patiencetheforgotten

Patience, The Unforgotten Virtue

The holiday hoopla was in full swing. The roads in south florida were getting more and more congested with snowbirds escaping the increasing cold temperatures up north and this just adds to the anxiety in the air.

We all seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere quick.

I am in the business of making women beautiful and this time of year gets especially busy. Knowing that my schedule will be hectic, I planned ahead for my own personal beauty treats, so as to not neglect my own self in the holiday frenzy. I know we all want to look our best at the Thanksgiving table.

I had made an appointment with my favorite manicurist on my only day off before Thanksgiving. I put the appointment on my iphone calendar with a handy alert set to remind me the day before of the exact time, and anyone who knows me knows that I suffer from an “on time” disease. I work by appointments myself and revere staying on schedule.

I knew I was early for my appointment and was prepared to relax. However, I was not pleased when the not-so-english speaking receptionist could not find my appointment anywhere on the schedule.

Now, this was trying my patience.

You know when you plan, and things don’t go according to your plan?

So much of life doesn’t go according to our plans.

kkuneszrsqc-sergey-svechnikovI realize getting a mani-pedi is insignificant in the scheme of life events, yet we can all be guilty of impatience when a flight is delayed or a package from Amazon doesn’t arrive on time. It seems people everywhere are impaired by impatience. I am not alone in this struggle.

I had thought I was a patient person. Wanting a second child and trying to conceive with no avail for three plus years and having every test performed with no diagnosis was intolerable and yet I endured it because I longed for another child.

Then, I was separated from my husband after he left our home for six and half years before a divorce document was signed. This was because separation and divorce was not in my plan, and I was hoping and praying for restoration of my family. It gave me the opportunity to once again exercise patience.

I have learned what patience is not also. It is not rolling your eyes when your told your appointment is not on the schedule. Nor is it raising your tone of voice at the gate agent when you learn your flight is stuck in winter weather and you won’t make it home in time for the Christmas party.

No, waiting and grumbling does not define patience. Patience is defined as waiting without complaint, so no eye-rolling allowed. As if that wasn’t hard enough the real challenge in life is when circumstances are uncomfortable and you can endure without complaint. This is what makes patience a virtue.

No, you don’t get a “Virtue” badge for waiting in stop and go traffic for hours if you have been cursing out the driver in front you or making some single fingered hand gestures at them.

So much of life requires patience.

I decided that day while I was waiting for someone to become available to do my nails that I would be grateful that I had nails that needed a manicure.

Take the challenge next time you are faced with the good fortune to be patient and note if you are really able to be virtuous.

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Divorce, The Unwanted Gift

I believe in love and happily ever after. At least I did some 30 years ago as I stood at the altar in my white wedding dress waiting for my Romeo to confess his undying love for me in front our closest friends and family. It was the day every little girl dreams of, and I was no exception. To love and nurture, it was an innate calling.

Little did I know, that marriage and a wedding ceremony are two very different experiences.

I soon found out that love was going to take sacrifice. At times, blood, sweat, and many, many tears. I think we all go into marriage thinking about what we want out of it, not what we will have to put into it.

I was ill prepared for the marriage pilgrimage I was on.

My parents were married until the day they died. They were just powering through. Like being on a long, dry and dusty road in the desert, knowing that you just have to keep going in hopes of finding water.

No wonder I found myself doing the exact same thing in my marriage until, one day, my husband lovingly gave me the “I’m unhappy” talk. I thought, “yeah, me too, so what?” I was going to keep powering through, just like my parents.

It took him a few weeks and his bags were packed and he was onto his new life.

My life however was shattered. My happily ever after was now in a million tiny pieces that somehow had to be put back together.

Have you ever heard of the expression “Every cloud has a silver lining?” Well, I grew up hearing it and in this case I  applied it to the dissolution of my marriage. An event that was unwanted and again I was unprepared for, but if you lean into your circumstance, instead of denying or defying it you will allow yourself to grow.explore-girl

I am almost unrecognizable today from the girl that stood at the altar in that white wedding dress. Not just because I went from being a brunette to being a blond, and yes, blonds do have more fun, but more importantly because I have allowed my singleness to be a time to learn.

