Friday, May 27, 2011

A day in May - But not a May Day.

As the summer is finally unfolding during the latter parts of this week, all I can say is, "It is about time!" The sounds of lawnmowers, the smells of the neighbor's BBQ, and the sights of the sun after nearly three weeks of solid precipitation and clouds, fog, mist, whatever you want to call it, is a welcome sight!

So why don't I feel better about it? Usually the Spring/Summer gets me going and I'm working on a thousand projects at once. Instead I sit here on my back porch, sipping a freshly brewed K-cup blogging the Friday afternoon away. Could it be that I'm enjoying the moment for once and taking a break? Or am I just overwhelmed with the to-do lists I have created for myself and am just avoiding everything. Perhaps it is a little of both.

A fellow blogger called it getting your MOJO back. In my case, I've misplaced it. I'm a people person. When no one is around I need to keep busy on things or else I start to think too much. It is the way my brain is wired I suppose.

I could be at a coffee house tonight with the majority of my church. I could be busy taking pictures and eating and hanging out with all of them. Instead, I just wanted to just "BE".

I'm finding I've done a lot of that recently.

My therapist who assigns me weekly homework assignments (I need the structure) has asked me to do something I'm finding quite difficult. Part of this week's assignment is to make a list of 5 core characteristics that describe myself, with 2 examples to illustrate each one.

Now I've filled out surveys and tons of dating profile stuff in the past but this to me is very different. This isn't what other people think of me, this isn't even what I "want" other people to think of me. This is what "I" think of me. She doesn't say if they should be positive or negative either.

OK... Well...

1. I'm DETERMINED. I am about as determined as anyone I know. With this core characteristic comes good and bad. When I put my mind to something I can get the job done. However I can be stubborn about certain things and even get my priorities mixed up at times. I don't like to be wrong and only when there is irrefutable proof will I concede to defeat.

I have accomplished many things to many. I'm restoring a beautiful home in a seaside community. I run my own business and have for almost 20 years. I'm raising my daughter on my own. Yet, I feel I'm missing something in my life.

2. I'm a SURVIVOR. This goes without saying. I'm always recreating myself to suit the situation at hand. If there is a bill, I find a way to get it paid. I struck out in the world at an early age with very little determined to survive the elements and make something of myself. I'm a chameleon of sorts, adapting to my surroundings. However, there is always the control I feel I need in these given situations. Perhaps it has a lot to do with my feelings of abandonment when I was a child. I can remember being 3 or 4 and being outside on my own and not having anyone to play with. I have always had a great imagination. I guess that leads me into...

3. I'm a VISIONARY. When hyper-focused I can clearly see the forest through the trees as well as the entire forest simultaneously. I can set the tone of a focus group as well as drive a point to the masses via any podium I step onto. I'm a people person and have no fear of public speaking. (Again it is that feeling of being in control that drives me.) I guess I'm a leader of sorts or at least that is the way I perceive myself to be. I have belonged to many organizations and it doesn't take long for me to be in some form of leadership role in the group. (Again, being in control gives me the power and the high that I feel I need to function in my capacity as a leader.)

4. I'm INDEPENDENT. I have been independent all of my life, but interdependent on others most of my life. I'm independent and try to do everything myself at first. I like figuring things out on my own and like solving problems. I'll think outside the box. Sometimes I'll do something and have people tell me, "You couldn't have done that." To which I reply: "Oh um hmm. See?" and show them that I already have. I am interdependent on others for my emotional needs and support. Something I never got growing up. I seek validity in what I say and do a lot because I feel if I don't speak up or say: "See what I did?!" I might go un-noticed.

5. I'm EMOTIONAL. I'm actually passionate to a fault at times. This ties into being a very determined individual. However, I used to get angry a lot and it took a long time to figure out why. Getting in touch with more than just the basic emotions is critical to the learning process called life. Now I know I can be disappointed in something or someone and not be angry about it. If I watch a movie or TV and there is a scene that I relate to even at a subconscious level I will get emotional. (I have to imagine that is natural and being human.) I have learned that I need to work on my empathy skills and have made some progress with those. Life is more about just me. I just need to keep reminding myself this now and then.

Well that's five.

The sun has set and the coffee is gone. I have survived another evening alone with my feelings. I'll be interested in hearing what my therapist has to say about my selections of core values.

It's time for some food.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just another Saturday... Or is it the last?

With all the hype about the "End of Times" and the world coming to an end at 6PM this evening I had to BLOG about it. Nearly everyone else has!

Harold Camping the founder of Family Radio, a nonprofit Christian radio network based in Oakland, Calif. and his devoted followers claim a massive earthquake will mark the second coming of Jesus, or so-called Judgment Day on Saturday, May 21, ushering in a five month period of catastrophes before the world comes to a complete end in October.

Yikes! Does that mean I won't be paying $4.00 a gallon for gas in the coming months or worry about the last bits of milk going bad in the fridge this weekend? Will I leave this world as single as I came into it? My camera batteries are fully charged can I at least bring the one with the wide-angled lens with me. I think I'd be able to get a great shot of the earth from above as we all ascend to heaven.

All I know is that if I am aware of the time at 6 this evening, I'll hold my breath for just a moment before hopefully exhaling into a quiet evening. I'll be taking some pictures at a local coffee house and more than likely having a glass of wine before bedtime. Maybe I'll do some reading as I drift off to sleep tonight.

