Linda Saxy

Author (A.K.A. Linda Bolton)

Tag: fitness

Can Love Last Forever

    From the time we are small we are taught to strive for a goal – live happily ever after.  But is that realistic? Is it possible?
    From watching many friends, as well as my own marriage, happily ever after is a relative term.  Who’s version of happy? What does happy really mean? Is there such a thing? I mean, comfortable and routine is happy for many, lack of conflict is happiness for others, where as a clashing of the minds is a kind of happiness for some. When are you just settling, thinking nothing can be better? Can there be better?
    Stepping back from your relationship and looking at it from the outside, if its possible, is one step. Is your marriage the way you want it to be? Are you and your spouse growing in the same direction? Are you both evolving? Or has one of you changed direction, leaving the other behind?
    After many years of marriage I have found it common that at least one partner starts to change.  It might be during mid-life that causes the question to be asked, “Is this all there is?”.  I know from my experience wife, mom and customer service rep wasn’t all I wanted to be remembered for.  I felt hollow.  There is more to me. I talked with another writer who simply said,”I hear voices in my head and I have to write down what they say”.  I feel the same way,  I’m compelled. Its crazy, I know, but if you write you know how I feel. And, I know if you know me, you think I’m a workaholic. Truly I’m not. I love my down-time. I just need more to fulfill me than a cubical in an office. Fitness isn’t a new career for me either.  I was very involved in teaching and personal training thirteen years ago, before our daughter came along.
    I don’t regret the decisions I made, family-wise or career-wise.  But as I reach my late forties I have to be true to myself now.  The question isn’t “is this all there is”, but “is this all I want it to be”? And where, as I change, does my spouse fit into all this? Is it a question of love? I have to ask that. As I examine my motivations and where I see myself in the years to come, where does my past fit in?
    Did I fall out of love? If so, when did it happen?  I have asked myself and, as I look back, it was a long time ago. I think, out of habit, I went through the motions, being a dutiful wife and figuring this is all there would be.  I watched as friends’ marriages fell apart and began to examine mine. What made mine different?  Why were we still together? Everyone thought we were perfect but were we?  I realized I smoothed things out to keep the peace.  I rearranged my schedules to suit everyone else.  I gave up the things I loved to make everyone else happy.  It was time to find out what maked me happy.
    First, I started writing.  It was a wonderful outlet.  I wasn’t sure I’d really want to try to get published, just getting the voice onto paper.  Then, as I wrote, and others read it, I thought, why can’t I get published. So I’m working toward that goal. Then, I found an old friend and was asked to help him with his business.  Its three hours away and a great getaway. I might work a few hours, helping him to market his business and ideas, the rest of the time is relaxation.  Its my nirvana. And then I got back into fitness.  Not just working out and getting healthy but helping others do the same thing. Oh, and I make money at it too.  All during this I found my independence again.
    I have always been independent but I allowed myself to appear dependent in my relationship. Over the last five years I had been gradually gaining my independence back.  My husband had been going through his own mid-life and exerting his independence, which excluded ‘honey-dos’, causing me to take care of things.  So I guess I owe my resurgence of independence to him, indirectly. In gaining my independence I had to figure out where he fit into all this. Where did love, if there was any, play a part?
   I have deep feelings for my husband but am I “in love”? I have asked myself that question over and over.  I don’t wish him any ill-will but is this partnership at its end? Can mere caring for one another be enough? I’m not a rash person; I think things through.  Can love last forever? For some, maybe.  For me…..

