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Independence or....just a loner

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I had lunch with a girlfriend today and as we sat talking our "girl talk" I had one of those "a-ha" moments when I realized there is a very fine line between being independent and being a loner.

I have always thought of a loner as someone who didn't really need a daily hug from anyone; the hermit who could happily function in that log cabin on some remote mountain top seeing other humans on a very infrequent basis. On the other hand, independence was merely being able to stand on your own two feet and not needing or desiring any assistance from anyone else. Wanting to make your decisions on your own with little or no input from other people. Knowing what you want and going after it -- on your own, and in your own way.

The people who are of the "clinging vine" variety, always giving hugs and words of encouragement are like an alien species to the independent type. Who needs a hug, when all we want is to be left alone. We heal on our own, taking comfort in the quiet, analyzing our thoughts, working things through in our own mind. We are a puzzle to the other types, and to them we are as foreign as they are to us.

I suppose each type has their own virtues. Closeness and support by others should and could be a good thing; but many independent types feel pressured by too much attention, it stiffles us, causing frustration and creating a need for space.

I don't know what can be done about it, but I can see that when the clinging vine meets up with the loner sparks are going to fly -- or irritation and frustration are going to run rampant. What are your thoughts? Anyone out there married to an exact opposite? And which are you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMEOWASWELL 3/20/2010 3:13PM

  There is a difference in being independent and being a loner. I am of the type that can do things alone , like travel, dine and just stay at home with a good book. I also enjoy the company of others, but I will not be controlled and will do my own thing even in other company. I consider that independent.
I think if I don't like the attention of others than I do have a problem in how I see myself. I would consider that a loner because the lack of confidence on how I was being judged.
We are social animals and do need others even if it is in short periods of time. Mind you there are people we all dislike.

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ANNANN63 3/19/2010 6:24PM

    I learned to be independent early in life. My mother insisted we learn to take care of ourselves and solve our own problems. I never liked being alone but always preferred it to being with people I did not enjoy. I skipped a lot of opportunities to socialize to stay home with a good book.

I always knew I wanted closeness but did well without it. At age 48 I married and have the closeness I want. My husband is a lot like me and I can be alone and do my own thing to a great degree. He tends to "interrupt" me a lot. I mind in the minute but as soon as I realize how much I enjoy having him around, I don't mind anymore.

A description I read years ago fits me well. I am not really
Tugboat Annie but there are not very many people that are ever going to know that.

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PATIENCE - One of the virtues

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

There are many virtues that are admirable, but I think one of the most beneficial, both to ourselves and to those around us; is patience! You can tell the difference immediately when you are talking with someone who is patient vs those who are impatient. The patient person listens to your story, does not interrupt and you know you have their full attention. On the other hand, the impatient person will sit there drumming their fingers, fidgitting and squirming and you feel they are not interested in what you are saying.

Another time patience comes into play is during heavy traffic. The person who is able to take it into stride, relax and enjoy the music playing on the radio gets home in the same amount of time as the other person. The other person gets himself upset and arrives at his destination in a horrible mood.

The more you are able to adapt yourself to a situation without becoming upset the better off you are both mentally and physically. Stress (which can be an offshoot of impatience) can do a lot of harm to your body. So try to relax, think positively and try to have a good outlook.

PS - I have my dog's photo on here because she is the epitome of Patience!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 3/20/2010 11:16AM

    That is so true. The old fable of the Tortise and the Hare is never more true than when you are on the road. Slow down and smell the roses. emoticon

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4CINDY2010 3/16/2010 5:43PM

  Very true! Thanks for the blog.
ps... I love your doggie photo!

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ANNANN63 3/16/2010 2:43PM

    So true. Great post.


