It Comes With Age ~

We spend much of our youth searching for someone to spend the rest of our lives with, not realizing that it means a VERY long time. 🙂 That’s right THE SAME MAN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!! That’s obviously a joke. My Mom and Dad have known one another since they were twelve so I have seen first hand what it is like to spend the rest of your life with someone. I don’t remember any time growing up where I felt like that might change. I admire them both for their commitment and vow they took so seriously, not many do.

When we meet our potential partner in our twenties or thirties we naturally want to take the next step towards marriage so we live with and spend every waking moment together, well not every waking moment, but you know what I mean. We live our lives side by side, some on top of one another and others quite far apart but nevertheless we spent most of our time together.

Then we enter middle age and our kids, if we had any, are growing and entering the same cycle that we have, hopefully with less mistakes and more life experience. We grow and unfold and change in all different directions. Some of us grow with our partners and others grow away from them. Ideally if we have a partner who is our best friend, we can at least maintain the friendship. I have never understood even in my teens why two people can’t remain friends just because as a couple they didn’t work out, with the exception of a wrong doing.

As we age and move into different chapters of our lives, things change, we change. Some of us are faced with moving forward in that next chapter independent of anyone else. I think it comes with age, the understanding that being independent is not the same as being alone. In the evolution of a growing relationship this change doesn’t have to be a negative one. It’s how you perceive it, that counts.

I am independent moving ahead in my life, but I am certainly not alone. What I have learned is that although my relationship has been redefined it is far from over and has an entire future ahead of it that is waiting for me to experience and embrace. So my fairy tale romance may not have turned out traditional like my parents, but it has evolved and reached levels most together couples have never come close to. I wouldn’t change that for anything!

Personal growth is a wonderful feeling when you can accept things and move forward without any resentment or regret. That is the part of being in your 40’s, for me, I love the most. As you age you accept changes you might not have in your earlier years. You smile more, trust your heart, love more deeply and accept the things you cannot change. Sinéad O’Connor’s song “Feels So Different” first three lines has stuck with me for year.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference”  Reinhold Niebuhr

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What To Do When Your Girlfriend Dumps You~

tracy-pic3Have you ever been dumped by your Girlfriend? I think it would be worse than being dumped by your boyfriend but that’s just me. I have never been dumped by a girlfriend, that I was aware of. Girlfriend tend to drift apart depending on what’s going on in our lives, but the real ones are always there no matter how much time has passed since you saw them last. I am so lucky to have girlfriends like that!

I am fortunate that my close girlfriends are very understanding and independent, we have known one another for a long time, so we just get each other. I don’t think I have ever done anything that would be classified as dump worthy, at least nothing that is morally wrong or value based. Every women who has blood flowing through their veins has “questionable moments”, it’s our hormones and personality quirks that cause us to be a difficult friend at times. I strive to be a better friend and the girlfriends I do have make me want to be a better person.

When I first started this post I said I had never been dumped by a girlfriend, but in the time it took to publish (couple of weeks) I found out I had been dumped by a long time friend. We only kept in touch through Facebook but I was happy we at least had that. Facebook allows you to continue friendships that would otherwise be lost because of distance or our busy lives. After wishing her husband, one of the greatest guys I know, Happy Birthday on Christmas Eve, and not getting to talk to her, I logged into Facebook to reconnected again…she deleted me as her friend! I was shocked, especially after just writing this post days before. I don’t know what I did, perhaps she was just “cleaning house” with everyone she doesn’t see on a regular basis, I too have been guilty of that. Regardless of the reason, it made me feel like I had lost a part of my past, an important one to me. When someone consciously deletes you from their life, no matter whether it’s a male or female, in person or online, it doesn’t feel good.  So there you have it, I have been dumped by a girlfriend, on Christmas Eve no less, someone I felt was a part of my circle. I still love her husband though, and will continue to call him on his birthday!

Here’s what I found online~ According to Irene S Levin, PhD, author of Best friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, the romanticized notion that best friends are forever is a myth. She says being ditched by a close girlfriend can be incredibly painful, especially when you had no idea you were going to be dumped. Here’s how Irene would navigate this difficult situation:

Put the breaks on your reaction, first off, step back and really think things through, because reacting out of anger or hurt could make the situation even worse. One of the most important things to consider is whether you actually want to salvage this friendship. “Use this as an opportunity for assessment. Are you just hurt because your once-friend dumped you or because it is truly a friendship that you valued?” says Levin.

If you want to save the friendship you’ll need to summon up the courage to talk and be the one to extend the olive branch. Until you do talk, you have no idea of what is really going on. Levin says that women often fall into the trap of assuming that they know what their friend is thinking, although that may be completely erroneous.

Be prepared to accept responsibility if you did do something wrong. “You may have disappointed your friend or betrayed her trust. Whatever the case, don’t be too stubborn to be the first to apologize or forgive. Admitting your own blame may open the door for her to assume her share of responsibility for the misunderstanding,” says Levin.
If however, your ex-friend is not interested in trying to fix what went wrong, you need to respect the boundaries they have set.  It may have less to do with you than with other things going on in her life.

So how can you get over the loss if the friendship is truly over, feeling heartbroken is a normal reaction.  Levin says that there are stages of grief that women characteristically go through after the loss of a friend: These include: shock and denial, loss, self-blame, embarrassment and shame, anger, and finally, acceptance and sometimes relief.

Grow from the experience, once the shock has worn off, look back and see what you got out of the friendship. There may be many great things that you learned from being her friend, or perhaps not.  Ending a friendship that isn’t working leaves you more time for more satisfying ones.

My girlfriends are one of the best parts of my life!

To my circle of girlfriends~ I love you !

Tracy signiture

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