Forever Changing…

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IMG_0096_3_2When you let go of expectation in life, things change. Expectation breeds disappointment. Disappointment stops us from taking chances. Most of us have taken a chance with our hearts but not without fear that the crack we have already tried to mend over time will continue to grow. What must it feel to have a heart that has not felt the power of love. For if you have felt this love, you have experienced what our heart is truly for.

Expectation is rarely greeted with a smile. Disappointment is always felt with a frown. I don’t like the feeling of being expected to do something that I am not ready for. Putting yourself in the shoes of another allows you to understand how a simple expectation can change the path on which we walk.

I feel homesick now and then because what I once had is so far away. I have to reflect deep inside to muster up the feelings that used to sit near the surface of my being. A distant memory that is fading with time.

I have done a lot of soul searching over the years. I have learned to take time for myself to grow and evolve in matters of the heart. I have found peace amongst the chaos that would normally ruffle my feathers. There are many different shades of love if you open your heart to the possibilities.

Love is forever changing. Learning to love oneself is the most important love you can give.

So although life feels like it is forever changing and what was is no longer, we can still find a place that makes sense to us.

A place we feel warm and safe on our own.

T

The Artwork above is of the Beautiful Spirit Kathy Kromer. Although we have never met we connected through her artwork, her having the passion in doing it and I having the love for hearts. I came across her site and fell in love. We connected, she followed my writing and I envied her ability to create her art. After getting a sense of who I am and my love for hearts, she said this painting was meant for me and she sent it to me out of the blue. I am reminded each day to “Fall in Love with Life” and I smile every time I think of Kathy!

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Is Marriage Changing?

I am certainly no marriage expert but I do have parents who met when they were 12 so I had two great role models growing up. Does that make my odds better at having a successful marriage? Define successful? I personally think the constitution of marriage needs to bend slightly with the times. (ie same sex marriages) Everyones idea of marriage is quite different.

I don’t think anyone should ever compare their marriage to another. It should really be about what you define marriage to be; romantic, arranged, conventional, convenient, contractual, legal or a verbal commitment. We are all unique and have our own ideas of what marriage should be. For some, marriage doesn’t even have to include love. I personally wouldn’t marry for anything but. If you had nothing except the cloths on your back, would you still be smiling knowing you had him walking along side you on a path to the unknown?

I think if you are even going to consider tying the knot make it loose to start. Tying the knot sounds so restrictive. In my opinion you should be able to walk independent of the other, side by side, not smothering one another. Let each other breathe, allow room for each of you to unfolding and grow, every now and then distance yourselves to miss one another.

Lawmakers in Mexico City are proposing a new marriage licence that would allow couples to split after a two-year trial rather than go through a lengthier divorce process. No more ’till death to us part’, quite frankly the odds are against you when you take this leap of faith to begin with. A life sentence? Yup that’s right the same man for the r-e-s-t of your life. (insert w-o-m-a-n if it makes you feel better) If you’re not madly passionately lustfully in love, I say don’t do it!

A brief two year commitment would be a way of testing out married life. If however you decide before the two years are up, you have to file and go through regular divorce proceedings. Isn’t that what living together is? Marriage is not for everyone, people change which simply can’t be predicted.

Do you really need a piece of paper to be in a committed union? It’s just a piece of paper… if it’s just a piece of paper why not do it? Again it’s what you’re okay with, not what everyone ‘thinks’ is acceptable.

Lots of women compare their marriage with their friends, which to me is a big mistake. It is just another way of keeping up with the Joneses. Comparing your marriage with anyone else is a recipe for disappointment. It’s almost as bad as comparing your sex life. Expectations should be thrown out the window with obligations put on us from past relationships, generations and social behaviours.

Marriage and relationships are about compromise and redefining what it means to you as you grow and unfold. Marriage doesn’t always last forever but if you enter into it loving passionately with an open heart it will be a life experience that can last forever.

 

 

 

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Take Chances!