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The Roller Coaster of Life

Friday, March 12, 2010

You know, if the average person had a chart of how their weight goes up and down it would look like a constant zig-zag. When we finally get our a-ha moment and do what it takes to get healthy and start on that downward trend, we are still zig-zagging, but now it starts to do it with lower and lower numbers. When we "fall off the wagon" so to speak, we do it with higher numbers. But those little variations are always with us, kind of like breaathing, or drinking water, it is just a part of our lives. I realize that if you spoke with a nutritionist it would be explained how sodium plays an important role in this up and down process, and also in the amount of water you drink. Do you get your 8 glasses each day? And if you were to speak with a personal trainer, that person would probably stress to you how important it is to get in enough exercise each day to burn up the calories that you are ingesting.

All that sounds well and good until you climb on the scale in the morning after you know you did not make the very best choices at your dinner (in a restaurant) last night. So maybe that artichoke dip and the tortillas you were dipping in there was loaded with fat -- but it was sooooo good. Yes, I did have a full glass of wine too; but I skipped dessert. OK, let's see what the scale has to say, maybe I got off lucky. We did dance several dances at that little place we went to after dinner. So holding your breath, you step on the scale (does it make you heavier or lighter to hold your breath?) you almost hate to look down to see what number the scale has stopped at. Ah! You are exactly as you were Friday morning when you weighed in. It's a good day after all -- and you ARE going to the gym today too!

Other days you may have other results, up 2 pounds or on good days down 1 to 2. But in all of our lives it is difficult to have a steady drop each and every day. As all of us hit those plateau's that can last several days. Whereas on the other hand, when we lose track of what we eat and how much we exercise, when the scale is headed for those "higher" numbers there is no such thing as a plateau, or at least I've never heard anyone complain that "I've hit a plateau" when they are on one of those gaining sprees. No! During that little lull, if there was one, they simply breath a sigh of relief and thank their lucky stars!

I know I have no bottom line to this blog and there is no definite point other than to say "Don't beat yourself up about the ups and downs you will experience as you are on your way to a healthy lifestyle." It is going to happen sooner or later no matter how diligent your efforts are. Just do the very best you can. And give yourself a little (keyword here is "little") treat every so often to give you the encouragement to keep going. No one should have to give up everything they love completely. So eat the Tom & Jerry ice cream, or the creme brulee or whatever your secret weakness is, but do it sparingly.

See ya'all at the goal line!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETFITTER7 3/14/2010 9:34PM

    I agree...last week was my first time away to visit out of state. It was my first restaurant venture since Sparks. Did I do bad? Yes and no...I did bad being over 1,000 calories over my limit...but I got a walk in that I didn't expect. Wine,chocolate,shakes, and pizza...yep I did it ALL that weekend. Yes the scale went up, but then down again. Now I am close to my weigh-in day and I am down 2 pounds from my last entry. I'm holding off till my weigh-in. We will see how I do.
I rather check my weight loss by my body than my weight. How my clothes fit or not gives me a better outlook than worry about the numbers on the scale. May your numbers be low on the scale!!!

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MARENAMOO 3/12/2010 1:41PM

    Absolutely agree. We are not trying to get slim just for the size - we are trying to fit more comfortably into our lives - participate more fully. In my life that means a glass of wine and some dancing, an occasional slice of cake etc. It also means eating those things in the context of a healthy lifestyle - mindful eating, vigorous exercise (dancing). If we deprive ourselves too much then it is not lifestyle it is just a diet. If we give too much power to the scale or to food they control us not the other way around. SO be healthy but live your life.

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Computers! The little machines that run our lives....

Monday, March 08, 2010

While it may not be entirely true that computers RUN OUR LIVES, it certainly does seem to be true that they are at the core of it. All week-end I received dire warnings from some pop-up that I had a dreaded disease (virus in computer language)! It wasn't a message from Norton, it was something I'd never heard of, and they wanted money to fix it. Did I want them to fix it? When I would say "no" they would not let me on the Internet. I could receive emails, I could even answer emails; but if I tried to click onto one of my emails such as SparkPeople that would take me to the Internet to view it -- you guessed it, NO GO! Frustrating.
My goal is to get at least 50 Spark Points each and every day. Now I could not access any of my threads/teams/nada! Finally this morning I made my way to the local Library and went online there. And until my problems are solved and my computer is up and healthy again, that may be what I'll have to do.

