Wandering thoughts–from relationships to cookie dough

Got a note from a single friend quoting her single friend who worried about ever having to be too close to a significant other again. Facing issues of abandonment, abuse, etc. that had come up in previous relationships.

Yeah, I used to feel  that way so I know what it feels like. But not for years now. I was in dead earnest when I said after my first brush with a serious health challenge that if God wants me to have one, he’ll put the guy right here in front of me ‘cuz I ain’t goin’ lookin’ no more. If I even think about it, I mostly wonder whether I could even do it anymore–compromise and so on all the time. Would I not just love the person, but submerge myself into his life and lose “me” again? I’d like to think not. but who knows.

That’s one little-discussed benefit of remaining single: we don’t have to live out those thorny issues that unfailingly arise in romantic relationships. We are able to conserve that energy for growing our spirits and for gifting the world with the products of our creativity. Blessed is the woman who can maintain her own personhood while sustaining a relationship and also realize her gifts and talents for the good of the world. She’s a woman who is totally centered and whose significant other not only respects and admires her but is also centered in his own spirit.

My life is full to overflowing—with beauty, beloved people, and music and art. I crave and appreciate being in my own space and in complete charge of my own time. In fact,  sometimes I use that as a gauge of whether I want to get close to a new friend. I love my solitude, and if I find myself feeling like I have to explain/defend myself about it, that ‘s not for me.

Took a day off work yesterday. Worked on my cookbook. No title yet, but it’s probably going to have single working women somewhere in the title or subtitle! It’s coming along–and as it does, I get scared that I’ll never finish. A book is such a long project. I’ve always shied away from doing something that long. Always worried that I lacked the discipline needed to stick with it for the long haul. And where will all that material come from!? Well, we will see. I’m finding that if I actually sit down and don’t let anything distract me, the ideas do come.

Maybe I’ll take another day off today. Oh, yeah, I’ve got to add our family recipe for chocolate chip cookies…I remember when I first made my mother’s recipe. She used to use Crisco, and I used butter instead. OMG,  I was transported by the vastly richer flavor. And it made eating the raw cookie dough—does everyone in the world do that like we do?—even more appealing.

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Inspiration for women in abusive relationships

Internet Penetration (% Population).
Image via Wikipedia

It’s often not a simple matter to change things—or get out—when you’re in a relationship that hurts you in some way. But listening to other women offer encouraging words can be a powerful way to help yourself.  The Internet can be a source of help for women all over the world.

A SWWAN partner, 1000 Women Can Change the World, has started a new website where you can download recordings made by women who’ve been there, women who know how you feel–who “get” what you’re going through.

You’ll be safe looking at the material—it won’t show up in your Internet history—and there’s even a “quick escape” button you can use in case you need to close the window fast.

It’s sad to think of having to hide what you do. And even sadder to think you might have to go through another holiday season feeling that way. Take a look and be inspired.

I hope your Thanksgiving was warm and full of love and kindness and good food. If it wasn’t, we hope to be a source of comfort and inspiration in the year to come and beyond.

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Finding joy: go around the boulder

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will
tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”

– Buddha

Got this gem from my HearthMath quote of the day list. Can’t you just picture the Buddha sitting there with his twinkling eyes and big round stomach (I love the laughing Buddha carvings), encouraging us to laugh with him at our own foibles and the absurdities of this life? When I was a kid and got angry about something bad that I was sure wasn’t right, I often used to choke out the words, “It’s not fair!” through my tears and frustration. And my mom would whirl around, angry herself then, and hiss back at me, “Who told you life was fair?” My mom and dad, like so many in the world, had more than their share of unfair things happen to them–from dysfunctional parents, stays in orphanages, and grinding Depression poverty, to losing a beloved first son and killing to keep from being killed in World War II.

I didn’t get it then. Didn’t really know what she meant. I’ve learned since then, of course, but I can imagine how much quicker and easier the lesson would have been if we’d both known about Buddha’s philosophy and been able to take his words to heart. How do we turn tragedy into laughter?

Today, when things aren’t fair, I don’t like it any better than I did as a kid. But I’ve come to accept that this is the way life and people can be. It’s like in the little kids’ Nick, Jr. show where Moose’s friend, the blue bird Zee, is in a race and arrives at a big boulder in the path. And Moose asks the kids watching, well, should Zee go AROUND the boulder or try to go under it?

If we accept that boulders are simply part of life, we learn to use our creativity to go around them and get back on path. If we accept that we might not even finish a race, we can still choose to do the best possible job—and enjoy the work we do. If we believe that everything is perfect as it is, we can find reasons to laugh at the sky even when things are at their blackest. Whether it’s a rotten economy, an abusive relationship, a crappy job, or a serious health challenge, all we need to do is come up with Plan B and Plan C—and even with the worst case senario—and we will always be ready to find the positive.

And when single working women reach out to support each other, we get an extra layer of cushioning to help us feel the joy.

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DOES it get better than this?

I remember once seeing a newspaper article taped to someone’s refrigerator. It was a well-written article talking about a commercial that glorified a just-the-guys’ weekend–can’t remember if it was hunting or fishing or camping. The main thing was, they had their beer and each other. And the tagline was “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

The author of the article, a man, went on to say how inappropriate he thought that tagline was. He talked about his relationships with his children, and particularly with his wife, and how that’s the sort of image that really belongs with a tagline like that.

I remember having a brief discussion with my father about this. And what a point of difference we had–it just showed that we were living/thinking/breathing on such different planes that it was a miracle we could ever cross the divide and reach each others’ minds.

We’re going to be interviewing Dr. Karen Gail Lewis on our SWWAN Dive radio show on July 17. Her book, “With or Without a Man,” is a sensitive analysis of what it really means to be single. She’s a professional therapist/counselor, a single woman herself, and she’ll talk frankly about both the bad and the good parts of being single.

“7 Shocking Truths Every Single (or Single Again) Woman Must Know” mark your calendar to join us on that call. Her stories are fascinating, and her advice is perceptive and wise. You might already know everything she’s going to say. But sometimes it’s exquisitely rewarding to share your dreams, hopes, fears and joys with others.

Valentine's Day – it's not just about dates and mates

Valentine’s Day is a great time to celebrate your feelings for everyone you love–the children you know (even if they’re yours!), your friends and relatives, co-workers, etc. Bring some joy into the office with Valentine’s Day tokens.

Since we don’t normally talk about dating (there are more than enough of those sites and sources out there), we thought this might be an okay topic for this holiday–for those of you who date. “National database lets women report–and look up–bad guys”

Wouldn’t you like to know if the guy you’re dating is secretly married? Would you like to know ahead of time if they guy who just asked you out has a pattern of trying to get money out of his girlfriends?

Now you may be able to just look him up on the Internet and find out.

She survived enough abuse herself, so Stephany Alexander decided to set up an online database where women could report cruel, nasty, abusive, unfair, cheating and other types of bad behavior on the part of the men they got involved with. Especially useful since guys who do this to one woman often tend to do it to every woman they go out with.

Stephany shared how she got the idea and gave tips on how to keep yourself safe with online dating when we interviewed her for our SWWAN Dive Internet radio show recently. Check it out here.

And here’s another site that gives out official verifications and certifications for your honesty. Of course, these are products you must purchase, but perhaps that’s where we’re coming to in our world. Take a look at HonestyOnline.

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