Why Don’t We Keep Dating?

Dating is such a wonderful thing. We are energized and excited to get to know another person. We are exploring places we might have already been, but with a new person so it feels new. We hold hands. We hug on each other. We kiss often. So much laughing and giggling and love.

Then as the years add up, dating becomes less important. We see each other all of the time and know pretty much everything there is to know. We rarely hold hands or kiss, especially around other people. We just live life each day and don’t focus on the things that kept us as physically close as we used to be. Less giggling, some laughing, a different kind of love.

As time goes on, there is less conversation. Things we never cared about before start to becoming extremely annoying. We get on each others’ nerves easier. The love is there, but life has changed and so has the relationship since we fell in love.

But why? Why do we lose the dating? Why does everything become so serious? Why do we forget about the little things that used to bring us closer together?

I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for any of this. What I do know is, that no matter how good or even great our relationships may be, the loss of dating and these little things make a big difference in our daily lives. I also think that right now, today, the day this is posted, we are living in such a different time in life that is challenging all of us. Some of us are spending literally all day every day with our spouse. We might only have a wall, separate ends of the house, or different levels of our house between us. We are always around each other. While, yes, we agreed to a life together, we may need time away from one another.

I think Eddie and I are definitely at this point. We spend too much time together and things that never used to bother one of us, are definitely bothersome. We are finding new ways to be apart while being together. I’m going to the grocery store by myself more often. I’m sending him to his cousin’s and best friend’s. We are finding new ways to get out that won’t put us in a position of encountering someone who may be ill. We are working to get into the mountains more without being at popular destinations. I’m pushing for us to find our own hobbies and goals more than I ever have.

While going out on dates right now is not as easy as it once was, there are things we can try to do to change up our seemingly monotonous days. I saw a TikTok where a couple wrote up a list of things to shop for that reminds or describes the other person. Those became gifts for each other. It looked fun and like a great way to date while working around social distancing.

Let’s get creative and find new ways to date after many years in our relationships. We’ve got to bring back those feelings we had early on and laugh and giggle and kiss again.

It’s Time to Rebuild

Life is a lot different today compared to just a couple of months ago. If there is anybody who can say that it isn’t, please tell them to share their story with me. I mean, how can it not be? Everyone went through the toilet paper rush and the lack of meat in stores and the boomerang advice of ‘wear the mask’, ‘no, don’t wear the mask’, ‘okay, yes wear the mask’. Others also went through trauma of one sort or another. Some are still in that trauma. For those who have or are still there, my prayers are with you. I don’t know how to help any other way right now.

We all used to have a life that we were living, sometimes without a concern of tomorrow. I used to travel for work frequently. I would go to friends homes or have double-date nights out or just go shopping. We have many expos and events that have been canceled this year. Absolutely every plan we had for this year has been canceled or rescheduled to next year. I haven’t traveled outside of Utah since early March. There have been zero double-date nights.

Life is different.

My husband now also works from home 100 percent of the time. His company is unwilling to open an office while cases are so high. They have no date in sight of when they will return to the office. We went from sharing an office to selling a guest bed so we could have our own offices. We have lunch together pretty much every day.

Life is different.

Is that a good thing or no?

In my life, my response is yes and no. No because I don’t get to travel and so many fucking people are dying or getting sick with last side effects that nobody knows how to cure, or if there is even a cure. Yes because we were forced to slow down and our society has been upended, hopefully paving the way for some better years.

Through all of the trauma and pain and change, we have a unique opportunity. We get to rebuild a new life. We get to design how we live our life as we come out of this pandemic. Do we know when exactly that will be? No. We don’t need to. We get this time to slow down and really take stock of what is important to us. Did you want to go back to school but couldn’t find the time? Did you want to start a garden? Yes, you did because all of you new gardeners took all of the supplies I normally buy. Did you want to pick up a new hobby or side gig? Did you want a new pet but didn’t have time to dedicate to training? Yeah, a lot of you have cleared out shelters. Thank you and be good to those pets.

For me, I don’t know how I will rebuild my life. What I do know is that I want to be more intentional on my health, my personal growth, my relationship, and my hobbies. I want to make more time for the house projects and the family (this includes friends) that are close enough to see. We need to be with them more often. I want to grow this website and our overlanding site as well.

I am going to build my life coming out of this pandemic intentionally.

How are you going to build your future? What are you changing? What are you keeping?

Thoughts About Family

I’ve seen so many quotes that say things like “family is everything” or “blood is thicker than water.” These are all over social media and people use them in everyday conversation. The underlying theme is that, no matter what, family sticks together.

