know someone – and often, I must admit, I really don’t know them at all –

I may have known them well years ago, but if I haven’t kept in touch with them – haven’t kept up with their growth – I may find myself having tea one day and conversing as if I’m talking to someone that existed 15 years ago, but is no longer here.

And they may do the same.

I sometimes think the hardest thing in relationships is learning to really see who shows up, today.  To be open to hearing and observing the unique person that stands in front of us, rather than just airbrushing our picture of who we think they are over the canvas of Now.

And I think that’s probably the true secret of those who stay married till death do us part – they’ve learned how to negotiate being married to a brand new person, everyday.

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Accidents

Some years ago, while watching the movie, “Her Alibi”, I came across and adopted one of my favorite sayings:

“There are no accidents – only plans other people make and don’t tell you about.”

I try to remember that – when the actions of another seriously interferes with my plans…

When words spoken with the best of intentions, wound deeply…

When things out of my control don’t follow my schedule…

Sigh…

I’m reminding myself this morning, once again – it’s a never-ending process, this reminding…

AccidentZone

Grateful for Troubles

Okay – as you know, I always strive to see the  silver linings – mainly because they clue me in to the humungous dark cloud approaching.

And these past few weeks, I’ve not been at my best.   Health, multiple set-backs regarding my plans and schedule, due to other people’s schedules, the weather, full moons and such have left me feeling that perhaps I’m not on the right path, after all.

But last night, the child-unit, recently returned from visiting his dad, hollered at me to come quick.    I tread out in stocking feet, wondering what catastrophe has happened now.

I gazed where he was pointing:

What Happens when You're behind schedule
What Happens when You’re behind schedule

These beautiful, unidentified-at-this-time flowers are located in an area scheduled for weeding and re-planting.   Had I not been distracted from this area by a host of other troubles, the short, spiny weedy looking things would have been pulled three weeks ago and I would have missed out on knowing the beauty already planted there.

Would have ignorantly ripped from the earth a perennial that apparently, really likes it here and flourishes.

This latest discovery has reinforced my belief that procrastination is not the horrible thing it’s made out to be…

And made me grateful for all that kept me from completing this area’s project ‘On Time’.

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This morning, I also looked at an area that was completed on schedule – I was told I most likely would not get any blooms this year, but that come fall, I can dig, separate, replant and maybe next year…

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!   First bloom appearing!

Don't tell me which year I can bloom!
Don’t tell me which year I can bloom!

Giants

Have you ever noticed in a majority of stories, the giant is never afraid of the tiny humans/hobbits/etc., that have shown up?

How is that so?   Giants are always afraid of small things that move faster and have more options for hiding than they do…

Case in point – we have a mouse in the house.   A not-full-grown mouse, which means it has the requisite cuteness that protects all living things through their childhood.  Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any full grown cats or humans running around.

Oh, stop!  I’m just kidding…

I suspect it got here via the doggie door I installed so Oakley has the freedom to come and go as she pleases.   Which, ironically, gives other unwanted guests the same freedoms…

Mice do not particularly bother me – Years of buying in bulk, once a year, mean most of my food stuffs are double-suck-n-sealed, then placed in a plastic bucket.  Mice have so rarely inhabited houses with me that I really haven’t gotten big prejudices built up yet.

Given Oakley’s strange behavior this a.m., I came to the conclusion that something had gotten into the house – hopefully a mouse.

My mind did ponder on the possibility of a snake – which means I would have a heart attack or, if not, be packing a knapsack to hit the open road – leaving all my possessions behind.

And the first person who kindly posts a comment pointing out that if a snake were in the house, I wouldn’t be having mouse problems, will promptly be added to Santa’s Naughty List for eternity – – think carefully before trying to be helpful…

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So now, I face a conundrum – I’m not fast enough or graceful enough to gently catch a mouse scared silly by the dog.

I really think it’s against the rules of war to use a mouse trap on a mouse probably not old enough to have the knowledge to evade them.   That’s sort of like sending in a missile launcher to a campful of small boys holding rocks – not really fair, is it?

I can’t put out a large cup with peanut butter in it, to lure them in then move them outside – -Oakley likes peanut butter – and so does the child-unit…

The 5-gallon bucket with 2″ of water in it doesn’t seem right either – I’ve heard drowning is a horrible way to go and what if it climbed in during the night and I, who can sleep through a freight train rolling through the living room, didn’t hear it’s squeaks for rescue?

Hmm….

Work is done for the day – I must come up with a plan…

Oakley- The Wonder Sleuth
Oakley- The Wonder Sleuth

Stories

worldLIFE

You are born – some stuff happens – You Die.

The End.

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Sadly, there have been times when this was my viewpoint.  Because it made for a rather boring and sad existence, I got better at making up stories – Which, in the end, is really what our Life is – a collection of stories.

I think everyone should publish their autobiography – if everyone did, and we were all voracious readers, we’d learn that we are not alone in our travails – that there is worse and better – that those we laud had their less-than-stellar moments and those we despise did a nice thing once or twice, as well.

We’d learn that the strength of the human spirit doesn’t just show up after natural disasters or man-made calamities.   We’d know that courage is expressed every day in the simple form of someone who gets out of bed and does what needs to be done, for one more day, even though they really don’t feel like it and yesterday’s script doesn’t indicate things are going to get any better.

We’d be inspired by those who took a beating and refused to give up.

We’d look at our own lives and not feel so alone in our journey…

Yup – everyone should write their autobiography – there should be a place where they could post their successes and failures.   A community where they meet with like-minded souls to give and receive the rich encouragement that is such a balm on a wounded soul…

Oh, wait, what am I thinking?