Are You Speaking The Same Language

    Have you ever wondered why your “significant other” can’t read your mind? Send all the right signals and they still can’t seem to figure out what your saying? Are you speaking the same language? Love language, that is.
    In the book Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman,  is listed the five ways we love. Unfortunately, not all of us have the same language as our partners. This can cause hurt feelings and miscommunication in our relationships. Figure out your love language and see if your partner speaks it:
1-Words of Affirmation – you desire unsolicited compliments. This one is mine. I didn’t get much praise growing up and love to get a compliment.  I’m not always very good at accepting them but I love to hear them.  These can include anything from “dinner was great”, to “you look amazing today”.
2-Quality Time – this is receiving your partner’s undivided attention, whether its talking about your day or having dinner together.  No cell phones, no distractions.
3-Receiving Gifts – receiving an unexpected gift where thoughtfulness, love and effort were put into it.  Its not about dollar value.
4-Acts of Service – Surprise!  The dishes are done, or the kids have already been picked up. These are the “let me do that for you” moments.
5-Physical Touch – I know you’re expecting this to be sex – not exactly. Some people are very “touchy”, lots of hugs, pats, holding hands, thoughtful touches.  These are ways to show excitement, concern, care and love.
    OK, now think about those. Which is the most important to you? They are all great and we all like them but which one speaks to you the most? You can have more than one but usually one is dominant. I have already admitted Words of Affirmation is mine but so is Physical Touch.  I’m a patter. I touch folks when I talk to them. Now think about your loved one. What is their love language? They probably do examples of theirs to you. We tend to give examples of our love language to others, thinking they like it too. For instance, I have a friend who’s husband likes to receive gifts so he buys her things all the time. Her love language is physical touch and he rarely touches her (except for sex). So she tries to hold his hand and he’s not interested. See how this works?
    The goal would be to learn each others language so you can meet each others needs. So, your homework assignment, should you chose to accept, is to figure out yours and your partner’s love language.  See if you can speak each others language.

How To Find That Special Someone

I was recently asked how to find that special someone? Where do you look? Is dating different now than it was 20 years ago?
It’s just as complicated as it was when we were twenty-somethings looking for a good time. I watch my newly, and some not so newly, single friends struggle with dating. Do you ask the blonde sniffing melons out to dinner? Or is that just too weird? Do you go to the nightclub and pick up that guy, who at 9PM was just so-so but at 1AM he’s looking pretty good? Do you start going to church in hopes they’ll be someone there you click with? Do you try speed-dating? Safe environment, only have to spend a few minutes together, no commitment.
Oh, don’t forget social media. FaceBook and dating sites are introducing men and women to each other all the time. I have a few friends that reconnected with old flames through social networking. They seem to be happy. I have a couple friends that tried dating sites. It was an interesting way to meet people with similar interests and get to know them a bit before actually seeing them face-to-face. I think it’s different for everyone.
Self-confidence and just plain bravery are the main key. Meeting someone new is scary. Unless you’re an FBI agent or a cop you’re on your own trying to figure out if this new person is a good, upstanding individual or a serial killer. I’m not trying to scare you but those things are out there. Group dating is always a safe bet. When you see that cute redhead tugging at leaves on the pineapples strike up a none-threatening conversation. Ask her how to tell if the pineapple is ripe. If she’s friendly and responds with a smile continue chatting about fruit or grocery shopping. If you feel she’s interested invite her to a quiet bar or to a fun restaurant like a sushi or sports bar. Tell her you’ll have two to three friends and ask her to bring the same. You both will feel safe if you don’t hit it off since you’ll have your buddies to keep you company.
At any age dating is a challenging endeavor. People change from the first time you meet to the twentieth date. In our forties and fifties most of us have set habits we chose not to change so that’s important to remember. If you aren’t liking that they are a pack-rat, a shopaholic, drink alcohol or smoke there is little chance they will change for you. The same holds true for your habits – are you willing to change for them? Be flexible but cautious as you search for your mate. Love can be around the corner if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone. Remember all they can say is no.

Do Friends Make Better Lovers

Do friends make better lovers? Do they make better long-term partners?

Most couples become couples first, friends second.  Is it better the other way around? I’ve been told by many, yes. But doesn’t that screw up Dating 101? You know, you meet at a party, eyes link from across the room, you’re drawn to each other, you go have coffee, talk into the night, and BAM, your dating! If you’re friends first, how does that change things?

If you’re friends, from school, neighbors, work and then you start to date, is it because you were always attracted to each other? Or is it because you know each other’s flaws already, know what irks one another, what each one likes, that a relationship can bloom?

