Thursday, April 28, 2011

How Many Do You Have?

I stumbled across this list of characteristics of a healthy relationship online. There are 22 points listed. I went through the list and counted 12 that were completely missing from my former marriage. That's over half. And I lived like that for 22 years. The good news is that my present relationship includes every single point on the list. And what a difference it makes! I'm older, wiser and much happier now. Here's the list: 

Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship

  • You have fun
  • You are loved unconditionally
  • You are willing to work through conflicts
  • You receive encouragement for your abilities
  • Cooperation occurs
  • You are respected
  • Anger is expressed safely
  • Feelings are respected and talked about
  • There is willingness to negotiate
  • You have power despite your age or ability or gender or race or class or beliefs
  • You are treated as an Equal
  • Your small accomplishments are noted and celebrated
  • It is okay to make mistakes
  • You can freely say “I was wrong”
  • You are really listened to
  • Resources are shared Equally
  • There is affection and warmth, but never intrusion (e.g. of boundaries)
  • Your privacy is respected
  • Your mealtimes are calm and enjoyable
  • Your differences are respected and encouraged
  • You can be silly
  • You are honest with each other

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Urge To Purge

We have now set a target time for when we want to be out of standard living arrangements and living full time in an RV. Even though we don't know exactly how it's all going to come together, we felt it best to put something somewhat concrete out there to aim for. So what we are aiming for is December of 2012. Are current lease is up the end of this coming November. We think we will probably downsize further then by moving into a one bedroom apartment. It makes sense. It forces us to reduce our belongings even more, gets us used to an even smaller living space, and cuts down on our expenses which will allow us to accrue some much needed funds for purchasing a RV. So a year of that and then the ultimate downsizing into a RV!

Our current actions towards reaching our goal are doing lots of research on full time RVing, going to RV shows to check out actual rigs, and getting rid of as much stuff as we can. It's mostly all very exciting for us. As we pitch stuff I feel a great sense of relief. And it's funny how I now see the absurdity of the typical "American dream" which involves a LOT of "stuff ownership". Let's face it. Even if you have the means to purchase stuff, you are usually only happy with it for a short time. Then that stuff is no longer good enough. And you are now on a quest to purchase something even better. It is a never ending cycle that leads mostly to just being swallowed up by stuff. Occasionally a purchase will result in a lasting love affair with something that is truly useful & a joy to own. But weeding out the mediocre crap you really don't have to have and that does not bring something positive to your life results in feeling less buried by stuff. When I make a purchase now I ask myself how important it is to have this item. I'm purchasing a lot less! And I will admit that living a cash only lifestyle makes this much easier. When we gave up using credit cards our eyes were opened to how much we were purchasing that we simply should not have been. And while it scared us to not have that crutch to use, we found  it much easier than we would ever have thought.

This whole downsizing process has been a slowly evolving thing. The more we do it, the more we ask ourselves "okay what else can we live without?". And we always manage to surprise ourselves with the answer to that question. I would never have thought I could embrace a minimalist lifestyle. But I am getting there! After decades of focusing on having more this is a huge turn around. And it feels good so I'm running with it.    :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Rumors Are False. I Am Still Alive!

I went over a month without posting? Craziness! Well, life has been kind of crazy I guess. Better than ho hum-ness anyway. Good news is I finally got over my bronchitis. It took a grand total of seven weeks. I have never been down and out like that before in my life. I really don't care to do it again! I did learn several things though that I don't intend to forget. And that is always good. I am now chugging water like crazy. It's really absurd that I wasn't before. I live in the frigging desert for crying out loud. I preach the gospel of hydration to my clients day in and day out. And then what do I do? Drink like one glass a day? Pathetic Brenda. Just pathetic. Anyway, I finally found the trick to make it easier for me. I squeeze a lime wedge into my water. Makes it go down soooo much easier!

I got over my coughing just in the nick of time. We had a family trip to Sedona last week and I got better right on  time for that. It's a good thing cause we did lots of hiking/walking which just a few days sooner would have left me hacking up a lung. So I was very grateful to not have to go through that! We had a such a wonderful time with lots of laughs, bonding drama.    hahahaha    There just always has to be some, doesn't there?  But in the grand scheme of things it was no big deal and we still all love each other. I have to say, Karin's family is so different from mine. I always find it interesting hanging out with them. On the one hand they are so much closer than my family. Yet they have way more drama. I think it's just that they do a better job of expressing themselves while my family just locks it all up inside.

Work has been ridiculous lately. Even more so than normal. Or not. Maybe I just become accustomed to ever increasing levels of ridiculousness. I keep saying that this is the final straw. But that straw keeps shifting to yet another straw. Maybe I am the ridiculous one! I don't know. I keep loving my time with my clients. But I come home with so much bitterness over the background stuff going on that it clouds my perspective. And I'm just going to admit it. I'm getting tired of coming home miserably sore and stiff. For my three days on, I am a wreck. For my first day off I am not up to doing much. Then I enjoy my next three off and then the cycle starts over again. So for over half my life I am sore and cranky. And that's working a mere three days a week! Somehow it just doesn't add up. I need to figure out how to make it work for me.

Karin & I just celebrated our seventh anniversary. This is the anniversary of the date we exchanged rings. We very quietly and privately did this, never thinking that we would have a ceremony. As it turned out, we did end up having a ceremony later on. So in fact, we have two separate anniversary dates. We like to complicate things.   :)    But this is the anniversary that was the true beginning for us, so it has great meaning for us. I wonder if the day will come when we can legally marry and then we will have THREE anniversary dates? How cool would that be? Going for some kind of record!