via Daily Prompt: Symbiosis
Am I too cynical? When is symbiosis beneficial to both parties? I haven’t seen this often enough. There is always some power play. Maybe we could be symbiotic in some equal-ish transfer of different contributions, money, emotional support, intellect, sex….the list goes on. The transfer can be fluid. I suppose if both people absolutely are equal in their need for the other’s contributions to the relationship, then the symbiosis is copacetic. All good.
But when is it EVER a perfect balance of power? When we are so invested in the others success? Is it because our success depends too heavily on the others? I wish I could think about all the lovely ecosystems and symbiosis in nature. That would be so cool here in the world of human behavior in relationships. It’s just now where my head goes. My head goes to dysfunction in the so-called symbiosis of relationships I have seen (not just my own, mind you).
In human relationships (take your pick), when are the scaled perfectly balanced to create a genuine symbiosis?
I am in a most most interesting mood. I feel like the most surreal thing is about to happen. I remember five years ago starting trudging the worst financial hill I have ever faced: a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You know, the kind where you pay back a portion in monthly amounts equaling about 40% of your take home pay? I’m not kidding. I wasn’t sure if I had the fortitude to get through this . It was going to be tough.
Despite advice, I moved to live more cheaply. Did I save any more money? Of course not. I did however breathe and able to make ends meet with the help of support from friends and family. I am not just talking about financial support. I couldn’t believe them when they said “it will be over before you know it”, “five years is not forever”, “you’ll be fine”….the platitudes were sweet, but no, I didn’t believe any of it. It was the worst financial black cloud ever.
Did I get through it? YES! I am here to tel you, it is possible to get through a very dark period and finally be done with everything. Sure, I still have to wait for the discharge from the court which will come in a few months. But I am making my last payment Tuesday. I am ecstatic. My friends and family were right! I made it. It wasn’t forever. Yeah, it sucked. I am not to going to lie. It was hard, especially when I wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for my ex-husband. He happened to announce last summer to the court and all everyone interested that he was spending the summer in Antigua. I am working full-time to give 40% of my take home income to pay for something he never took responsibility for. Am I bitter? Yes, but I should be. I get to these points recently where I just want to put the whole thing behind me, but I get angry sometimes. I get resentful.And him going to Antigua, not owning up to his responsibility (the reason I am in bankruptcy) is hard to hear sometimes. Just saying.
Do I share these feelings of bitterness and resentment with friends and family? Yes. A therapist? Absolutely yes. The end is near and they were all right….its going to be just fine. In fact, it already is.
If you are facing something that you don’t think you can possibly muster up the strength for, leave me a comment. Perhaps I can share specific things I did to get through this five-year dark cloud.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Music paring: The soundtrack from the remake of The Saint (1997). You can listen to the likes of Moby, Sneaker Pimps, Luscious Jackson and others.
So if you recall, last month, I posted about actually exercising when I say I will and the whole nine. Since then, I have been actually walking. Mind you, not to the extent I used to. No 5-7 miles daily for me (although I would love to). Slowly, but surel , I am getting there. The catalyst (publishing a post and saying it out loud, so to speak) to actually walking more than a quick ’round the block’ with my dog was strongly reinforced last weekend. It was amazing!
Last weekend I spent much needed time with family in California. I told my aunt I wanted to really walk ….and eat well. Did she fulfill my request? Hell, yeah! I had some amazing walks and got to catch up and talk. It was fantastic. We walked all over her neighborhood, CoD, and Sunnylands, not to mention some other great places. I kept my Apple watch on all day, accumulating extra miles through out the day. I was racking up 4-7 miles a day. Fantastic, I thought. This is the way to go! I was absolutely excited to be back in the game. I could go on and on about how amazing the weekend was with my aunt and uncle, but I mustn’t digress. This is about exercise….so I left California kicking and screaming. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it there!!
So here I am on a Sunday, back home. About a week and what have I done since California? I definitely have not done 4-7 mile days. However, I have been able to get daily 1-4 mile walks in. Sometimes slow walks with my puggle Max. Sometimes at a faster clip. I wish I could say I have already gotten back to my power walks with 14 minute miles. Damn! That’s the most frustrating part. I can’t seem to walk faster than a 15 or 16 minute mile. Maddening! Perhaps I need to mix my exercise with better food from the diet I achieved so much success from last year.
I realize what I remember to be true. I am going to really have to curb my eating habits as well as really amp up my power walks. They can’t be leisurely strolls. I need to kick ass. Kiss ass and just STOP with the cookies and anything that may tempt me at the office.
Little by little, I will chip away and be ready for my spring dresses. This post makes me want to go out and buy salad ingredients! Yay me!!
What do you guys do daily to watch what you put in your body and get that daily calorie burn?? I would love some hints. I did well last year, but could refresh with some new ideas!! Please comment and I’ll read each one!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!
I want to wish you all a happy new years! Please, 2017, just get here!!