Have you ever had a roommate? Was the roommate your best friend? Did you stay roommates for long? I know I’ve had very close friends as roommates and, generally, we couldn’t stay roommates in order to preserve our relationship.  Does that hold true if your the opposite sex? Can a man and a woman be best friends and roommates and not have a relationship? Aren’t we made to be drawn to one another? If you have a best friend that is of the opposite sex are you destined to become more? Is it the nature of the beast?

I’m not saying men and women can’t be friends and not be sexually drawn to one another.  I’m talking best friends. Women know what I’m saying. When we have best friends we do a lot of things together, tell our deepest, darkest secrets, reveal ourselves. Once you’ve done that with a man have you gone too far? Have you pushed your relationship to the next level? Can men process information like that and not see a deeper attraction than just buddies? Can a woman? If you take the next step does it give you a deeper relationship than starting out as a dating couple to begin with?

For example, lets go back to the Dating 101 scenario.  You’re strangers, having coffee, talking about superficial basics of first contact. Next step is the first date.  Then the second, and so on. At what point are you comfortable enough to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets? Will you ever share your lifelong dreams and goals? Oh, you’ll share some but do you share all, without the fear of rejection? Is it easier to share those deepest thoughts with your friend than your lover? Sure it is.

So in saying that, the question is, how do you know if your friend should become more to you? As a friend they accept you, warts and all, usually from the beginning. In Dating 101, you’re much pickier; sometimes dumping someone for a flaw you should have accepted, would have as a friend, to find out they would have been a great catch later on but you blew it.

The only thing I can say is enjoy your friendship.  Don’t push it along.  Let nature take its course. Not every relationship is meant to take the next step.  Sometimes friendship is wonderful just the way it is and sometimes its better when its more.

Hall Passes

There’s a movie out touting the fun and problems of having a “hall pass” from your spouse or significant other.  Would that be a good idea?

First, You’d have to decide when in your relationship is the best time to schedule something like this.  Would it be at the end of year one, five, seven (year itch), ten, twenty? Then, how long is this “pass” good for? A day, a week? Are there rules? Who are you seeing/sleeping with during that time?  An old fling, an old boyfriend/girlfriend, your spouse’s best friend? What if you decide the grass is greener somewhere else?  Yesterday you were perfectly content the way things were and now…

Why would you want a “hall pass”? Do you have an urge so strong you can’t suppress it?  Are you unhappy with things in your current relationship that a night on the town will cure? Are you cheating and feeling guilty and think if a “hall pass” is granted guilt will disappear? Not that old fashion cheating is ok, but this just sounds like an “open relationship”.  Why set a timeline? Just see who you want all the time. That would be easier and less strategy involved.

What if you enjoyed the “hall pass” so much you didn’t want to go back to your old relationship?  If you’re looking for an excuse to end it, just man-up and end it. Why blame it on the “hall pass”? Are you hoping you’ll find out the grass isn’t greener and the romance will suddenly bounce back into your old relationship. Got some news for you, relationships take work.  Sometimes they aren’t pretty, fun or enjoyable, kind of like your job. Oh, it can be greener somewhere else but there’ll be work there too. Nothing in life is free or easy.

Lastly, can you go back to your relationship after a “hall pass” and take up where you left off?  Don’t you think you’d both be different? Even with permission you cheated.  Heck, they probably did too.  Are you both ok with that? Were any feeling hurt with who you “hall passed” with? Have you learned to appreciate each other or resent each other? Is your relationship more complicated now knowing what you both think you’re missing?

The biggest question is would you have been better off not knowing what you were missing? Maybe you should have taken that time to work on your relationship together instead. Hmmm…things to think about.

How Many Times is Too Many Times

Hmmm…How many times is too many times in a day, an hour, in fifteen minutes? One, three, five?

I’m talking calling and texting your friend/significant other with no response. I think men and women view this same way, some are multiple callers, some are single. Does it really stress the importance of a call/text if it is multiplied by ten? Or does it just encourage the receiver to ignore it?

I’m of the opinion that a single call is sufficient, depending on importance.  If a car wreck or hospital is involved then a possible text and call are needed.  I know my daughter never answers calls but I definitely get her to answer a text.  May take an hour or two, but she eventually answers.  If the call is just to chat I typically do not leave a voice mail and do not back it up with a text.  I figure the receiver will see the missed call and call back if they want to chat. Occasionally, I will leave a voice mail if I have a particular reason to call.  If I receive no response I may call back the next day.

