Boy meets girl 

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get married and live happily ever–boy and girl get a divorce. 

When I was in high school I knew a couple who were madly in love, Dean and Bobbie. They were that couple that made you believe fairy tale love complete with Princesses and Prince Charmings does exist. Both in their early twenties, Dean and Bobbie were successful, attractive, adventurous, and best friends. Even though every girl I knew secretly wanted to end up with Dean, we all knew he and Bobbie belonged together. They were soulmates. Anyone else would be wrong. 

In 2006 Dean and Bobbie had the most beautiful wedding and started their happily ever after. 

I went to college and only saw them occasionally over Winter and summer breaks. They were still madly in love, still living the fairy tale.

After I graduated I realized I hadn’t seen them in a good long time. What do you do when you haven’t seen someone in a while? You look them up on Facebook. When I pulled up the names I saw one thing: DIVORCED. 

I was STUNNED. They were so in love. They completed each other. There was a time when they couldn’t live without each other. WHAT HAPPENED? 

Love is the most powerful thing in the world. If so many people believe in this, why can’t it seem to last forever? 

Because we starve it. 

A general principle in life on keeping something alive, strong, healthy is that you have to take care of it. You have to feed it. Remember those gigga pet things (sorry about the spelling!)- the electronic pet that died if you forgot to feed it one time? Hah! But in all seriousness how many of us got our gigga pet with the determination and devotion that our pet would live forever? Anyone still have a “living” gigga pet? Case and point. 

I think we think and treat love as if it somehow is self sustaining. For years we never feed it, never give it nutrition and we wake up one day to find its just gone. 

What is the key to staying in love? Feed it. What does love thrive on? ROMANCE. 

Why is love dying? Because romance is dying. Romance doesn’t necessarily mean chocolates and hearts and poems. Romance is finding out how to make your mate feel like a million bucks. Not just once, not just twice…but for the rest of your life. 

You may say, “I suck at romance! I am just not a romantic person, I don’t even know where to start with being romantic!” 

Romance is something you can learn. And if you want love that lasts a lifetime, it’s something you’ve got to learn. 

   Love isn’t how much you say it. It’s how much you prove it true. 

 

A really great book I found a while back is 1,000 Ways To Be Romantic. Literally exactly what it sounds like. Another great read on learning romance is The Five Love Languages. everyone is different, including what ways make us feel loved. 

Just remember the key to romance is the other person. Find out what makes them feel special and what makes them feel loved. 

Happily ever afters still exist. They are hard work, but the best things in life rarely come easy! 

Cheers and best wishes to your happily ever after! ūüėä‚̧ԳŹ 
  

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Writing (such an original title, I know)

I think one thing that makes someone a writer is not just the urge to write…but the NEED.

I had a long weekend spent in Virginia…a weekend without a piece of paper or keyboard or a pen–not really, all of these objects were available–the real problem was¬†my inability to steal away and write. I think getting away from it all is always a good thing. Breaks work wonders for the mind and body! However,¬†I had that itch. You know that¬†feeling…where you have got to write (or it could get ugly…;) ). I made it back late Monday night, surviving with the¬†knowledge I could write to my hearts desire after I got off of work the next day. Then I checked my email. It’s past 1:00AM, I am lying in my bed,¬†I have to work¬†in the morning…and (after of course the¬†habitual checking of other social media sites)¬†I check my email.

One new message.

I bolt up to sitting position. It’s from a job I applied to. I have an interview! Then I realize the interview will take place…on Tuesday. What was then just about¬†16 hours away. If you have ever read my post about what happens to me during an interview (mind goes blank…panic mode turns on….etc.) you know I have to give interviews a lot of prep time so I am completely ready for anything blown my way. Thank goodness it was a phone interview…but still….the writing would have to wait.