I wish life was as simple as that. For some families, it is. For mine, it is not. If I were to stick with my family no matter what, I would not be where I am today. I would be living a much different life supporting people who only take from others or supporting everything the drug addicts do. If family was the only thing that mattered in life, my life would be miserable and depressing.

The thing about family is you can’t choose who your blood family is, but you can choose who you consider family. Blood may literally be thicker than water, but familial blood does not have to rule your life. Your life is yours to live.

I choose to associate and keep close quite a bit of my family. I used to force relationships with more of my family but got tired of being the only one who put effort into those relationships. Keeping family close means different things for all of them. It depends on the relationship. It depends on their efforts as well as mine. Relationships are a two-way street.

I have family I would give a chance to have a relationship once they turn 18 and can make decisions for themselves. I have family that will never have a chance to come back into my life. That sounds harsh, but it is my reality. I choose not to support those who keep taking more and more from me or those who abuse drugs and emotionally abuse those who take care of him.

That brings me to my father. I don’t even like calling him that. It feels dirty. It feels wrong. I could use sperm donor, I think that is from a movie, but I can’t think which one. But I’ll call him dumbass because that is what he is. Dumbass has been a drug addict most of my life. It has escalated year after year. More and more drugs. From meth to opioids, he is or has been on all of them. Well, dumbass broke his ankle, got home from the hospital and then overdosed on what he had in stock. If my grandmother had not called my sister worried because he wouldn’t answer the phone, he would have been there on his own and may have possibly died. How do I feel about that? He died to me many years ago. There is no feeling left there except for disgust and annoyance. Today I am more frustrated that he keeps manipulating my grandmother to pay for things that allow him to be home and continue using drugs. Dumbass text me two days late for my birthday and included the typical poor me message. First, he got my phone number from my grandmother’s phone without my permission and has sent harassing messages a few times since. Second, this is the first birthday in over 10 years that he even bothered to try to get a hold of me. Selfish. He is extremely selfish.

Recently, one of my friend’s lost her dad due to health complications. I was more devastated about his death that I would have been for dumbass’. Her dad was a good dad. He was loving and funny and a guy I enjoyed being around. I can’t imagine not hearing his jokes and voice ever again. He was more to me than I ever thought. It sucks that death brought those feelings. I already miss him and it’s been years since I saw him.

Family is not just comprised of those who you share blood with. Family doesn’t have to be people you see or talk to frequently. In my opinion, family is a connection that can’t be explained. My family is comprised of more than just my blood relatives and I will do anything for that family.

Consistency And Stability

My parents got divorced when I was 12. Every year after that, my mother moved us to a new home or moved our trailer to a new location. We were always moving. Gone were the days of any consistency with life. Stability? Yeah that didn’t exist either.

I moved out when I was 17 and moved frequently for a few years after that. I think the longest I was in one place was when I lived in Ohio for 22 months. Once I moved out on my own, I also changed doctors and hairstylists frequently. Nothing was really consistent in my life, except for a couple of friends.

I lived with Eddie at his mom’s house for 18 months and then we moved to Utah. I stayed with some friends at the time for a few months (Eddie was traveling 100 percent of the time for work), then we got an apartment. Then we bought a house. We moved into this house in March of 2014.

The most consistent and stable things in my life have been two friendships, my almost nine year relationship with Eddie, raising Chloe for seven years, living in our home for six years, and my hairstylist, dentist, and chiropractor of six years.

I realized the other day that my life is finally changing to what I always dreamed it would be and that is probably because I am finally consistent with a few things in my life. For me, my life always felt like it was in turmoil, nothing was ever just good.

Our home is still in renovation mode and we still have things we need to pay off, but that is okay. This is our little piece of heaven and stability that I’ve always craved. We have a built a life of stability that I almost thought I would never have. I built a desire to have more than what I grew up with and I have it.

I don’t think I would have been able to truly care for my health or my emotions, or even quit drinking if I didn’t have this stability and consistency in my life. I wouldn’t be here today.

A lot of people don’t think twice about how long they’ve lived somewhere or how long they have been going to the same dentist or hairstylist, but I do. I mean, until this dentist, I NEVER got cleanings because I wasn’t raised doing it. My hairstylist met me when I was more particular and a pain in the ass than ever and embraced keeping me as a client. When I realized how long I’ve been with her, I got emotional. Yeah, yeah, it could have been the period hormones, but I truly appreciate the consistency I’ve had with her. She is dear to me and we’ve been through some life together. Unless we moved states, which isn’t happening anytime soon, I don’t think I could leave her.

Being able to look back and see where I’ve come from to where I am today is kind of overwhelming. Holy crap, I just teared up. I can look back at all of the instability and inconsistency in my life and feel so much gratitude for where I am today.