You see, I got a do over. No longer was I somebody’s wife, partner or spouse, now I was just me. Who was I?

I was captain of my own ship. I got to decide the direction I would go and where I would lead my family. What were the values that I wanted to instill in my children? Because I was essentially parenting alone, these were questions I now had to consider on my own. At times I was very overwhelmed, but it was like building muscle at the gym, the more I did it the easier it got.

This was not the time to be a loner. I enlisted the help of dear friends, coaches and mentors to help with my kids. Trying to juggle work, kids and watching my daughter participate in sports was a challenge.

Any single mom reading this knows the struggle, it’s real.

Taking time to stay physically fit killed two birds with one stone. Sure I burned some calories, but the chemicals it released in my brain to keep me stable was the real payoff. That meant I had to be at the gym at 5:00 am so I could workout, get home, shower, get ready for my day, then wake up my sleeping princess. Make breakfast and lunches, drive to school, then go to my real job.

Everyday I kept putting one foot in front of the other.

When there are overwhelming times, you have to remember to keep it simple. Keep to the task at hand, don’t let your mind get ahead of you. Have you heard it said “today has enough trouble of it’s own?” It’s true. Stay in today.

Today, I am done parenting, and every hurdle I have had to jump over alone has made me into the strong, confident, determined woman I am today and I still believe in love!

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On A Dating Fast

I had finally gotten myself settled in my new little home after selling the marital dwelling where I had finished raising my two precious daughters. It had been a long painstaking process at times to be a single parent and that part of my journey had come to an end.

I was certain this new turning point in my life would prove to be the perfect time to pursue love.

Now instead of just wishing or hoping one day my prince would come, I had technology to help me find him. Haven’t we all given sites like Match.com or Plenty Of Fish a try? That process seemed tedious and time consuming. Almost archaic in light of the current dating apps we now have.

I’ll never forget the moment my single girlfriend introduced me to my first dating app. It was similar to being thirteen years old and your friends invite you out back of your house, making sure no parents are around, and offer you your first cigarette. The rush of doing something you had never done before that gave you pleasure was exciting. Who knew both experiences would prove to be addictive?

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First it was Tinder. Swipe right or swipe left. Literally that is all you knew, and you only found that out by accident. These apps didn’t come with instructions. Could it be to cut the costs of the app, since there was no sign-up or membership fee?

Tinder got a bad rap in my opinion. It was touted as a “hook-up” app. Of course those testosterone-driven creatures saw opportunity and took it. Smart women were onto this reality and engaged cautiously. As with anything in life, your experience is what you make it. Swiping right on a guy and communicating right away was like inhaling nicotine for me. I was swiping at red lights, in line at Starbucks, even taking my phone into the bathroom with me. It became an obsession.

I did meet some decent guys and had interesting dates, however love escaped me.

Then that same girlfriend told me of the latest dating app, where girls have to make the first move. It was called Bumble. The quality of guys on this app seemed more serious, more professional. They said they were looking for relationship, but who’s kidding who? A man’s primal need is what they think of first. Again, I found myself swiping, talking and dating hoards of guys. I was beginning to see a pattern as to who I matched with, my type as it were. He was always good looking, always charming, and almost always a lover of too many alcoholic beverages.

This posed a conflict for me. I was looking for an authentic, smart, driven and caring individual. So why did I consider any of my matches, let alone give them a date?

When I stopped swiping  long enough to give this important question some serious thought, I realized I was my problem. not the men I was picking. I was the common denominator in all those dates and I needed time for reflection. A dating detox was in order.

In light of my new found insight, I put myself on a self imposed dating fast. I have deleted all dating technology, vowing to only indulge in organic dating, allowing The Law of Attraction to bring me my soul mate. An ideology as old as time.

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What Attracts You

Have you ever wondered why you are attracted to who you’re attracted to?

I have.

Why are we attracted to a certain type? The bad boy, the charmer or the manipulator. That guy that doesn’t value you, is emotionally unavailable, and consistently disappoints you, and yet he is as addictive as crack cocaine.