I’ve heard people say writing¬†can be¬†therapeutic. I think that’s for me it’s absolutely true. After the interview I realized a move literally across the country to Seattle might be in my future (I couldn’t believe I actually heard back from a job so far away). Was this what I really wanted? Seattle? The same day I found out my best friend is moving…OUT OF THE COUNTRY. =( ¬†Life can change so quickly. The good news was my dreams of visiting Europe¬†felt more like a reality.¬†We decided we would meet up in Europe, (I threw out that we’d meet in Greece,¬†I’ve always wanted to see the Mediterranean )¬†when I finally have enough saved up to go. After the interview, after talking to my best friend…I felt I don’t know…sad and heavy. I¬†had the weight of making a huge decision on my shoulders and was already missing¬†my friend (kindred spirits don’t come around every day!). Writing seemed like the last thing I should do when I had a lot to think (worry…analyze) about.

Yesterday I brewed up some coffee….and instead of pondering life…¬†I¬†just wrote. And gosh, I felt so much better! Writing sometimes helps us focus on something different, helps us get our emotions out and share our hearts. Long story short,¬†I got some of that novel done (and wrote a poem!)….and felt refreshed and renewed. Writing was able to bring me that feeling you have on a really hot day, when your throat is parched and finally take that first sip of ice cold water. AAAHHH.

They Never Knew, A poem

They Never Knew

Her heels click across the floor

Pausing, she opens the old church door.

Heads across the room turn

Making her hands tremble and her cheeks burn.

Then it comes–

That quiet rush

That gentle hum

The deafening hush–

The sound of 1,000 words spoken

The silent looks seeing the 1,000 rules she’d broken.

Tears sting her eyes

And she puts her head down

A baby cries,

And an old woman frowns.

The preacher’s voice rises and falls

The whispers echo across the walls;

She sinks silently into a pew

And thinks, “If only they knew.”

They saw a girl in a short red dress

Sky-high heels, her hair a mess.

What they didn’t see

Was a silent plea;

Eyes puffy from how much she’d cried

A heart broken from watching her Father die.

She’d become an orphan the night before

She had no place to call home anymore.

When the service was over

She left the church pew

Her heart breaking,

And no one ever knew.

-AK

This doesn’t just happen in churches…it happens in schools…at work….everywhere. We are so fast to judge people without bothering to actually care about them. Gosh…we’ve got to stop!

Short, sweet and to the point

A really short, sweet, and to the point thought on relationships:


You should be with someone you ADMIRE…for who they are and how they treat the people around them-from their family and¬†friends, to the random people they bump into on the side of the road, their waitress,¬†the person they sit next to in the metro, or¬†the homeless person on a bench.¬†How you treat the people you cross paths with¬†everyday in your life says a lot about you. Remember-you will never have a perfect person…but you want a good one.


I hope everyone’s Monday is going great, or at least the coffee is great and pulling you through ;). Speaking of coffee, I am hoping, crossing my fingers, to have a Coffee House Insider blog post tomorrow. I love coffee & tea places, and I can’t get enough of finding extra special ones in the different areas I have traveled. The one I hope to write about tomorrow delivered¬†one of the best cups of tea I have ever had…just thinking about it I want more! Anyway, if things go as planned and technology doesn’t fail on me (my phone/camera¬†has been acting up lately…if there¬†are clouds there isn’t a drop of signal…and randomly it will completely freeze, buzz, then give up and die. If you read my post about my lap top breaking down,¬†yeah…me and technology…the struggle is real) you will hear about a great coffee house¬†that if you are ever in the area, you’ve got to check out.

If our own parents aren’t divorced we at least know a friend, co-worker, boyfriend or girlfriend, or spouse whose parents are divorced or they themselves have been divorced. And the people who are still together, still married didn’t seem happily married. When I was a little kid this terrified me. It terrified me that people who once loved each other so much could no longer want to be together; it terrified me that love could be fallen out of. Now, I’m in my twenties and it still scares me.