If you are in the throws of instability and inconsistency, I want you to know that you can have both stability and consistency in your life. It doesn’t happen easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. If you are here reading this, you are showing yourself that you want more. The key to getting that more is taking life one step at a time. Start buying laying the first brick of your new foundation.

What is your picture of stability and consistency? Is it a consistent place to live, a consistent relationship, or even a consistent job? Lay one brick at a time. Find a place that gives you almost everything you look for in a home. For me, it was a yard, close to stores, space for guests, space for an office, and a garage. Lay one brick buy finding that place within your budget. You might have to get something that needs work, but that’s okay too.

You can get the consistency and stability you want in your life. One brick at a time. That’s how I have both in my life.

Won’t You Regret…

…pushing your parents out of your life?

Yes. No. Maybe. Probably not.

I know so many people who have wonderful relationships with their parents, or at least one of their parents. I know people who wish they knew their parents. I know people who have bit the bullet and tolerate relationships with their parents. I know people who, like me, have chosen to not associate with their parents at all.

I made this choice early on. I cut my mother off after I wasn’t required to use her taxes for my student aid. Even after I moved out of her house at 17, I rarely talked to her or saw her. I cut my mother off in my mid-twenties when I could finally get it across to my grandmother that I didn’t want to see my father.

My mother died almost three years ago from early-onset Alzheimer’s. It brought up a lot of emotions that I wasn’t prepared to handle at the time. It absolutely brought up regrets.

But her death also brought a lot of clarity to my life and my decisions. I am where I am today because I protected my peace and did what I needed to for my own sanity. I truly believe that if I hadn’t cut either out of my life, I would be on a completely different path in life.

So no, no I do not regret cutting either of them out of my life.

I absolutely wish I had those relationships. There are many times that I mourn the loss of those relationships knowing that it was my decision. I even tried to fabricate a relationship with my mother-in-law to replace my mother. It was a cry for love and attention and it didn’t go well. At least not in my opinion or for me. I am not sure her view of it. It wasn’t until I realized what I had been doing and stopped that I feel like my relationship with my mother-in-law got even better.

I won’t ever have the type of relationship with a blood-parent or parental figure that I want. I know that my view of that relationship has been highly skewed by movies and my childhood. Either way, I still don’t regret not allowing either parent in my life.

I don’t regret it now and I doubt I ever will.

Give Your Trust Away

I’ve heard this from a couple of the mentors that I follow. Gary Vee and Trent Shelton say this over and over again. I have been doing this for most of my life without any though. It was only in the past couple of years that I started to pull back on giving my trust away. I was tired of giving it away and getting rolled over. But there is a balance that can be had. A balance that I’m learning.

You see, when you give your trust away, you are open to wherever the relationship may go. When you give your trust away, you aren’t putting arbitrary limits on relationships. When you give your trust away, you aren’t bringing baggage to a relationship from a different relationship. You are starting fresh.

When I started to hold back on giving my trust away, I was bringing hurt and baggage from previous relationships to a new one without ever giving the new one a shot. I started resurrecting walls for people I didn’t even know. I started holding more things in again. I stopped sharing as much. I withheld trust, I withheld information, I withheld love, I withheld opportunities because of the baggage I was bringing.

Each time you withhold trust from a new relationship, you are dumping your baggage into that relationship. You are making it messy before there is ever the possibility of an amazing connection.

I keep referring to relationships in this conversation about trust, because we trust is about you and someone else. It could be about a situation, but most situations involve people. Most trust baggage involves people. People create situations. People are who we either trust or don’t.

I met some of my closest friends about five years ago. I didn’t freely give my trust away. I have been guarded. It has taken me five years to start releasing baggage from other relationships and start leaning into trust with these friends. It has only been in the past few months that I’ve even shared this website or my desire to become a life coach with them. I didn’t trust them.

You know why? Because I brought baggage from other relationships into these relationships. I was afraid of what they would say, I was afraid they wouldn’t want to be my friend, I was afraid they would think I was stupid, all because of situations with other people I gave my trust away to. I gave them pieces of trust through the years, more and more each year, when I wish I had given them all of my trust in the beginning.

Withholding trust doesn’t just affect personal relationships, it affects career relationships too. It can hold you back in your career because you are withholding trust from previous situations. Your previous boss was a dick? Yeah, not going to be fully open with the new boss until I feel him/her out. Bad move. Your previous coworkers kept you at an arm’s length? Not going to get too close to any coworkers at the new place. Bad move, that wasn’t about you, it was about them. The culture at your last job was tumultuous, at best. Not going to lean into the new culture until you can feel it out. Bad move. Jump in and be yourself.

