Surviving April

Today I talk about how I'm stuck.

I don't want to be a person who lives in the past.

On the flip side, if I don't remember life changing events is that disrespectful?

There is a great quote in the Sheryl Crow song “Every Day is a Winding Road” and she asks, “Why am I a stranger in my own life?”

I talk about the day I watched my Mom breakdown upon hearing her father's voice for the first time in a long time. So now I'm worried about playing an old tape that has my Mom's voice.

I don't want to be “THAT GUY” who is always talking about his Mom. At this point, I've spent more time without her than I did with her.

So I get really worried that I spend too much time looking back.

I Still Remember the Pain of Childbirth

So I was halfway filling out the application at match.com when I hear a familiar voice in my head ask, “Is that what you're going to wear?”

There is a part of me that feels I need someone to go through life with, and someone to hold my hand, when I get old and feeble. This might've been brought on by the Death of my Dad followed by my Aunt, but I can see the bus coming, and it's a ways off, but its not that far away. So I am torn between two worlds.

And today I decided to turn on a microphone and talk about it.

A New Look at the Holidays

Today I share what it was like to go through the holidays ALONE last year.

As horrifying as that might sound, there were some perks.

In this episode we talk about

What happens when you really  decorate the tree

Those really annoying Jewelry commercials with Kevin and Brenda

Who is buying people cars for Christmas? Really?

If you're having a rough time hang in there the holidays are almost over.

If you're having a good time, good. Take mental pictures.

Whambulance

With the election finally over, I'm amazed at how people are reacting. I've voted for people who didn't win. I didn't riot. I didn't cry.

I realized in four years I'd get to try again, and for the most part, the banks own all the politicians, and it doesn't make any difference any way.

But what is causing this? Is the the “everyone gets a trophy” thing?

What happened to losing gracefully?

If You’re Happy and You Know It

Today I talk about a negative voice in my head that just always seems to be there. Always.

Lately something has not felt normal. Something was weird. Something didn't feel right.

It turns out the thing that wasn't wrong, was there wasn't something wrong.

I'm not dreading going home

I'm not under lots of stress.

I like my job.

I'm not super stressed about money

I'm pretty sure, that it may be a while before I get in another argument.

I feel respected.

What is this feeling?

Holy cow, I'm happy. I forgot what this has felt like. Much like a dog who has been beat too much, I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop – and it's not.

You can feel bad about yourself when you compare yourself to others.

The American life is to have a spouse, a house and kids. Well I have no spouse, probably not going to have a house, and the kids boat has sailed. If I think about this too much, I can feel like I've missed something. Yet, I have a great life. I'm sitting in air conditioning, employed, I'm down 30 lbs.

Life is good, quit being an A-hole and enjoy it!

What You Focus On Should Impact You In a Positive Way

I almost bought a magazine filled with Shi-tzu dogs that in the end would leave me feeling sad missing my old dog. At first seeing their pictures of the dogs/puppies it made me smile. However, if I bought that magazine, I know I would eventually lead to me missing my dog. So I passed on the magazine. Instead I'm going to focus on the things in front of me that bring me joy (like air conditioning)

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Brian and Linda: Marriage Advice from the Divorced Guy

Last weekend I was driving to the place where I ride my bike. It beautiful. I get out there, relax, and enjoy nature.

This week I was driving and I passed signs for Brian and Linda's wedding, and then the reception. I thought of how happy Brian and Linda must be on this day. It was an awesome day to sweat 20 lbs off in a tux. I thought of how I felt on my wedding days. Yes, there have been two. With this in mind, you can learn from people who succeed at something, or you can also learn from people who fail at something so I feel I have some good advice from a divorced guy.

Pick Your Battles, and Your Battle Times

Your spouse is not perfect. This you need to learn right up front. Your life will not be perfect. How you handle the reality of that is HUGE part of how your marriage will go. This doesn't mean you become a welcome mat for your spouse to walk over, but you do need to set realistic expectations. With this in mind, let some things roll off your back. Wait a day or two to see if it is still bugging you. If it is, then start thinking about how to bring it up, and more importantly when to bring it up.

