Wish Lists And Santa But Nothing To Do With Christmas

It has been longer than I ever intended it to be between posts and for that I apologize. But there are times when life happens and allowing it to interfere with my personal time schedule and goals is something I will not apologize for. Not anymore at least. There was a time when being off schedule caused me anxiety producing stress because I knew I wasn’t living up to another person’s standards. If the house wasn’t clean, the laundry done, the kids showered, etc. there was no way I’d be able to enjoy spending time with my loved ones. My life became a series of task after task trying to keep all the plates in the air (or rather washed and put away) instead of enjoying the people around me, especially my children, because that’s what was expected of me. So when I was freed from the constant reminder of what I wasn’t doing well enough (read: ex-husband) I made myself a vow to stop and leave the dishes in the sink so I could listen to my son tell me his theories on how to hi-breed a person and a bird. (Yes. That was an actual conversation).

I still tend to be task driven because essentially I feel I am most valuable when I’m meeting the needs of others, so the laundry and dishes do still get done. And the kids are showered every night without fail (unless of course its a weekend night, then I may let it slip). But now there is a difference in the motivation behind these tasks and sometimes that’s all the difference needed.  Now I do it because it is fulfilling to me and not because I’m trying to prove that I am good enough to meet someone else’s standard. Which means that sometimes allowing the messiness of life is more fulfilling than making sure my house is in order or that my post has been written. So no more apologizing for life’s interruptions!

In the same vein (if you stretch it) is my topic of discussion tonight: Overcoming unrealistic dating expectations.

In my last post I was pretty transparent regarding my fears about dating again. Admittedly some of these fears were the manifestation of my deep rooted insecurities, but the rest of them were based on the personal experiences of those close to me and documented statistics. For instance did you know that 67% of second, and 74% of third marriages end in divorce? And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed people I love jump into another relationship that is no different, and many times worse than, the one they just got out of. THAT was not an option for me.

So how was I going to safeguard myself from entering into another disastrous relationship?  That was to become my next personal project. Naturally I made a list! (I can be quite the list maker when the mood strikes.) I included all the qualities I was looking for in a relationship. Here’s an example from an actual journal entry of my qualities wish list:

Attractive
Nice Dresser
(Clearly I wanted to get the superficial traits out of the way first)
Good sense of humor/Funny
Confident
Attentive to me and my children
Has a good view of marriage
Knows his faults and is actively working on them
Accepting of my faults
Praises my strengths
Loves my children
Doesn’t want anymore children
Hard worker
Willing to admit when he’s wrong
Strong sense of commitment
Doesn’t have unreachable expectations
Debt free/Has financial wisdom

(There were a few qualities on my list I decided to omit at this time, but I will tell you they were all Faith related and my choice to omit them is solely to explore them at a later time.)

So it’s not like I was asking for a lot, right? I didn’t list anything about the car he drove, or the money he made or his ability to dance (Don’t laugh! The dancing ability was actually on my list prior to getting married). I just wanted a real grown up relationship with mutual respect and acceptance. AND I didn’t want to work hard for it. Either it came organically or not at all. With my list in place I couldn’t go wrong! Right?

Eh.

Not so surprisingly I did not end up with everything on my list. But I got most. Thankfully I learned a long time ago that if we get everything we want we may not get exactly what we need. There are times even as adults we don’t know what is best for us. If I had gotten everything on my list I would have missed out on the love of my life! The love I thought was just made up to sell more movies and books actually does exist! That’s as good, if not better, as finding out Santa is real.

Here are some important qualities I did find in my partner. And don’t worry, my superficial wishes came true as well:

1. Lots of laughter. (He is super funny.)
2. He actually WANTS to be with me, as in spend quality time with me. I don’t have to fight for his attention.
3. He has the ability to have meaningful conversations without it leading to offense or an argument that had nothing to do with said conversation in the first place.
4. He is accepting of who I am and loves me regardless of my faults. And in turn I have acceptance for who he is and love him despite his faults (not that there are many).
5. He also self analyzes and is willing to admit his faults.
6. He has completely accepted my children and has earned their respect and love. They look up to him and he is a mentor to them.
7. He encourages me to follow my dreams and be the best me. There aren’t any unrealistic expectations for me to achieve. I’m already good enough!

I finally got the grown up relationship I always desired. Sometimes I still can’t believe it comes from a man 9 years younger than me. 🙂

Tall, Pale and Coffee

Every time I sit down to write there is a story I want to tell. I keep putting it off though. I think my hesitancy is mostly due to my administrative tendencies which dictate the necessity for a chronological order of events. BUT this whole blog is about breaking out of my box, so….tonight I will write about HIM. (Yay! Woo Hoo! Hip Hip Horay! Woot Woot!) However, in the telling of this story I will be as chronological as possible. (Isn’t it great that the second part of that word is LOGICAL. I just love that <3). Which means I will start with the first time I noticed him.

I had just gotten a new job (which was an amazing fit for me) and thanks to my new schedule I had off on Fridays. That statement alone should tell you how awesome this job was. It was the summer of 2009. I was “happily” married at the time as it was during the period my husband and I were the closest. So naturally I decided to go to the local coffee shop and journal for a while since I had an entire day to myself (I mean, what else was a girl to do? Shop? Oh don’t worry, I made sure that was in the plans for later that day. Clean? Really? I don’t think so.) That’s what I was doing when HE walked in the coffee shop with his friend. I noticed him for two reasons. The first was his appearance. He was tall and thin. He also had REALLY long blond hair. His friend on the other hand was not as tall, was stockier and had short red hair. The contrast alone was enough for them to stand out to me. The second occurred after he and his friend ordered their drinks and sat down at a table close to mine.

I was intently paying attention to my writing when I overheard a part of their conversation. They were discussing a video they were working on. I didn’t know if it was for work or a personal project but it got my attention because I was learning quite a bit about the processes of video making for the use of  promotion at my new job. It was all so new to me and I was so eager to learn that I barely stopped myself from turning around and asking them all about their project. Something held me back though. Mostly my fear of what other’s thought of me I’m sure. Instead I just eavesdropped until they left.

That was it. That was the first time I saw the man that would later change my life in a way I never expected. If my life was a book that moment would have definitely been foreshadowing. But its not and it happened that way regardless. I love how life works.

Of course there’s more to the story of him and me, but for now he was just the guy at the coffee shop. Want to know more? Good, cause I plan on telling you. Just not tonight. (Wink)