Happiness

 

They say that happiness is a state of mind.

Well, my state of mind is happy right now!¬† ūüôā

Lets go back to July of 2009.¬† Little did I know at the time that I had met the love of my life, the man¬† of my dreams.¬† A friendship between he and I had been growing and before the month’s end he would but aside all the cautions all of our friends told him and tell me how he feels about me.¬† Braving all consequences and the potential loss of a friendship.¬† But it was worth it.¬† As our relationship grew I was happier than I had ever been.¬† I had finally been able to see what real love is.¬† I had loved before, but never been in love.¬† But he, I fell totally and completely head over heals in love with.¬† He was everything I had ever hoped for, wanted and dreamed for… and more…. showing me what I never even knew I wanted.

Those next two years would be the best I had experienced.  Then somewhere along the line things started slowly changing.  Stressors, money and the everyday aspects of life begun to creep their way in between us.  One stressor built its way on top of another and before you knew it two years had gone by that was an emotional roller coaster ride.  Good times were amazing, but bad times were really bad.  Through all of the dark times my head told me to run but my heart would not let me.  I was holding on so tightly to the love we once shared.  The closeness that was once between us.  Longing for those times again, wishing for the past and dreading the present and future.

A change in state of mind was needed… for me and for him.¬† Once we BOTH realized and recognized that… we knew it was possible.¬† Things had to crash to the bottom and just about come to an end before we would open our eyes and see change was a necessity.¬† ..¬† For the both of us.

I changed my state of mind and how I react to many situations.¬† He changed his state of mind and behavior and attitudes towards me and our relationship. We started appreciating each other again, and placing more value on our relationship.¬† We made it a point to learn how to communicate with each other more effectively and in a more healthy manner and to talk about issues, no matter how small, immediately, rather than waiting for things to pile up and get bigger.¬† We are making more time for US… as hard as it is in this hectic life, with work, school, band, hobbies. friends and still making time for yourself.

And that leads me to today…I feel like our relationship is better than ever now.¬† I haven’t felt like that in a LONG time.¬† I felt like we had lost that connection and were drifting too far away from each other in totally different directions.¬† It takes work but it is possible to get it back.¬†Everything was at stake… everything.¬† It was either find each other again or the worst possible option.¬† ¬†Even when things hit bottom, you can rebuild them.¬†¬† You can find your common ground again and fall in love with each other all over again.¬† And honestly, falling in love with him all over again feels better than it did to first fall in love with him in the beginning.

For love… true love, it is worth every battle, every fight and every minute of the roller coaster ups and downs.¬† Because if, in the end, you are able to work out all of your differences and be even better than before… that makes it all worthwhile.

Porn

I am seeking feedback from my readers on this topic… Men and Women.¬† So please read and post comments, feedback, opinions and thoughts – negative or positive, all welcome!

The topic of porn has come up several times now, in passing, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the topic and get thoughts of others.¬† All completely hypothetical … just inquiring about other’s thoughts on the topic.

Myself, I do enjoy watching porn, when in the right mood for it.  However, it is something that I would prefer to watch with my partner and enjoy it together.  I see nothing wrong with porn and view it as normal and natural for people to have that curiosity and interest.  Yet at the same time there is some porn that can be somewhat more tasteful than others while a great majority can be very offensive and degrading to women.

I do have to say that, in my honest opinion, I do feel like it is inappropriate for a man (or woman) ¬†in a healthy, happy, committed and satisfying relationship to spend time watching porn alone.¬† On the same issue, to spend time at the strip club alone, while your woman is at home waiting for you.¬† The main point here is … in a happy, healthy, committed and satisfying relationship.¬† If you have all of those things, why do some feel the need to look outside of what they have for something else or something more?

Now this is I different story if you are single, or if you are unhappy and unsatisfied in your relationship.  I see this sort of activity/behavior as a sign that you are missing or lacking something from your own current relationship and are seeking that fulfillment and satisfaction elsewhere, outside of your relationship.  Which does not make it more right, but does provide some sort of justification.. in my eyes.

I do not understand the need or urge to want to view porn alone, especially if your current partner has told you that they would be happy to do something like that together.  Do men find this off-putting, the idea of watching porn with their partners?  I do consider myself to be a very self confident person who is also pretty sexually open and not easily offended, however the idea that my partner would be watching porn alone would tend to make me feel like less of a woman and less of a partner, like I was not satisfying him the way he needs to be, to the point that he seeks for that outside of me and our relationship.