Even worse, when my computer was running smoothly I had signed up for a site called "Incredimail" because the icons and stuff I could use in emails were so cute! You can only access Incredimail from your own computer. What it does is take the mail from your regular email address and transfer it over to this new place called Incredimail. If you never turn your computer on, then you can access your mail from a different computer by using your regular email address and that works great when I'm out of town. But with this virus thing it doesn't want me going to Incredimail, or Quicken, or anything else I'd like to get into.

It made me wonder when my life changed so that I depend on this little machine suddenly to know if I have any money left in the bank! Or what I'm supposed to be doing on any certain day (you know, the Spark Appointment Reminder?) and gee! I don't even know how to find out what's playing at the movies without my computer! Or check the weather! I'm brain dead, all because my computer has a bug! I guess it's contagious -- because when it's sick, I feel out of sorts too!

Hey! I've having a hard time hugging my friends even!! But don't forget me, I'll still out there somewhere! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROSY_TIAMO 3/9/2010 6:19PM

    I absolutely love my computer. I have learned so much in the past few years that I probably never would have known if not for my computer. I feel so lucky to be able to be part of this high tech world we live in. It never ceases to amaze me that I am able to connect with people all over the world in the comfort of my home.

We do have to be careful, but it boggles my mind. I think if I had the opportunity to learn the computer when I was in school, I would definitely be a computer geek. As it was, I learned by trial and error. I do have to say that I have had days when I wanted to toss it out the window, but I would be completely lost without it.

Rosy/Tiamo emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CATLADY52 3/9/2010 12:24PM

    They can be incredibly insidious in getting into our lives. And it doesn't get any easier when some little thing, that you didn't want in the first place is doing the damage. I have wanted to tear my hair out over some of the popup ads that take over the control of the machine.

Just imagine what life would be like without computers. Scary, eh?

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FREELADY 3/9/2010 7:56AM

    Wow, this must be incredibly frustrating!

But don't beat yourself up over the computer dependency. My perspective is that you have just figured out more efficient ways to do all those things, and the computer happens to make it possible. (When my dishwasher is broken, I really notice the difference. But I don't question whether it was reasonable to rely on it all those previous months.)

You sound very resourceful, such as using the library and other alternatives. Hope this stressful roadblock is over soon for you!
emoticon emoticon

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Will I Ever Learn???

Saturday, March 06, 2010

emoticon It's kind of ironic that the last blog I put on here was all about the new romantic interest in my life. And now this blog is about how I need to be a little higher priority in this guys life. It's bad enough to come after the kids, and even the grandkids, but now it seems that even rebuilding a gazebo is a higher priority than me!

It started out on a Wednesday -- it was supposed to be "our" day; at least it was until his daughter texted him and asked if he could baby-sit for the afternoon. I knew before he even answered that the answer would be "sure, honey." There is nothing his daughter could ask for that wouldn't earn that answer. So I told him I'd clean house and make us a nice dinner. That turned out to be fine.

The next morning I left to volunteer at the Library and he set out on a couple of errands to the VA Admin. and his bank. I arrived home before him at about 12:45 and he called about 1:30. Guess what? He was baby-sitting again! And he said he'd be too tired to come over when he was done. I simply told him we all have "choices to make." He didn't call that night to say good-night. He didn't call all of the next day until about 5:30 at night. Even then it was just to say he had been grocery shopping (and paying for it) for his daughter -- and the next day he was going to rebuild their gazebo for them because there was some wind damage. So evidently even a handyman job has a higher priority than me! I wonder what the son-in-law does? Probably nothing with this built-in nanny/handyman/ ATM-machine of a father-in-law! Hey, they've got it made in the shade!

I phoned his cell phone tonight after not hearing from him all day AGAIN! The message I left was short, but not sweet. "Please return my garage door opener." And tonight I'm thinking -- "Is it me? Am I all screwed up? Or should I just quit dating and slide into old age or whatever?"

emoticon I'm waiting for my a-ha moment, but nothing is coming!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARGOMCP 3/8/2010 7:29AM

    I'm sorry it didn't work out better, Eve. I think it's harder for guys than for us women setting boundaries for ourselves and doing the hard thinking about what's important, etc. I know you'll miss the companionship though.