It’s a physiological response that happens in our brain when you see someone you’re attracted to. It happens in our subconscious. You don’t even have to try, it just happens. Your heart rate increases, your palms may become sweaty or your face  becomes flushed.guy-girl

That’s why you may find yourself on the rat wheel of dating. Continuing to chose the same guy over and over, only to be disappointed again. Your conscious mind has no understanding of what just happened in your subconscious mind when a hot guy walks into the room.

I am here to empower every single dating female out there.  We can break the cycle! We can retrain our brain and attract the right guy.

First things first.

Identify your pattern. Take a look at your dating history. What are the common themes about the guys you’ve been dating? We are not only attracted to a guy because of his positive qualities but their negative qualities can also fit ours. So it is important to identify what attracts you to the guys you date.

Set new intentions. Now that you are aware of your pattern for picking the wrong guy, you can now determine to make a different choice. Making a list of qualities you are looking for in a partner is key. Write it down and post it where you will see your list, so you will recognize him when you meet him.

Enlist your friends. Believe it or not your friends do care if you are in a happy and healthy relationship. Often times your friends may not speak up about your current guy as long as you’re happy, so it’s important to ask them if they see any red flags or old patterns. They may see what you don’t want to and give you the confirmation on what you already thought. It may give you the reassurance you need to end it or move forward.

You owe it to yourself to take a look at your relationship or the new guy you’re dating before too much time goes by. Time is a commodity that we don’t get enough of. You don’t want to be approaching forty still wondering why you keep choosing the same guy who won’t marry you and the alarm on your  biological clock is so loud it sounds like a tornado siren!

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Happiness is…

As fall slowly approaches South Florida there is a day when you step outside your home and you feel it. The temperatures don’t necessarily reflect it, but you know there is less humidity in the air, and people everywhere seem to be nicer.

We wait all year for this reprieve from the oppressive heat and high humidity.fall-season

But it’s the niceness that has me intrigued. People become happier when the thermometer goes down.

My default nature is to be happy, and I realize there are circumstances that challenge my happiness meter, there is no getting around that. However, I ponder what it is that colors my world so that I can be happy?

Was I just born that way? How much of my happiness is genetic? How much is environment? How much of being happy is simply a choice?

So, I took my question’s to Google.

It turns out it’s a hot topic. Psychologists have studied it, made theories about it, as well as Ted talks on the subject.

I believe everybody wants to be happy. Nobody wakes up and says “ I want to be miserable today.”

That being said there are things we can do to promote personal happiness. An overall state of well being.

 

  • Surround yourself with happy people.  It’s the law of attraction. If we want to be happy, envision it, expect it and you will attract it.
  • Smile. It’s contagious. Even if you don’t know why you’re smiling, people will smile back at you and before you know it your mood changes to that of being happy, or at least a moment of silliness that has distracted you from being unhappy.
  • Be resilient. I call it “having tough skin.”  Happy people  know how to bounce back from a tough time or tough situation. We have to have a self-righting mechanism within us to not want to stay keeled over when the high waves of trouble knock us over.
  • Be mindful of what is good. Good is all around you, it’s your choice to see it or not.  A positive attitude can add years to your life.
  • Appreciate the simple things. The fact that you can walk and talk. That the sun is shining or that it is raining. Don’t take life for granted.
  • Give of yourself. Be selfless. Contribute your time, talent or your treasure. There is a reason they say it is better to give than to receive. It promotes happiness.
  • Have a passion. An activity or cause you immerse yourself  in and allow yourself to lose track of time.
  • Have meaningful conversation. Don’t just talk about the weather. Substantial conversation, where you connect with someone brings about more satisfaction.
  • Look on the bright side. Be a glass half-full kind of person. You will be happier and live longer.
  • Exercise daily. While exercise keeps your blood pumping to nourish your entire body, it also happens to be the best antidepressant around.                     

So if you thought it was the perfect job, house, car or bank account that would bring you the most happiness, think again.

 

 

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Airb&b and Me

My kind of adventure does not consist of zip lining through the Costa Rican mountains or shark diving off the coast of Capetown. No, but it has an element of danger all the same.

My kind of danger includes risking relationships of all kinds.

I had decided to stay at an Airb&b on my most recent escapade to New York City. I was used to staying in hotels, but this time of year, unbeknownst to me, the costs were outrageous.