Thoughts, ideas, opinions?  Go!

Saturday Night… Construction

Tree pose

Helping to strengthen and rebuild relationships!¬† ūüėČ

Eric didn’t have to work last night.¬† Wow, two Saturday’s off in a row!¬† Don’t get used to it, I know…

IT ALL STARTED WITH FREE TEQUILA SHOTS!!

He got home from class and told me to shower so we could go out and get some food.¬† He wanted to take me to our favorite Mexican restaurant down the street.¬† Ole!¬† We go there often.¬† Often enough that I get a hug as I walk through the door.¬† Now that’s my kinda place.¬† This was the place that Eric took me to celebrate my Birthday.¬† The food is incredible, the drinks are delicious and the staff there are amazing.¬† Each time we go there we always get free tequila shots, it never fails!¬† Love that place!!

Tequila goes STRAIGHT to my head!¬† so after taking our tequila shots, I said ” lets go home and have whiskey shots!”¬† I was kinda kidding, but Eric jumped on the idea so I was all up for it.¬† We had some sample small bottles left from a long time ago that we decided to use up.¬† We started off with a Jeopardy drinking game.¬† Believe it or not, I actually won that one!¬† Then the Big Bang Theory drinking game!

 

After having a LOT of whiskey mixed with a little bit of root beer, we went outside for some fresh air.  It had finally stopped raining so it was fresh and crisp outside like it is after a thunderstorm.

We had a lot of good conversation outside and had what I feel to be a bonding experience over the tree pose ūüôā¬† Unfortunately, not something that is very easily explainable to someone that wasn’t there.¬† Please excuse my vagueness but I am quite sure that Eric will fully understand this when he reads it… if he reads it.

But… I feel it was a moment that helped me to understand the inner workings of his mind just a little bit better.¬† And a moment that helped him to open up to me and let me inside to be able to understand those inner workings better.

A small yet big moment that helps to mortar the bricks of our relationship more securely…. and that I am thankful for!!

Anniversary Week/weekend

I didn’t want the weekend to be over!¬† It was pretty great.¬† A much needed, great weekend.

Sunday the 28th of July was our four year anniversary.

The weeks and days leading up to our anniversary week had been pretty stressful and filled with heartache and conflict, with the Sunday before being very much the day from hell.  After a revelation that evening and the next morning I was determined to do whatever it took to make things better.

To start off our Anniversary Week, Eric unexpectedly had Monday free after practice was canceled.  It was our Dharma day so we relaxed  most of the evening then I brewed some hot green tea and we prepared our Buddha shrine for our meditation.  We both sat in meditation for a while and then read passages from our Buddhism book together to celebrate Dharma Day.

Tuesday was our date night/wine night and I wanted to do something special.  Because of Dharma day being the day before, Eric was not drinking alcohol so we had to have our wine night without wine.  (On major Buddhist holidays he abstains from alcohol the day before, the day of, and the day after the holiday, per Buddhism custom.)  I took off half a day from work and came home and ordered some pasta and Caesar salad to be delivered right before Eric got home from work.  I knew neither of us had been eating very well lately and just wanted to surprise him.  We had a good late lunch/early dinner by candlelight.  Then we took a dip in the pool, played some God of War 11 in PS3, walked around the lake, took a late night moonlight walk to 7-11 for slurpees then some root beer floats.  It was a great Tuesday night.

I had initially taken Friday off.¬† Eric usually has Friday’s off so I thought it would be nice to spend the morning and afternoon together, to start our anniversary weekend.¬† But it turns out Eric had off Saturday rather than Friday… even better!¬† However, I still took the day off and took the opportunity to get some things done and recharge myself a little more.¬† I did come cleaning, napping, relaxing and shopping.¬† I went to get supplies for the weekend, and an anniversary card since our anniversary ( 4 years) was Sunday.¬† I picked up the movie Evil Dead, which I had been dying to see since it was out in the theater.¬† I¬† got some¬†beer, popcorn and bloody mary supplies.¬† I texted Eric to let him know of our late night movie, popcorn and beer date night when he got out of class.¬† We had a great time, enjoyed the movie and stayed up way too late.¬† Saturday morning Eric got up to go to class and I slept in.

