Welcome to the life of an American female. Aimlessly wandering the road of youth and adulthood, she shares her tales of growing pains, discoveries and ideas. There might also be a pinch of happiness, a dash of light, and a micro-amount of wisdom within. The author is not liable for any psychological damages you may incur while reading this blog.

The author put it best when she said, "My humor is like a good martini - extra dry and sometimes served dirty."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Who are you in a relationship with?

Are you married? Are you in a committed relationship? Then this is for you.

When something good happens in your life and you have exciting news, who's the first person you want to tell? Who's the first person you want to talk to when you wake up, the last before bed, and whose texts/calls do you look for the most? If the answer was not your significant other, you are not really in a relationship with them. Well, you are, but it's not one set up for success.

If the reason you are looking to others to share with your joys and life is because you are genuinely unhappy with your significant other, then you need to end the relationship. You're wasting your time and the other person's, and you're only postponing the inevitable.

If you're happy with your significant other, but you're still focusing your attention and all of your "good side" on other relationships, you need to reassess your priorities.

Relationships are like gardens -- they must be watered, worked, and weeded to grow. Whatever relationship you tend is the one that will grow, and the most important one should be the one you forge with your significant other. They should be the first person you want to call, the first you want to talk to about your day.

If not...well, you've got a problem.

Time to Turn It Off

From my Facebook page:

Turn It Off

May 15, 2014 at 10:09am
It’s time to turn off the phone and tune in to life.

How many times a day do you check your phone? Do you surf Facebook while you’re sitting with someone? Do you play games on your phone because you’re “bored,” because it’s easier to pull out your phone than it is to have meaningful conversation with the person next to you? Do you feel lonely without your phone, even if you’re in a group of friends?

Maybe it’s time to put the phone away. Turn it off, and pay attention to what’s in front of you. How many connections are you missing because you’re facing down, reading what’s scrolling on your screen? How many laughs, smiles, and stories did you miss because you were too busy watching a video to pay attention to what was really going on? While you may think you’re in tune with what’s going on in the real world, because you’re totally up to date on all of your friends’ statuses, you’ve seen the latest internet meme, you’ve read the headline news, and you’ve “liked” all of the latest pictures in your newsfeed, you’re actually completely lost. Moment after moment has happened without you.

Your brother just walked across the graduation stage, but you were looking down because you just got a text. Your baby laughed for the first time, but you missed it because you were too busy watching YouTube. You just rode by a beautiful farm with the sun shining over the freshly rolled hay, but you missed it because you had two Facebook notifications. Your spouse just went to bed after trying all night to get your attention, but you were too busy leveling up on the game on your phone. If that’s you, stop a minute and really think about where this is going.

Whatever you give your time and attention to is what flourishes. If you’re paying attention to the relationship you have with your phone and/or your online persona, that’s what will grow. The rest of your life will wilt and die. But don’t worry, there’s always a new battery for your phone and free WiFi at McDonald’s. So what does it really matter?

It matters a lot. Real relationships are forged with real people in real life. It doesn’t consist of “liking” their photos or following their posts. It’s about listening, talking, and touch. If you’re bored, don’t reach for the mindless phone game. Reach out to someone. If you’re in a relationship, reach out to your significant other. If you’re mny6Reach for a book, a magazine, or just go outside. Heck, do some housework. If you’re a homeowner, there’s no reason to ever be bored! If you’re desperate, come to my house. My kid is cute and loves attention. My grass is so many weeks overdue a cutting it’s ridiculous. My flower beds are in shambles. I have two leaky faucets, a light fixture falling out of my ceiling, and decorations that were supposed to be hung in my kid’s room months ago. I have a storage building that needs organizing, and I can always use household organizing! I have a dog that loves walks and tackling games, and I have a cat that loves to snuggle and “fetch.” I’ll even cook you some dinner!

Here’s some challenges for you to start living in the here and now rather than a virtual reality:

1. When you’re out to lunch or dinner with friends, put your cellphones in the middle of the table. The first person to check their phone before the check comes pays for everyone. (Exceptions: Emergencies and child/sick relative/etc-related calls/messages. These must be verified by the group to qualify.)

2. Make a “power down” time in your household. For example, at 8 PM, put your phone in sleep mode and don’t touch it again until the next day. (No considerate person will call you after 9 PM anyway, and if they do, you can call them back the next day. Eventually, they’ll start calling you earlier!)

3. Take one day out of the weekend and completely turn off all phones and computers. If you have to, change your voicemail to say, “I’m sorry, we are currently unavailable because it’s our technology-free day. We’re enjoying the fresh air and each other’s company, so please leave a message and we’ll call you back tomorrow! If it’s an emergency, please contact (insert emergency number).”

4. If you’re one of those people that has to take a picture of EVERY little thing you do and share it, take a day without a camera, a cellphone, or any other kind of recording device. Just let your eyes do the work. You’ll make more real memories that way! Think about it – we only save the 48 th of every 100 selfies, we toss out all of the moments where we look unhappy or the sun wasn’t shining. Real life is raw – the sun doesn’t always shine, our hair doesn’t always lay right, and sometimes we just have one of those days. Those are still memories, and you can’t make them if you’re too busy trying to crop out your back bacon or blur out that zit that showed up on your nose this morning.

5. Get to know yourself…and your friends/significant other again. Who are you when Facebook isn’t watching? Who are you when no one is snapping a picture or challenging you to outgrow their crops on Farmville? Real life is harder to live and takes work, but the rewards are so much sweeter than leveling up on Candy Crush or Pirate War