The more we hold back our trust, the more we hold back who we are, the more we limit ourselves. Stop holding back, stop guarding your trust. It’s easy to take your trust back once it has been broken. It’s not easy to remove the baggage of not trusting.

Give your trust away and you will be amazed and the relationships you can and will form. Personally and professionally.

I Need A Mentor

A Mentor

I need a mentor. You need a mentor. How the hell do I find a mentor?!

I’ve asked myself this question for years. I’ve always heard successful people talking about their mentors and how they recommend everyone having a mentor. But I didn’t know how to find one who would take me on as a mentee.

Do I just find someone that I look up to and ask? How do I know if they would be good? Who do I look up to? What kind of relationship are we supposed to have? Question after question prevented me from acquiring a mentor.

Until I learned that mentors don’t have to be people that you have a two-way conversation with. Wait, WHAT?!?!

My mind was blown when I heard Rachel Hollis explain who some of her mentors were and that she had never even talked to some of them. My mind was blown. You mean that I could have mentors who have no idea I even exist? Is that really a mentor then?

Um, yes. Yes it is. And if you can’t tell, Rachel Hollis is one of my mentors. And so is Dave Hollis, Trent Shelton, Brené Brown, Andrea Owen, Rachelle Croft, and Kevin and Sarah McCuiston. I’m sure I have a few others, but these are the ones I follow the closest.

Here’s the thing, the definition of a mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. Nowhere does the definition state that the mentor has to know who you are or call you directly.

Here is why I refer to the above list of people as my mentors:

  1. They inspire me every day
  2. They teach me new habits and skills
  3. They provide resources to help me solve my own problems
  4. They communicate in a medium that I understand and relate to

I know that not everybody will view these one-sided relationships as a mentorship, but I do. I am a different person, a better person, because of the knowledge and insight they share. Whether it be from their books or their candid posts on social media, I am becoming a better version of myself because of what they share.

All of my mentors are in the personal development or overlanding space. I don’t have any that are in the project management space and that is okay. My list of mentors has evolved over the years as I’ve grown as a person. My mentors will continue to evolve.

No matter what medium you are looking for advice in, find a mentor. They don’t have to know who you are. You still can follow their work and learn from them. Find people who will challenge you to be a better version of yourself. Find people who will inspire you.

A mentorship relationship is what you want it to be. It doesn’t have to look like mine or anybody else’s.

Who are your mentors?

Assumptions

Assumptions are my kryptonite. I frequently devise my own assumptions before I know truth. I have always battled my assumptions and I assume I always will.

An assumption is defined as something that is accepted as true or certain to happen without proof.

My assumptions are what Eddie and I disagree over the most. Eddie pretty much doesn’t ever assume anything. I tend to assume everything.

One of my most frequent assumptions, regardless of who is in question, is that a person is mad at me. Sometimes it is even that I assume the person is angry at me. Or ashamed of me. Embarrassed by me. Hates me.

If you were to name any person in my family or friend group, at any point in time, I could tell you what I assume they feel about me. It isn’t just the assumption that is the problem though. The problem is how I react to that assumption.

My assumptions are always causing me problems. I am starting to realize that my main love language is words of affirmation. I believe that because I pretty much never hear words of affirmation from a person, they are mad at me or worse. I think that I connect never hearing good things from people with negativity.

This is a learned behavior. Learned as a child. Never corrected. Just identified. Literally. Just. Identified.

I saw the quote “Assumptions are the termites of relationships” from Henry Winkler this morning. I knew I had to talk about it. I sat to write this post and had no idea where I was going with it. I wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted, again and again. Then I started writing and got to a couple paragraphs above. It just flowed.

I finished listening to The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman this morning. I’ve been trying to figure out my primary love language and I think I just did.

I need to hear from my husband, my family, or my friends that they love me. And I need to hear it often. Some would call it needy. Prior to listening to The 5 Love Languages, I would have agreed. Now I know that is normal to need to hear words of affirmation. It is normal to not feel loved if I don’t hear it.

When I don’t hear words of affirmation, I jump to negative assumptions. These negative assumptions dictate how I act around and interact with people. I make it worse for myself because I start an interaction off with a negative tone.

My assumptions are eating away at relationships that I have. A little here. A little there. Little termites eating away at each and every relationship.

What I need to do now, is pay attention to each assumption I have and meditate on it to determine if that thought is truly an assumption or if it is the truth. I need to focus on my day-to-day relationships, then work on the relationships with those that I see often, then those that I see less often.

I can see how I can improve relationships that I have put a strain on. I can adjust my assumptions and adjust my expectations based on those assumptions.

I will not let my assumptions control my relationships any longer. I am going to take control of my assumptions. I have to.

 

Assumptions are the termites of relationships.