My daughter likes to, as she calls it, blow up the receivers phone.  She will text repeatedly and call repeatedly if there there is no response.  She thinks if there is twenty calls/texts from her then the person will get back to her quicker. I know when she does it to me I am more likely to ignore the calls.

So, back to your significant other.  If you call them and they don’t answer, should call again to make sure your call went through? Should then text to make sure they know you’re calling? And do you get more opportunities to call if you’ve been together more or less time? Hmmm…Are you being needy or pesty? Will multiple calls get you the response you want or will they just get irritated? These are questions you have to answer yourself. You know the person you’re calling.  Are they not answering because they can’t hear the phone, they’re busy and can’t get to it or because you fear they aren’t interested in you anymore? Does multiple calls/texts help this situation? Will it make them realize how wonderful you are?

Thinks to ponder…

Love Over Forty

I have finally finished my first novel.  And, of course, I wonder if anyone will want to read it. Its not about the typical couple; the hero is in his early forties and the heroin is in her mid-late forties. Will anyone believe you can find love for the first or, even, second, time around?

I’m in my forties and I have many friends in their forties and fifties asking the same question.  Will love be there for them? To find out if my book is realistic I asked the experts, my friends. 
One friend, divorced at forty-six, found love with a younger guy, thirty-eight, within months of her separation from her husband.  Another friend, divorced in her late forties after twenty-seven years of marriage, found true happiness with a man twenty years her junior. And yet another, divorced after five years of marriage, found love with a man twenty years her senior.  
Not all relationships have faired so well.  One other friend who divorced at forty, three years ago, has been struggling just to find a decent date.  And one other has yet to find that special someone after attempting to get married multiple times. 
Is love any easier later in life? After watching my friends I think its just as difficult as in your twenties except you know more of what to expect. If I’ve learned anything in the last twenty or so years its to be honest and up front from the beginning. Life is short and we don’t have time for games and players. In most of the relationships I’ve been exposed to those that are fairing the best are the ones that aren’t afraid to say what they need from their partner. Just because we’re older doesn’t necessarily mean we’re much wiser. Sometimes we need direction. 
So, in light of my research, my book appears valid and plausible. Once it hits the internet (ebooks) I’ll let you know. You can give me your opinion. 

Fear Of The Unknown

You see a handsome guy at a party and you want to talk to him, but you don’t. You’ve been dating her a month and you want to tell her you love her, but you don’t.

Why don’t we just jump in with both feet? Take the plunge? See what happens? Fear! Where does that fear come from? Past experience.

Remember when you were a kid and you’d try anything? I remember climbing chain link fences.  I was brave until my jeans got caught at the top of a fence once and I couldn’t get down. That was the end of my climbing days.  Or how you wrote notes to the guy/gal you liked, “I love you, do you love me? Circle yes or no”? Even when you received “no” you persevered, wrote a note to your second fav and moved on. I was brave until forth grade….Not only did I get a resounding “no” but “your fat” came along with it. No more notes after that!

Rejection is probably one of man’s (and woman’s) greatest fears.  Who wants to be shot down?  The problem is if you don’t put it out there you’ll never know if your fear is unfounded. I know, easier said then done.  In my twenties fear of rejection was probably my number one fear, heights being the second thanks to the fence. But in my forties I’m not so worried about it.  Granted I’m not out looking for dates but there is rejection, and fear of it, in all areas of our lives. I have come to realize I’m not getting any younger and if I want life to be at its best I have to step out of my box. I have to take rejection by the horns and give it a shake!

Life can be as exciting and fun as we want it to be if we are not afraid to grow from a bit of rejection. Rejection can be good.  We learn from it and move forward.  Look at it as stepping stones to greatness. Fearing it only holds you back. Yes, sometimes the rejection isn’t polite, friendly, or thoughtful. Sometimes its ugly and hurtful.  Take a step back, shed a tear, regroup, put on your big girl thong and get back out there. Fearing the unknown and not facing that fear puts life on hold.  Do we really have that kind of time?

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