When was the last time you took a chance? Chance; the possibility of something happening. Not gamble; play games of chance for money. Not Risk; a situation involving exposure to danger. I mean a chance in business, friendship or with the opposite sex, that if taken could change everything. We take chances with choices every single day. Sometimes you need to make a choice however before you take a chance.

We take chances on relationships every time we meet someone new. We take a chance that they are who they say they are. Some men/women don’t yet know who they are. They can be a work in progress that lasts a lifetime. To find someone authentic is a breath of fresh air. Knowing who you truly are is a feat not everyone is able to reach. How can anyone be expected to be taken at face value if they don’t know what their value is?

Who are you? A valid question that in time can be answered in depth. That’s where the chance is taken. It’s hard to get to know someone who doesn’t quite know who they are yet themselves. On the other hand it’s easy to get to know someone who does.

When you first meet someone you should throw your expectations right out the window and let them just be who they are. And when they show you who they are believe them! If you think even once…if they would just change____stop and walk away! They are not who you are looking for if you need to change them EVER!

Choices stand directly in front of us, waiting for us to take the chance. Chances come with a feeling of exhilaration. Taking a chance if honesty is present is worth every single moment.

I love taking chances, hate making choices! I usually just go with my instinct. If it feels right do it. Having said that it doesn’t always work out in my favour but at least I try. I’ve tried dipping my toe in life one foot at a time, being cautious and careful. Now I am jumping in with both feet making a splash to see where the water ends up. I am certainly not afraid of getting wet! I think when you trust your instinct, chances are easier to take. The choice is made for you. Everything just happens as it should. Perhaps not always as you thought but as it should have never-the-less. Live and learn.

If you’re trying to make a choice that you think you need to make but it just doesn’t seem clear…leave it for a while. A chance will sometimes appear out of the blue that you can’t turn your back on which will make the choice easy. This is one thing I know for sure!

Here are a few quotes I wanted to share with you about choice and chance…
The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved…William Jennings Bryan.
Leap and the net will appear…Zen saying
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take…Wayne Gretzky.
You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do…Henry Ford.
In the end, what we regret most are the chances we never took…Frasier Crane.
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place…Zora Neale Hurston.
Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learned here…Marianne Williamson.
Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it…Buddha.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world…Mahatma Gandhi.
Life is ever changing. You never really know your path until you are walking it, still then it’s not always your choice that changes its direction, most important is that you just keep going…Tracy Westerholm.

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Deal Breakers – What Are Yours?

If you met someone new and were attracted to them physically, what would be a deal breaker for you? I had this conversation with a man who I find attractive…we’ll leave it at that! He was looking at my ears for an extended length of time, which I didn’t notice at first, but then he let the cat out of the bag, big ears are a deal breaker for him! “Seriously” was all I could say, while laughing nervously wondering…”Do I have big ears?” I don’t, but you never know what someone else’s perception is of you.

I’ve learnt as a woman when a man says you have…lets say ‘small ears‘, just go with it. You don’t argue or debate it, you have small ears from that point on for the rest of your life! He also told me a moustache was another one of his deal breakers, phew is all I could think, thank god for tweezers and a 10X10 mirror! I am starting to think it’s very important in your 40’s to date men who wear glasses! You have no idea how tempting it was for me to wear a set of dumbo ears and a black stache when we met for coffee! The stache I can take care of but what if I did have big ears? Would he really not want to hang out with me?

So, having had this conversation, it made me wonder what my deal breakers might be? I say that like I’ve never even had a list! lol I called Bonnie and explained our conversation and said I couldn’t think of mine! She actually laughed out loud and said in a stupefied voice “YOU HAVE TONS!” I replied in denial “I do? I did? I’ve changed!” Hmmmm I guess I have a few but I really have changed over the years and I think some of my deal breakers are now negotiable. I am not looking for a man to have perfect babies with or someone who I will spend the next 50 years with…hang on that’s actually possible, the 50 years part! I am looking for someone who can be themselves around me, who is confident and has no expectations. I’ve learned to accept people for who they are, flaws and all! But I guess we all have things we just can’t get past. If I was really in love and I mean head over heels in love with someone, would I even see what might have been a deal breaker in my past?