So I downloaded the Airb&b app and began my search for a place to lay my head in The Big Apple.

I knew the city to some degree. I used to visit my childhood friend who lived on the upper west side for 18 years.

I began combing through the many profiles that offered rooms to rent. Midtown was where all the action takes place and there was only one room for the dates I would be there. I continued to expand my options by looking in the upper west side and upper eastside.

I found shared rooms, private rooms and entire apartments to rent.

The photographs made it helpful.

Not only was location important but cleanliness and overall ambiance was what I was looking for. I settled on Erik and Paul’s abode on the upper east side.

The room looked large, by New York standards, and equipped with fine furnishings from Ikea. I made my reservation request and began my dialogue with Erik. He said he would love to host my stay in NYC and proceeded to give me pertinent information regarding transportation and the acquisition of apartment keys.

Upon my arrival I met Erik and he said it would be fine to leave my bags off early. He showed me around the aged apartment and told me there were six rooms and that other fellow jet setters would be in two other bedrooms.That sounded reasonable to me at the time. Later I would question my definition of “reasonable.”

The apartment consisted of one small dingy kitchen, one bathroom, that appeared more suitable in the photographs and a long hallway in which the other rooms branched off of. My room was indeed private, situated at the end of the hallway, which I later came to realize was a hike in the middle of the night when your bladder calls and your stumbling around in foreign surroundings.photo-1414452110837-9dab484a417d

On one my jaunts to the bathroom I ran into a older gentleman who proceeded to speak Italian to me as if I knew him.

I saw a young Asian couple couple when I passed by the kitchen.

I later came to wonder if those were her long dark stands of hair left behind in the tub/shower.

Non-the-less, I never felt my safety was in jeopardy.

I stayed occupied so as to only have to inhabit my NYC digs for sleeping.

The smell of what I concluded was cannabis wafting from one of the rooms in the evenings was off putting, as was the smell of someone warming up Spagetti-O’s in the kitchen.

Maybe I’m too old or too set in my ways for a boarding house atmosphere? Maybe I just need to refine my search on Airb&b for a private bedroom and a private bathroom!

I wrapped up my stay by leaving my room as tidy as I found it and leaving Erik a informative review on Airb&b.

Going Solo

Traveling solo has it’s pluses and minuses. I arrived at the airport at 5:30 am. Dressed for comfort in my LuLulumon, my gal pal helped me pick out. I thought this would make it easy going through the TSA line. I was headed to New York City, my happy place. Only this time I was not going to meet anyone. I was going to a Modern Love Live event at The Town Hall. This trip was about stepping outside my comfort zone. No friends to meet up with. No dating app to help me connect with dates. No, this trip I vowed to keep it organic. Meet people the old fashioned way. Face to face.photo-1429053936782-e8cb7d267f15

As I took my seat in 28B, the center seat by the way,  I was eying all the people coming down the isle,  wondering who would be my seat mates? Please, no crying babies I thought. I started praying the seats would stay empty.

Even better, when I got sandwiched between two guys. One looked like a thirty something hipster from Miami. The other a Greek god, with bronze hairless skin.

I instantly felt safe, with all the testosterone surrounding me. I imagined if the plane went down, that these two gentlemen would pick me up and carry me to safety as the plane burst into flames.

You see, I was working on 3 hours sleep and had hoped  to sleep most of the flight.

Good thing people can’t read your mind because all I was thinking was how I wanted to just cozy up and rest my head on Hercules’ shoulders.

He was oblivious

He slept and I slept. I felt like the cream in the middle of an Oreo cookie. Squished between two men, how bad can this be for a single gal? Hercules had quadriceps that you couldn’t help but notice, as he was wearing shorts, and his biceps that were spilling into my airspace. Did he know they were pressing against my arm? That was my arm rest by the way!

The entire flight I never spoke a word to either of them. This could largely be in part because they both had ear buds in their ears,  I assume listening to music.

Has technology helped or hindered us in the meeting process?

We are so ready to connect with people we don’t know thru an app or online but  when face to face, have we lost the art of communicating?

So much for meeting the old fashioned way.