I wonder if the pastor at church will even mention it during his sermon tomorrow?
Wouldn't it be funny if they played REM's rendition of "It's the End of the World" inbetween services. I keep humming the chorus: "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine...

It's about a quarter to 3 in the afternoon and I'm still in my sweats. I haven't done much of anything today. The weather is sunny (the weatherman had predicted rain) and I have the windows open. It is starting to feel like summer at last. The grass I planted out back is finally growing and I still have tons of yard work to do. I still have a lot of interior work that needs to be done on the house. The bar/gameroom and laundry area, my workshop, the upstairs hallway,and my daughter's bathroom.

I'll get to it all eventually. I always do. Meanwhile it's a lazy mans Saturday. It might not be the end of the world and I might not be getting much done today and I know it, and I feel fine...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Really? A dishwasher?

Recently my therapist,(Don't we all need one these days?) assigned me a tough homework assignment. To join a "PAY" dating website. (More on that in a bit)

I have been around the interwebs long before Al Gore took credit for inventing it. I not only remember floppy disks but the 8" variety to boot! It was sometime in the late 90's that I discovered on-line dating. Back in the day, finding dates on the Internet along with just about everything else was free. At first there was only AOL dating, then Yahoo Singles seemed to hold the #1 spot when multiple sites started popping up all over the Web.

I gave Yahoo a try and although the results varied I did meet a few good people along the way and equally went on my share of dates I'd rather not have gone on. Live and learn right?

Between 2002 and 2006 the on-line dating scene changed again. Pay sites came into existence claiming to have better compatible matching techniques. Yahoo also went pay while social networking sites began to take hold, especially in the 15-21 age crowd. Friendster, and then MySpace were the choice way of reconnecting with old friends and yes even dating people. New free sites replaced those that had gone pay while others like (POF) - Plenty Of Fish offered the best of both worlds. Sites like POF allowed you to meet people on the free side of the site but allowed you to do much more customizable searches once you joined the paying ranks.

Meanwhile Craigslist, a free listing service for everything from jobs, rentals, household items, and yes singles took shape and began competing for a different way to connect people with one another by allowing you to post via an online newspaper style ad.

I did the MySpace thing while it was popular and posted ads on Craigslist while it was still possible to find quality people there. I even dated one girl on and off for almost three years that I met on Craigslist.

Meanwhile sites like eHarmony,,, and although pay sites, pushed the fact that you paid for what you got.

This always bothered me. Did I actually have to pay to find the woman of my dreams? Was it worth shelling out my hard earned cash to find "The One" for me?

The popularity of Internet-ready mobile devices took on-line dating to the next level. The free dating sites exploded with new members. You were no longer tethered to the computer at home or risked getting caught at the office looking for love on-line. The fact was, everyone was doing it including married people and people looking for a one-night stand. Even some of the cheaper pay dating sites have become "meat markets" for the random hook-up.

It was during this time that Facebook took the crown of the social media networking sites. Call me old fashioned but I decided not to do the Facebook thing and have abstained from the pressures of friends, work colleagues, and even my own daughter to "just do it". I feel that the online world of social media has taken some of the personalization out of meeting people. The sharing of too much information (TMI) comes to mind when someone brings up Facebook.

Sure, Facebook does have a way of connecting you with long lost friends but quite honestly they may have been lost for a damn good reason.

So meeting new people, although not difficult for me, has become a recent chore for me. The fact that I have been single for a period of time now with no prospects on the horizon hadn't really hit home until a recent college fair held at my daughter's high school. The dean of admissions of a local community college asked me what was next for me. At first I wasn't sure what he meant. Then it began to sink in. What was NEXT?!

Not only is my future in the "here and now" stages but so is an opportunity to date again. I'm pretty successful in all other aspects of my life so why is it that I am having difficulty in establishing a lasting romantic relationship?

I discussed this at length with some of my closest friends and one gal-pal pointed me to an article titled: "10 Things Men are Looking for in a Woman Vs. What Women Really Want". I could relate with most if not all of the obvious reasons like "#6 A woman must have her own life and have her own purpose in it." or #4 "A woman must be as free from drama as possible. AKA - No drama queens!". Topping the list of things men are looking for in a woman was "Honesty".

That one made me think... As opposed to??? Why would I date a dishonest woman?

Now I got to the list of what women really wanted and prepared for a long list of must-haves and needs. Listed was just one:

"Women really want a good dishwasher."

It seems given the choice of dealing with men and "their long lists" these days, most women like the Independence and freedom of being single, so they want a high end programmable appliance. Something that is stable, gets the job done, and is "drama-free". A device that comes with a warranty (extended at an additional cost and even a payment plan in some cases.

My friend joked that she should start a love column and call it: "Dirty Dishes - How to program your man like an appliance for the ultimate date."

All joking aside, woman have pushed enough of my buttons to know that I cannot be programmed nor do I choose to be.

So back to my homework assignment...

I took a business approach to this and looked at the financials and ROI of the five leading pay sites. I narrowed it quickly to two and then decided on the pricier one thinking that my chances of finding someone serious out there was willing to pay the same. Now all I had to do was sign up.

I really thought about this. Was I ready for this? Well, after all it was homework. I called and took the plunge and got three months for the price of one convincing the phone rep that a friend had done the same not long ago.

So *gulp* let the matches fill and overflow my inbox.

Besides... I already own a dishwasher and might just be willing to let "The One" push some buttons and program it!