I try not to look at what I don’t find attractive as much as what I do find attractive. Having said that, I also know that when someone does something that grates on you, it can be hard to ignore! 🙂 But that works both ways and is where compromise works its way to the surface of any union. Physical appearance is something we can’t always change, so it wouldn’t bother me as much as behaviour in someone. Arrogance for example, is a turn off for me. Sense of humour is a huge turn on. Vulgarity; turn off, chivalry; turn on! Intellect I would take over dumb and handsome every time! Do you see what I mean, it doesn’t have to be a physical deal breaker. I like to focus on the positive, like a man’s hands, hard working hands that can take care of me…sexy. There is so much to love about men, I won’t list all the parts of the body I find attractive, I’ve written that post on my ‘other’ blog…Male Sexy Bits. The bottom line, every man is unique and has attractive qualities. That’s what you should focus on!

I think for me if a man is healthy, and lives by example I could overlook a few things, if he was willing in return. Cause we all know unless you’re willing to turn that magnifying mirror around, don’t go there! If a man takes care of himself and loves himself, and there is natural chemistry between the two of us, I don’t see how I couldn’t fall for him. I look at it like this…If I am going to put my time and love into another human being I want to know that they care about themselves as much as I do.

So I guess my only real deal breaker would be someone who doesn’t take care of themselves in mind, body and spirit. We all eventually pass on, so for me the time we spend here should be cherished, in the moment living life to the fullest, so our time here on earth is well spent! I keep fit for my heart and soul, I eat to live and laugh for mental health! Here’s to the next 50 years, I can hardly wait to meet you! 🙂 (or maybe we already have!)

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Dating Etiquette

datingI’ve been thinking of dating and came across some tips online for those of us who have been out of it for awhile.  Scott and I have been giving each other pointers on what is acceptable and what might not be when you start to date someone ‘new’.  I use the term ‘new’ loosely because I visualize the person I want to date as being anything but ‘new’.  New is shiny and clean and something you don’t want to touch because you might leave finger prints.  I am thinking more along the lines of disheveled, (not dirty) someone who looks like they’ve had some life experience, needs a challenge, has been around the block before and knows all the good places for fun and adventure.

When Scott and I are hanging out which is pretty much all the time because we are best friends, we comment on what the other person has just done that might be frowned upon by someone else.  We all know that after being with someone for 17 odd years your comfort levels start to slide just a tad!  At some point we either ignore the obvious or we just don’t care anymore and have become accepting or relaxed about our partners habits or questionable behavior.  A few examples are flatulence, personal hygiene and wardrobe selection.  Guilty, guilty, guilty!

When you put yourself out there again for the first time isn’t it just better to start out the way you mean to end?  I think it’s going to be hard to adjust my attitude and become aware that my date isn’t going to ‘get me’ or understand me right off the bat.  It takes time to really get to know someone ‘new’ and there are tons of bumps in the road throughout that process.  History with someone has comfort.  But that magical feeling of not knowing what is swirling around in the mind of ‘new’ and what comes next is the flip side of the coin.  If you could keep some of the unknown in a relationship with history, well now you’ve got something !

Now, if we are talking about Scott, he has no filter and is who he is, so I am not sure he is even going to try to adjust any kind of attitude.  I am starting to get on board with his thinking, it might be the only way to go.  Take me or leave me, it makes no difference to me.  Now that might be misconstrued as an attitude of not caring when in fact it’s just being real.

Online Dating tips: (I’ve added my own comments at the end.)

1) Promptness ~ don’t leave your date waiting, nobody likes to wait for anyone, it’s rude!

2) Smoking ~  Don’t, if you don’t care if your here in 10 years why should anyone else?