WordPress  is already here…

Universal Playground

Where to Play Today?
Where to Play Today?

The theory of parallel universes has, for the past few years, been my saving grace. The notion of having a new Universe spin-off for each and every possibility, for each and every living thing, means, for the dreamer – Unlimited Life Choices.

There is a Universe where I did convince first hubby to buy that hotel in Victor, Colorado before gambling went in and I happily run the restaurant/bar/hotel while he rescues and restores antiques in his little shop out back.

Or the one where I stuck to my plan and am now living on a ranch in Montana, with a dozen children running around, caring for my homeplace and writing a new book every year.

Perhaps, there is one where my oldest child lives, I’ve won the lottery and we are currently visiting Ireland, as long as I’m willing to go to New York City with him…

And one where we went to Ireland and he decided he wanted to stay there longer, instead visiting NYC –

I can’t help it – I’m NOT a city girl…

A parallel where my Dad is still around, playing the guitar and helping me convert my home to a more sustainable enterprise.

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But I also gaze about me and consider what all I might miss if I could instantaneously transport to another Universe – would Oakley, my wonder dog be with us? Would I end up only trading one son for the other? A universe where I work 100 hours a week and still don’t get what is really important? Or the one where I truly did lose everything and wander the streets, homeless, starving, hopeless?

Given the untold numbers of Universes that have spun off to accommodate the roads not taken, I’m thinking probably best to just stay put – – I might just end up somewhere less appealing…

Time

Time is Tricky Stuff
Time is Tricky Stuff

I’ve long been fascinated by Time.   How it drags when engaged in the dreary or waiting for the fantabulous to show up.   How it flies when deadlines loom, projects pile up and loved ones are soon to leave.

I’m also intrigued by the way our brains interpret time.   How our thinking and actions directly affect how time and the universe unfolds.

Case in point – yesterday, I walked almost 6 miles.   Now, this is nothing special for most, but it’s taken me weeks to build up to this.   I started out by walking a mile – and then doing it til I could walk it in 30 minutes – then I added more length each time – staying at that length until I could finish the distance in 30 minutes.  I had worked up to 2 1/2 miles and still able to do other work when I got back home.

Yesterday, with a heavy heart and a dog that had missed out on two day’s worth of walking, I decided I was going to walk until I had to turn around – and took my cell phone in case I ended up needing to call for a ride home.  No schedule, and since it was Sunday, I decided to take the day off – who would care if I wasn’t worth shooting when I got home?  Projects could wait until tomorrow.

(Which ended up not being true, given looming storm clouds, but that’s another story)

My little data loving heart means I’ve driven my walking routes and noted landmarks that mark where each tenth of a mile from my house resides.   I had driven and memorized up to 2 miles out – which means 4 miles round-trip.

I also take note of when I start and when I get back – so I know when to add distance to my 30 minute sojourns.   Both strength and stamina must be reclaimed and I’m desperately trying to kill two birds with one walking stone…

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When I first started the walking regimen, I walked furiously, hoping to get it done and over with before I had another stroke.   I set my stride and kept to it, even when Oakley, the wonder dog, found stretches that demanded extra sniffing – – Nope, we’re not stopping, I’ve got to keep my heart rate up if I’m ever to get well.

I’ve since learned better…

Yesterday, I set out at 10:00 – less than two blocks from home, I encounter my neighbor, sitting at the end of her drive, waiting for her ride to church.   I stop to visit, much to Oakley’s impatient chagrin.

By 10:14, we are once again on our way.   I’ve learned to stop now, to let Oakley smell the roses, or poo, or whatever else catches her fancy.  Mother Nature is making up for the cool, wet spring, and there are lots of pretty plants for me to stop and smell as well.

I walk past my previous turn-around point.   I walk through mind chatter that reminds me it’s getting hot and I’d better start packing water for both of us, if I’m set on walking further –  –

I walk until I wonder if I’ll make it all the way home.

I breathe deep in and deep out – –

“Healing and peace in (inhale) Crap and ugly out (exhale)”

No, that’s not in any meditative works I’ve seen, but it works for me…

With dragging feet and sweat pouring off me, I check my phone – I’ve walked just 4 minutes short of 30 minutes – I’ll count my steps to 240 and then turn around.

I’m lagging now – and Oakley isn’t pulling so hard on the leash, either — just why didn’t I bring water?

I finally reach 240 just shy of 3-miles, one way – I turn around, check my phone and wouldn’t ya know?  One minute shy of the full 30 – really?!?  Surely those last 240 steps took more than 3 minutes!  It felt like an eternity and I’m sure I lost track of what number I was on a couple of times…

Turning around, we slug back towards home.   There is a lot less sniffing and excitement going on now – we both put one foot in front of the other and hang our tongue out to help cool ourselves.  (Yes, I tried it – didn’t do me much good and when I stumbled through a rough part, I bit my tongue…)

We arrive home, after slowly making our way back to cool house and cool lemon water….

It’s 11:20.

The clock must be wrong – I did extra distance, stopped to chat and frequently paused to smell the beauty of spring…

It simply cannot be…

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There have been many instances where I’ve experienced Time displacement – many of them occurred during deep grief and extreme stress – I’ve noticed it more since I had the stroke – I will fall asleep and awake refreshed and ready to go, only to discover, I only fell asleep 24 minutes ago.   I will start writing to emerge and find 12 hours have passed by in the blink of an eye and I haven’t eaten anything…

Sometimes, this time displacement confuses me, but most times, it quietly inspires me…

Secretly, I hope I’m being prepared for time travel…