I realize that I have announced my three-part series on what my marriage taught me, but have not yet posted. I became a little distracted by two other issues that I will call real life issues; I want to occasionally have a real life series as well. I knew that I wouldn’t have a shortage of topics. I am so grateful the writer in me has a lot to say. I just don’t want to make promises about upcoming posts that don’t get written quite as quickly as I had anticipated. I just seem to simultaneously want to unleash as much as possible. That’s my conflict and writer’s struggle!
So far my real life issue topics:
Sexual assault and consent (at any age)
Bullying (old school, cyber….)
There’s more that will come up, I am sure, but those are the ones that speak to me now.
Please be patient and if you have a preference before this Tuesday, please let me know which of these topics should I write on first? Should I write on both then move on to a consecutive posting on my three-part series?
Please comment on any preferences on how /what order I present? Otherwise, I guess we will all be surprised!!
Paired music selection right now: I am listening to Tori Amos (Little Earthquakes). I saw her at Red Rocks and at DU. Powerful musician. This album says a lot for me about the real life issues I mentioned above. She’s what’s on my mind now.
If you are out and about please be careful.
If you are at home, be good to yourself and sleep well.
Are secrets okay? Are we only as sick as our secrets? Why do we keep secrets? I feel that sometimes we keep other people’s secrets and some of our own to preserve a bit of privacy and dignity, some self-respect and a dash of mystery. We keep secrets about arriving baby gender, relationships (of any type), opinions on work, money and politics. We do this to keep the peace and keep our opinions and personal history to ourselves. Is there anything wrong with this? Other times, our secrets aren’t based in any nobility.
Our other secrets are not based on dignity, respect or privacy. These secrets build upon each other, slowly growing till they get so big. Then airing out these well-kept skeletons is so daunting, it’s scary. Super scary. If we wait long enough, the secrets create a solid icon clad wall. The wall is fused with pride, fear, and insecurity including financial and emotional. To get through this from the inside out we have to be strong. SO strong. This is the part that can really suck. Like.Really.Suck. We can’t expect others to get in if we can’t even get out. These are the secrets that make us sick and poisoned inside. Poisoned by the pride that makes us feel that we are better than you. The toxic insecurity that makes you NEVER as good as. These secrets that destroy us. Unless…..
Unless we can talk or write or get out alive. This is why I want to write about what my marriage taught me. I can write about it. I want to share it because if it gives you pause, if it makes you think about how you view something sour and wretched and awful, then I say thank you. I have done my job writing this three part post series:
Part I: What my marriage taught me about my relationship with money
Part II: What my marriage taught me about fear
Part III: What my marriage taught me about me and future interpersonal/romantic relationships
I am going to ask for your input, your experience, how your last relationship prepared you for the next one!
I am Jewish, but I’m not religious. Since it’s hard to be a religious Jew with eight tattoos. The part during the “holidays” that makes me cringe is when people assume I resent being greeted with a “merry Christmas” because I am Jewish. How could I possibly resent a pleasant holiday greeting from a total stranger? How could I hate your generosity in thinking of saying “merry Christmas” to me? How could I possibly be offended by goodwill? Tis the season!
But then there are the people who may be aware that I may not be Christian or don’t care or know and they usually end up saying “happy holidays”; the holidays, being the ones that happen generally at the end of the year and nothing really specific. Okay, I’ll gladly take their friendly holiday wishes too! They are trying to not “offend” non Christians and I think that’s pretty cool, but it still doesn’t make a big difference; you thought of me and reached out to wish me a great holiday season. Thank you. I mean that sincerely.
Then there are those few people who know me. They wish me a “happy Chanukah”. They know me. And that’s pretty cool.
Whatever you celebrate, have an amazing end of year! I plan to blog a lot in these last few weeks. I am feeling inspired. I almost wished you all a happy Chanukah, but I lost my nerve during spell check!
Please please please share your thoughts on the holiday spirit and how you express it with others, especially strangers!
Its been a crazy week, but I am glad to be back here. I have been working on a very special project, my gift to myself in 2017. I am going to Paris in September (sounds amazing just writing it…makes it real, palpable). I just spent the last week or so arranging flights that were gifted to me. For that, I am beyond beholden to a few people; they know who they are. I have no words beyond that pure gratitude expressed to those people. I then arranged to lease an apartment through a personal Parisian connection. Things are coming together nicely and I couldn’t be happier. After a five-year bankruptcy due to a marriage that I’ve alluded to here and there, I realize I do have wings. I am going to fly.
The last five years have been rough. I am not going to lie. Its been hard. Yes, that hard and then a little more. I have worked meticulously to not live in misery and resentment. I vowed that I wouldn’t give my ex-husband that much power.I refuse to let him ruin my whole life. Financially, yes, I was screwed. I did not allow him to cloud my behavior, my judgment, my opportunities because he captured my pocketbook. I refused. I wasn’t going to stand for it. This five-year period ends March 31, 2017. Yes, I think I am going to celebrate it. I worked hard for the party, so why not!
So clearly, I didn’t do this on my own. There is no way I could have sustained a workable, breathable, and tolerable existence seeking simple vindication and complex and continuous court orders without the help of family and friends….and yes… a pretty decent therapist. I told you from this blog’s inception that I would be as honest I could be here. The provenance of its inspiration is my heart and sometimes my mind if my heart doesn’t see clearly. I don’t get to say I did this on my own. I did it. Yes, I did. But with a little , no, a lot of help from my friends.