One of my responsibilities at work is the sacred duty of keeping charge of the Master Calendar. I have a wall dedicated to this enormous calendar. The calendar contains the current month and the following two months after it. Part of my ob is making sure every appointment is kept and information is announced and advertised at the appropriate time in advance. Every single day, several times a day I check the calendar. I am constantly updating it with new and vital information–date changes, new events, etc. I have notes written at my desk, reminders on my computer for especially important dates I need to remember. My job depends on not missing a date. I pour my heart and energy into keeping up with this calendar because I want to be great at my job, be promoted, reach my dreams and because, frankly I don’t want to lose it.

What if we treated our relationships like our jobs (I know some of you hate your job, so maybe this isn’t a good analogy for you, but think about something you LOVE…football, writing, working out, traveling; I know I don’t love my job all the time!). What if we poured our energy and time into our relationships because we knew if we didn’t…we’d lose them. There is a saying which says something about how you spend your time defines what you love. If we love the people in our lives, why do we so often forget about them? Why do we so often forget what their favorite song is, what story they told us last week, when their birthday is, what the little things are that make them smile, or what things they dream of doing.

We take the people in our lives for granted. Thinking about work–if I dressed sloppy day in and day out, forgot dates, showed up late for things or didn’t show up at all, had a sour attitude all the time, didn’t pay attention or was on my phone 24/7…I would get fired. Why do we do the same things to the people in our lives and expect to have a thriving relationship??? If we just let ourselves go….forget important things over and over again…be a grump all the time…never show incentive or not show up for things, or don’t listen our relationships grow weaker and weaker and before we know it they’re gone.

Love is about ACTION. “I love you” isn’t just a phrase you mumble as you walk out the door. Love needs to be felt…and how love can be felt is by being shown. If you want a great love story, one of those people who never fall out of love…it’s going to be hard work.

Thinking about my work calendar and how I write every important thing down, I thought this could work for relationships. I’m a forgetful person and I know it. What if we wrote down, had a special calendar or book dedicated to our significant other. We had all the special dates marked, notes about the things they mentioned they like, places they dream of going, songs that give them goose bumps, etc. and we constantly checked and updated this calender. We made it a point to not miss a day; we made it a point to make that person feel special; we made it a point to make them know they are important. What if we were DEDICATED to showing that person we loved them everyday? I think a lot of things would change.

For anything to last a long time (houses, plants, furniture, cars, etc.) you have to take care of it, you have to give it “love”. If things aren’t taken care of they rust away, shrivel up really quickly. It’s the same with our relationships. You have to try. You have to give effort. You have to give your time. You aren’t always going to get it right. You are going to mess up, but what you will get right is making that person in your life know they are loved.

I know divorce happens for many different reasons, unrelated to this. But, I also think that just maybe love wouldn’t be fallen out of so easily if we took it more seriously.

It counts

Sometimes there are things we simply cannot fix or change.

I’m thinking of those moments when a friend, co-worker,¬†¬†family member, acquaintance¬†is hurting. The sparkle in their eyes has been replaced with tears, they don’t smile anymore…it’s like part of them has been stolen, which is partially true. And¬†gosh, you just want to make them smile again, take away the pain and give them sunny skies.

There is¬†a group of personality types¬†out there I’d like to call the “fixers” and “helpers”. Fixers and helpers are driven to, as the name suggests, fix things…if we could, we would make the world¬†have sunshine every single day.Fixers love to see people happy and make people happy; when someone isn’t happy or¬†is hurting,¬†fixers instantly want to fix it, they feel driven to help.¬†Most, if not all¬†of us,¬†have a certain amount of this fixer/helper personality in us…it makes you human to care about another human.

But sometimes¬†there are¬† things you cannot fix. Sometimes the¬†hurt is so deep, too deep.¬†Or the hurt and pain is something¬†you cannot relate to at all… and¬†you feel powerless. You¬†want to help, but you can’t; you want to take the pain away, but you can’t. The person feels so far, so out of reach, and you don’t know what to do or say.

Today while I was at work printing paper after paper, this thought struck me: You may not be able to “fix” or take away someone’s pain…but you can be there. And just being there COUNTS. Just giving someone a hug COUNTS. Telling someone “Let me know what I can do to help” COUNTS. Even if you don’t see it, your presence counts to someone that is hurting.