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SCOTMAMA 3/7/2010 11:47PM

    On my own behalf I'd like to say I was not against him helping his daughter, or even baby-sitting. What hurt the most was his complete disregard to stay in touch with me. An email, a phone call -- wouldn't you think I would be occupying some small part of his mind in this new romance we had?

Today we broke up officially. He said his asthma has been acting up due to the rain we've been having, and he saw his own brother die from that, it evidently runs in his family. So, there may have been times he DID think of calling, but didn't, as he sees it as hopeless to have a serious romance.

I could have chosen better words for my blog perhaps. All I can say is that I was hurting at the time, so it came out as more venting than blogging. I'm sad, but I guess this is just how it's meant to be.

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VANILLAFISH 3/7/2010 11:48AM

    Oh, Eve, I'm so sorry that you're feeling left out. I just read your previous blog and you sounded so happy and hopeful; a sharp contrast to this one.

My mother went through a similar situation in a remarriage, and the man's "first choice" of his children led to the end of the marriage a mere 6 months later. To this day, she wishes she'd tried harder to understand her new husband's situation. I can imagine that it might be difficult being used to having your children at the center of your life and then finding yourself having to suddenly back-burner them when a new love comes into your life.

That said, you DO deserve to fit in this man's schedule more than he's including you now. What about alternating time with his children with time with you, rather than three or four consecutive times with his children and none for you?

I hope that you can both sit down and discuss this. If you can talk about it, you can work out some kind of compromise. It doesn't have to be his children OR you. It can be both. I truly hope that your feelings for one another can overcome this.

Best wishes to you. I haven't "known" you long, but from reading your words here, I can tell you have a kind and generous soul. You deserve to be happy and loved.



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4CINDY2010 3/7/2010 11:10AM

  Better to find out now, rather than later, before you invest too much more of your time. emoticon

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ANNANN63 3/7/2010 7:34AM

    I married at age 48 to a 60 year old with 5 children, one of whom is handicapped. I accepted that his children and grandchildren were and are very important to him. I was lucky because early on in our relationship one of his granddaughters had a birthday (4th) and in front of me, his daughter told him that he was invited but he could not bring me because her mother would be there and she did not want to deal with her mother and dad having a girlfriend when it was all about her daughter. I completely understood the situation. DH said he would not be attending. I later told him he should go but he would not. He understood his daughter's request but wasn't going without me.

His kids and grandkids are still important and they are very good to me but I am important to him. He doesn't do things for his family; we do things for his family--things we agree to do.

Maybe it is too early in a relationship to expect more from him but I would think that if he really wants time with you, he would make more of an effort. I wonder how he would feel if you canceled on him at the last minute for your family?

Bottom line--if he doesn't make you feel valued--you are missing a vital element in a relationship.

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ROSY_TIAMO 3/7/2010 4:23AM

    As I look at it from my perspective, it's definitely harder the second or third time around. When my divorced daughter was dating again, the only thing I looked for in any of the guys she was dating, is how they treated her son, my amazing grandchild, Mikey. I felt if they didn't accept him, then she could never be happy with a lasting relationship.

She did date a couple who either ignored her son, or were downright mean. Thank God she met and married a wonderful man who is a loving and caring step dad. He has 4 grown children of his own, and I see how my daughter accepts them. She said she understands how much he loves his kids, and she is willing to make sacrifices on their behalf because she loves her man.

It is hard, but you have to be willing to accept children from a first marriage or it will never work. That's only my opinion, but I've seen it happen. When Mikey was only about 10 yrs. old, and my daughter started going out with her now husband, Mikey said to me, "Grammy, I hope he's not another jerk!" Mikey (and I) got his wish. He turned out not to be, and is a loving role model for my wonderful grandson. I got a kick out of that, "Out of the mouths of babes".

Rosy emoticon

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