My voyage to Paris is the culmination of my focus in this last year: travel dreams, new language acquisition, and new goals.
Thank you everyone for being here and reading and joining in my experience.
Please comment and let me and my readers know where you went on your most meaningful geographic journey. Tell me why it was so meaningful.
I am here and can’t wait to read!
I have inherited this bit of wisdom from someone who shared this at an AA meeting. Yes, I thought at one time that I was an alcoholic; I was dreadfully wrong and that’s a completely different post and probably a book. Stay tuned on that!
When we think we are being honest, we can think of brutal honesty: “Your Christmas sweater is kinda hideous”. We think of rigorous honesty: “I think we should return this lost wallet to lost and found”. Then we have the honesty that comes with trust. All in all, these are more or less levels of trust that grow with time. However, the everyday honesty that flies out of our mouth in the name of integrity could use a little help. I know when I heard this acronym at the meeting, I would never forget it. I have been honest to a fault. And I don’t mean that false modesty honesty…”Oh, I just tell people all my personal thoughts” type of thing that comes with regret. I share with rigorous honesty here as I do try to keep things anonymous.
This is the deal; THINK before you talk. THINK before you post on Facebook or Tweet on Twitter. Nike says “Just do it” and I think they are on to something!
T: Is it Thoughtful? Have you formed an insightful idea on why this needs to be said?
H: Is it Honest (Is it really?) or something else with other motives?
I:Is it Important? Does it need to be said?
N: Is it Necessary? Will your statement help someone in a positive way?
K: Is it Kind? Do you really need to make someone feel less than with your intended statement?
This checklist was invaluable for a former “little miss can’t be wrong” like my self. It is humbling. It creates an idea of pure humility and intention. We think twice and say it once. We think carefully and it becomes second nature. This worked for me. I don’t take myself as seriously when I know I am not trying to teach people lessons with lectures that are neither Necessary or Kind. I don’t think that my clothes are better than someone else’s choices when I am being Thoughtful and Kind. It works if you work it: That’s just one more thing I learned in my time at AA.
I have always wondered about this in a battle of philosophical ideas of love vs. the pragmatic expression of love. Are we able to love to our heart’s content and able to have boundless love for many of our close family and friends? Are we able to un-prioritize our love, allowing enough to go around, thereby expanding what I will call the love pie? Roll out more dough and make the crust just a bit bigger and add more filling to allow more into love our lives? We don’t have to limit this….it can go on forever and essentially feel exponentially amazing in the way we give and receive love? There are so many ways to express this love and so many people to express our feelings with on any given day.
There there is the pragmatic love pie: this pie has slices. This pie has a self-limiting size: the 24 hour day. This pie tells us we can only do so much for ourselves and loved ones in this given period of time. So depending on the obligations on any set day, there is only so much we can do to show this love. And when we start determining how we are going to share and demonstrate this love, it starts becoming hard to show love to everyone and respond to everyone trying to share theirs with you: it’s the school play, the family dinner, the friend time, the texts to “check in” with those we care about. It’s everything we do in a 24 hour day to reach those around us. We can certainly assert that those we love will definitely understand life gets a bit crazy. We know texts don’t get answered and lunches get cancelled and it doesn’t make us love any less. But we have to make sure when we get our daily pie, we don’t keep forgetting to give the same people a piece of it each day. This gets almost impossible pragmatically. So we prioritize. How do we prioritize love? How do we determine who gets pie slices today? Do we keep making the pie slices smaller and smaller till everyone gets a slice, understanding some people continue to feel not quite fed? I think this pragmatism of having enough of us/our pie is what causing so much conflict about “I have enough love to go around”….
Am I still being a hopeful cynic, or a constant contradiction? Is that really just the same thing?
What happens when you are an optimist who sees the worst and the best in people? Do you get jaded? Do you get frustrated and resentful? Do you just figure their bad day is not connected to you? They are having a bad day and that’s okay because things are generally all good? Are you past your nonjudgmental phase, resigned to the fact that everyone must have sufficient baggage to sink a battleship?
I think at one time or another I have felt all of these things more or less simultaneously. Is this a study in contradictions or just an understanding of simple human nature? Are we not some balance of both tendencies, depending the day, hour, or minute? Are we convinced the next great thing/relationship/job is out there for the taking? Or are resigned to the fact there is no great thing or it will turn to shit or sabotage anyway and why bother? I think this is where we make up our mind and when we flip the coin and predict, it determines our overall general inclination. And I think that is what makes me somewhat optimistic. I know when I see the next great thing, I go out and grab it. Because its amazing. Because it’s there. A Scot once said to me “what’s meant for you won’t go by you” (I am paraphrasing this sentiment, this Scottish saying). I believe it’s there because I have seen it and it has been tangible and the sensation of its possession is palpable; I am cynical with the whole carpe diem thing, however: I am pretty convinced I may not see anything like it again. Nothing this good happens twice.
Yep, I am just another hopeful cynic….