People handle grief and disappointment differently…but we all appreciate when our friends and family are simply THERE for us–ready to talk to, ready to give a hug, ready to just sit in the same room with us.

Sometimes you may not feel like you are helping someone at all, you may feel like giving up…DON’T. You ARE making a difference…even if you don’t see it right now. BE AVAILABLE, GIVE PEOPLE HUGS (where words cannot go, touch often can!), AND DON’T GIVE UP…..IT COUNTS.

What kind of hugger are you?

What Kind of Hugger are you?

This past weekend I was caught up in thinking about hugs and huggers. It started off because¬†I had one of those blue days where¬†I was¬†just sad and I felt like I was in desperate need of a hug,¬†which then led me to think even more about the many hugs I’ve experienced and given along the way.¬†And then I ended up coming up with the following¬†categorization of¬†huggers. ¬†Where do you fall in the list?

Sider slider – We have all experienced or even delivered this kind of hug. Sider sliders are slick. You reach out to hug them and somehow¬†you end up getting a squeeze around the shoulders, from a side angle. The side sliders keep it safe. They don’t want to be rude, but they also don’t feel comfortable with full blown hugs.

awkward side hug

The Pros- The Pros are confident huggers. They know just how much to squeeze and exactly how long to hug. They usually keep it casual with a small tap on the back that seems like the “this hug is ending” signal. The Pros can read people like a book-they know who to hug and who not to hug.

 Hugaphobic РThis category describes an individual who would spray raid on someone, anyone who attempted to hug them. If you have even attempted to hug an individual in this category, you probably remember that dreaded feeling that you were on the verge of death the moment you wrapped your arms around the person, but it was too late to pull back. You were committed. And once you survived the encounter, you will never make the mistake again.

no hugging

The Free Hugger- The individuals in this category of hugging probably own a “free hugs” t-shirt. No not really ;). These people walk around fearlessly giving hugs. In fact, don’t expect or even try¬†to leave the presence of a free hugger¬†without getting a hug. They will come find you. “I will find you….and I will hug you.”

photo credit: coolspoters.com

photo credit: coolspoters.com

Anaconda¬†Hugger-¬†Anaconda Huggers believe in squeezing love into people. Once you are in the grip of an anaconda hugger, take a deep breath- it may be the last breath you get to take for the next few minutes. Anaconda Huggers are usually people with huge hearts…and strong arms.

Oh Wait! You are just an Acquaintance Hugger- Huggers in this group aren’t much for hugging people they don’t know very well, but they will do it. If you have ever been on the other end of¬†a¬†hug delivered by a person in this category you probably remember reaching out for a firm hug (because you’ve watched them saying good byes¬†to their friends and they give them firm, back slapping hugs) ¬†and then felt them just slip away and the hug is over before it even began. You walk away¬†literally feel like you’ve just been hugged by a mannequin¬†that thought you smelled bad (and thinking I thought we were friends!).

Awkward hugger- Individuals in this group feel lost. They don’t know when to give a hug, when not to give a hug. They don’t know how long to “embrace” so it is either too long or too short. They don’t know whether to give a side hug or a full hug…and usually it ends up being a weird combination of the two. And the poor awkward huggers can’t recognize a hugaphobic when they see one….it can get ugly.

hug


 

Out of all of these categories of huggers I am a little bit of an awkward hugger and the Oh Wait! You are just an Acquaintance Hugger.¬†Hugging friends and family is something that just comes naturally but,…I don’t know you… I don’t know you very well…I just don’t know what to do! To hug or not to hug?

We should all try to hug more. Hugs make us feel safe, they make us feel happy, they make us feel loved. If¬† you aren’t comfortable hugging everyone, that’s OK! Hug the people close to you…hug them more often. We all need hugs (even those of us who don’t really like getting them!)…we all need to know we are cared about. The Huffington Post has an interesting article on the health benefits of hugging called, “7 Reasons Why We Should Be Given More Hugs”. find it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/27/health-benefits-of-huggin_n_5008616.html