He got out of class and we packed up and headed to the beach.  It was fun spending a couple of hours lounging on the beach.  This was actually the first time this year we have been to the beach together, where last year we were there almost every weekend.   After we had our fill of sun and sand we headed home to shower and went to Jillians for some drinks, food and GAMES!  I had found a Groupon for game play and challenged Eric to a skee ball battle!  We had a lot of fun acting like big kids.  Drinking our gigantic beers and playing video games.  We even collected our tickets to exchange for prizes.  Such a fun time!

After we were all gamed out, we headed to the oceanfront to hear Maxx in his new band.  We met Sarah there and drank buckets of cocktails and enjoyed the sounds of the cover band on a warm summer night at the oceanfront.  We watched the clock tick down to Midnight and right at midnight we wished each other a Happy Anniversary with a toast, a hug and a kiss!  After the bar closed and they kicked us out we hung out with Sarah outside while Maxx packed up his gear.  I spotted a pizza place right across the street that was still open so we ran across the street and each ordered a couple slices of pizza.  the joint was pretty busy with the after bar crowd so after we got our pizza we walked back across the street and sat down in the middle of the sidewalk for a pizza picnic while we waited for Maxx.  So fun and random, having a picnic in the middle of a random sidewalk at 2am at the oceanfront!

Then comes Sunday, our anniversary!¬† We lounged together in bed for a while before finally deciding to get up out of bed and get the day started.¬† We made a pot of French vanilla coffee – to go.¬† Showered and headed out.¬† Our plan for the day was to grab a picnic lunch at Taste (since I have heard they have the best sandwiches in the area and have never yet tried them) then head to Saude Creek Winery for some music and wine on the patio, with a picnic lunch.¬† After reminiscing back over all of our past anniversaries, I came to the realization that they all had something in common… wineries or wine bars.¬† Year one Eric took me to Smokey Hill Winery in Salina, KS, my favorite winery that is now shut down.¬† Year two after moving to Virginia Beach we went to Lubo wine bar and had some drinks together.¬† Year three we celebrated at the Mermaid Winery.¬† I saw it only fitting that we continue this subconscious tradition of ours.¬† We hit the road and got our picnic lunch from Taste.¬† It ended up being later than we anticipated by the time we got on the highway to head to the winery.¬† After seeing all the traffic back up and realizing the time, we decided to save ourselves the headache of traffic and just find some place local for our picnic.¬† I got off the highway at the next exit and just drove around looking for the perfect spot.¬† We came across a part in Norfolk and quickly pulled in.¬†We found a somewhat secluded picnic area and enjoyed our picnic lunch together.¬† It was not our exact plan but we were both able to go with the flow and create a new plan at the spur of the moment that was just as perfect.¬† We walked around the park for a little while after eating, then headed to our Mermaid winery for a glass of wine to still continue our tradition.

After a fun filled weekend of excitement, romance and celebration we headed home Sunday afternoon.¬† Time to snuggle with our girls at home, relax and just be together.¬† We just lounged around in our underwear the rest of the evening.¬† ūüôā

It truly was a great weekend.¬† Looking at the clock at 8:30pm on Sunday night I wanted to somehow stop the clocks and not let the rest of the weekend slip away.¬† It was so great I didn’t want it to end.¬†¬† It was a very much needed great weekend.¬† A time for us to spend a lot of quality time together and to just start to reconnect as a couple again.¬† To do things together, and to do nothing together.¬† Those little things can easily be taken for granted and this weekend helped me to re-realize how important those things are.

Finding Hope Again

Sometimes a hug is all it takes.

The Sunday before was another day from hell.¬† I almost made a decision that would have turned out to be one of the worst mistakes I could make.¬† I was feeling lost and felt like I had lost all hope.¬† I felt like it was all gone and I didn’t know how and if I could ever find it again.¬† Nothing I did, said,¬†or thought was helping to change my mind and at that time I¬†only saw one option.¬† What changed all of that for me, after a day of misery, after so much heartache, conflict, pain and anxiety, was one simple hug.¬† Swallowing my own ego and stubbornness, getting up off my butt and going to him with open arms.¬† The hug, the embrace, the glimmer of hope once again.

That week that followed was¬†about searching for and finding that hope again.¬† After Sunday, and not sleeping, and barely eating much the past week and a half… after the emotional conversations, arguments, mistakes and misery of it all… I woke up Monday morning and just could not go to work.¬† As much as I love my job, I was emotionally drained and exhausted.¬† I needed a day to just think and recharge myself.¬† I got out of bed when Eric was up getting ready for work and headed outside to the balcony.¬† I took a blanket out there and just meditated for a while.¬† Smelling the fresh morning air, feeling the sunshine on my skin, the sound of the birds and the feel of the breeze … it was very refreshing and just what I needed.¬† I sat out there for a long time, meditating and then just thinking and reflecting on the day before, and the events that lead up to it all.¬† While no concrete answers come to me, I did realize that I had almost made a horrible mistake the day before.¬† As I cried and took in the emotions of it all, I knew I had to make it better, at whatever cost.