3) Make an effort to be clean and smell good ~ Scott just read over my shoulder and gave me a pointer “Tracy you stink” it came with ‘the look’, you know the one, the ‘you stink’ look.  In my defense we just got back from a 10K run, point taken, I should go shower and then resume my writing.  Horry (that’s sorry in Spanish lol) take me or leave me, I’m writing and don’t like to be interrupted when I am on a roll. (Comfort level slide example)

4) Truth ~ flip side, if you don’t want to hear it, don’t ask.

5) Never pretend to be single when you’re not. ~ come on, who hasn’t played ‘pretend I’m single‘ just once?

Here are my Dating tips:Kissing Date

1) Show up with a good attitude ready for anything.

2) Be prepared for kissing, that means floss the steak out of your teeth from the night before, gargle,brush your tongue, there is nothing worse than bad breath!

3) Who cares if he is not ‘the one’ maybe he’s fun, so get that thought out of your pretty little head that your looking for a husband and you will be guaranteed a better time!

4) If you want to sleep with him, your choice! Be safe!  But be prepared NOT to meet his mom!

5) Have absolutely no expectations, enjoy him for who he is.  It might only last two weeks but it could be two of the best two weeks of your life, so expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed!

6) Flirt!  Otherwise known as a compliment (if you mean it) Enjoy the flirty sexual chemistry.   It rarely lasts!

7) Leave something for next time, or there won’t need to be one!

8) Be yourself!  And let him be himself!  The all time biggest mistake women make in my opinion is to try to change the man they start out with.

Dating should be a blast!  Who really cares if your not the perfect match.  Nobody is so stop trying to find perfect.  And if it doesn’t work out maybe you found a good friend, a Best friend even!  To hang out with your best friend at the end of the day, isn’t that what we are all looking for?  Just go with it  and have fun!Tracy

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Obligations and Expectations.

TracyObligations and expectations are something everyone accumulates over time.  They can sneak up on you if you’re not careful.  They start to layer themselves on us until we start to feel like our lives are being directed by everyone but us.  Family obligations are one thing, such as celebrations and doing things for other family members because we want to, but it’s another story when acquaintances start to guilt you into doing what they think is something you should do, because they feel obligated to.  People do this when they don’t know how to say no.

With great friendships and true love there are no obligations or expectations.  Fear is full of obligations.  Fear of not fitting in.  Fear of what people will think if you say “no”.  Fear of being a minority.  Fear of not being accepted if you don’t play along with the politics.  Fear of being judged.  Fear is a horrible emotion that leads you further away from who you truly are.  Fear nothing and you will make the right decisions.  Without fear you can live your life truthfully and authentically.  The next time someone puts their obligations onto you ask yourself  ” Is this really something I want to do?” If the answer is no then chances are it is an obligation trying to be put on you.

When I first started to see this happening in my life I was unsure of how to deal with it.  I finally just said “no”.  I stood back and looked at the person who was trying,  I will repeat trying, to put their obligations on to me.  I flat out refused to accept it.  People who over book themselves are really pro at putting their obligations on others.  If their doing it, so should you.  Soon their family and life gets overtaken by what they feel expected to do until they no longer have control over their own lives.  Family dinners get cancelled, the time they used to spend for themselves is gone because of the obligations they have accepted throughout the years.  It’s a Dominos Effect.

People in general these days are busier than ever, and there isn’t enough time in the day for everything they’re obligated to do.  In my opinion we need to get back to the basics and quit accepting more things to do.  We need to have our family be our priority and spend more quality time together.  We need to stop overbooking our kids and ourselves and start living our lives for us.

I am not certain whether it was an age thing with me in being able to say “no” or that I really just have my time and my family as a priority.  I think it’s a combination of both.  If we don’t start making changes, our family time will become a scheduled event marked on our calender along with everything else.  For many this is already the norm, but it’s never too late to reevaluate if your time is well spent or balanced.  Life is too short to have it filled with obligations we didn’t feel good about to begin with.

That’s just my opinion!  Comments are always Welcome !

Tracy

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