There is that whole “Don't go to bed mad at each other” and it's next to impossible if you bring up stuff AS YOU ARE GOING TO BED. For me, when my head hit the pillow I had two things on my mind, and if we weren't doing the first thing, I wanted to sleep. This is NOT the best time to bring up serious subjects. Your spouse is exhausted and wants to sleep. I know, let's dump some serious discussion on them, and see how they make decisions when their brain checked out hours ago.

In the morning before work is a crappy way to start the day. As soon as you get home from work is awful because you want to relax. How about after dinner. Another tip I would add is give a warning shot. Maybe some time during the day send a “I need to talk to you tonight” text to let them know. While a “we need to talk” used to mean you are breaking up, now that you're married that option is off the table. Don't panic.

Reinforce Your Commitment

Let's face it, there will be times when things are said or done, and you are royally cheesed off. This happens. Remember, it's not going to be perfect. So if you are going to bed angry, try to remind your spouse that while you don't like them at the moment, you do love them. I know that's weird. Buy can you love a child who just spilled chocolate on the carpet? Sure. Well then, remember that you can be upset with someone and still love them.

State that, “You know that really hurt me, and I'm upset. I want you to know that I still love you, and I'm sure we can work through this.” Why I feel this is important is when you get into a bad situation, it may feel like everything you do is not good enough, that all you do is wrong, and that your relationship is doomed. A reminder that you are a team, and you will work through your problems might be a key to having a dialogue vs an argument.

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

If you need to point out something that needs work, the “bad news” might go down better if you add something positive to it first. “I love that you are such a (hard worker, good mom, etc) and I can see that when you (whatever they did) and I deeply appreciate it. Here is a way that take that great action and maximize the impact would be to ____.

Don't Be A Buthead

Be careful saying something nice up front if it is followed by “But…” as everything before the word But gets erased when you use it. This is really hard to do. I the love the way you do this, and that BUT when you…. that doesn't work.

Know Your Schools of Thought on Marriage

There are two schools of marriage (for me).

  1. Two complete people who choose to be together.
  2. Two incomplete people who choose to be together to complete each other (the Jerry McQuire Marriage).

People Can Change But It's Never Easy

By the time you get married, you are who you are for the most part. People can change, that is true. It's a bit like steering a giant cruise boat. Sure it can turn, but it takes time, and it is slow. If you are marrying someone and thinking later that annoying thing they do will change, you might want to reconsider. For one, if they do change it may be something that comes naturally, and consequently, it takes effort to not do something that is just like a reflex. So if you marry someone who drinks, and think later you can talk them into giving it up, you may be not so presently surprised. If you want someone to give up something they truly enjoy, it may happen along with this thing we call resentment.

Have Something In Common

You are going to be spending a lot time with this person, it would be nice if you could do things together that you BOTH enjoy.

Be The Person Your Spouse Wants to Hang Out With

You never get any time together. You finally do, don't spend that time telling your spouse they you never spend any time together. Instead tell them how much you miss them, and how great it is to spend time together. Give them something to miss. Nobody likes a no it all. Nobody wants to be around a person who is always complaining. Be someone your spouse wants to hang out with.

Women – Sex Makes You Stupid

Don't sleep with someone. I know that women are independent and strong, but thanks to movies, romance novels, etc when you have sex with a man you become blind to their faults (in most cases). Typically, it is harder for women to have sex with a man without having emotional ties.

Date Night

We are busy, so come up with dedicated times to spend together. There are no exceptions. This shows your dedication. If you do need to use a Date Night for a non-date night activity, be sure to appreciate the other person for letting you go off the plan, and make it up to them. To the person who is “giving permission” do it with a smile, and you will be the coolest person on the planet. A person people (your spouse) will want to hang out with.

If Needed, Schedule Sex

You're busy, I'm busy, you're tired, I'm tired. Sex is important to everyone in the marriage. I know it would be great if violins started to play and “it just happened” but it doesn't. Here again, it's not going to be perfect. But if you put it on the calendar, all expectations are on the calendar, everyone knows what is expected. Sure it's not as romantic, but are you going to tell me that when it's done you're going to say, “well that was awful.” There is no bad pizza; there is no bad horrible sex.”