He came out to tell me bye.  I hugged him and hugged him, cried a little more and told him how sorry I was.  I told him I never ever wanted to NOT be with him and again how sorry I was.  After he left for work, I stayed outside a bit longer.  Monday night his practice was canceled so we just sat together and relaxed.  We were both mentally and emotionally drained and did not want to have any deep or emotional conversation, so we just sat together, watched tv and just relaxed.  It was our Dharma day so after watching tv and relaxing, I brewed some hot green tea and we sat in front of our Buddha shrine and meditated for a while, then read passages from our Buddhism book together to celebrate Dharma Day.  The mediations and Dharma readings also help to put feelings and emotions into perspective .. something that I need to do more often.  Especially when I am feeling so lost.

Sometimes, after so many emotional days, after so many emotional conversations and arguments, you just have to stop and think for a while.  I felt the necessity to spend that evening just being together.  No conversation that could possibly turn into an argument making things even worse.  Even though we did have issues hanging over our head, and I typically like to talk about it and resolve it as soon as possible, I know this was a time to stop talking and just be.

Tuesday I wanted to do something special.  It was our Tuesday date night and  I wanted to start it off and make the extra effort, to show him that I too was trying.  I took off half a day from work and rushed home to some pasta and Caesar salad to be delivered to us right before he got home from work.  I knew neither of us had been eating very well lately and just wanted to surprise him.  I sat the table and lit some candles.  We had a good late lunch/early dinner by candlelight.  Then we took a dip in the pool, played some God of War 11 in PS3, walked around the lake, took a late night moonlight walk to 7-11 for slurpees then some root beer floats.  It was a great Tuesday night.  Again, no deep or emotional conversations, just the chance to be together.

Wednesday I proposed a challenge.¬† A challenge for us to only be positive for one week.¬† To say something positive about the other person or our relationship each day for one week, and to make it a point to be intimate and close every day for a week to see if that brings back some of that connection I have been missing.¬†¬†¬† I have been trying really hard to make a point to focus on the moment, to not dwell in the past or worry abut the future.¬† I have also been trying to make a bigger effort to do little things to show him how much he really does mean to me.¬† And I thought it a fun way to bring some of that positivity, passion and intimacy back.¬† It is a challenge that I whole heartedly recommend to any couples who are having continued troubles and just can’t seem to get out of that rut of a hole.¬† It is definitely a start to get things rolling in the right direction again.

The weekend that followed was our anniversary weekend, four years together.¬† He had off Saturday and Sunday and it was the first whole weekend we had to spend together in months.¬† I was prepared to take full advantage of it!¬† I had been saving up money from the last two paychecks so we could do whatever we wanted and not have to worry about being broke. (another blog will follow about the excitement of our Anniversary weekend)¬† We had a great time together and filled the weekend with as much fun and excitement as our schedule and wallets would allow.¬† There were a couple of bumps that could have caused problems for us, but we both jumped right over them without flinching and didn’t let it cause problems.¬† This is a serious positive for the both of us and it continues to give me more and more hope.¬† The hope that I had so desperately believed I had lost.¬† The hope that I am so determined to find again.

The next week was filled with attempts at being positive and encouraging, building and strengthening, continuing to look for that hope again.¬† He has started to send me some texts like he used to, the ones filled with emotion and love, rather than standard everyday texts.¬† He has left me little notes at the door for me to see when I get up or when I get home … some of those little things that he used to do a lot that I have missed so much.¬† Seeing that effort and those things again brings an instant smile to my face and makes me feel the hope even more fully.¬† Hope is never lost.¬† It is always right there, you just have to open your eyes enough to see it.¬† All it took, on that day from hell was one simple yet gigantic gesture, a hug, an embrace, an exchange of non verbal and unuttered love and affection.

We have yet to sit down and talk about everything that has happened.  I felt it important to give our hearts a little time to heal before bringing it up again.  Not avoiding it, just giving it a rest until the right time.  After another great week together I now feel ready to bring up the issues.  However, I plan to do it in a positive and constructive manner.  A way to help increase our communication and build our relationship again.