Friday, August 08, 2008

Eight, Eight, Oh Eight!

I was in class when I realized it was 08/08/08.

Not only was this an interesting date because of the numbers, but tonight I watched the most breathtaking ceremony I have ever seen.

China has done themselves proud for their successful opening ceremonies for this years summer olympics. Regardless of political differences, or anything else, you cannot say that China did not do a fantastic job creating, and executing, probably the most amazing show in the history of the world.

Congratulations China, your country has shined, and you should all be proud.

It's safe to say that China is one of the oldest countries, with some of the richest history.

Many people will hate China regardless of what they do, and I understand this animosity because they have done many things that we do not consider civilized.

My hope is that one day China will overcome their problems with how they treat people who do not bend to their will, and work harder to join the countries who treat people more humanely so we can put the past behind us.

This ceremony is a great step in that direction.

If you saw the ceremony, I'd love to hear your comments.

By the way, did you notice the rings in the Olympic flag make multiple figure eights?

Divorce, It's Only Natural

Am I wrong?

Isn't a marriage between two people a commitment for life?

At least, this is what I have always been led to believe. In sickness and in health, 'til death do us part, and all that.

Now I'm not so certain.

Several friends have recently been having second thoughts on their marriage, and I find this strange because of what is happening in my own situation. My other friends are women, and from this limited pool of data I have deduced that women seem to loose interest in their mates later in life.

It seems as though from their stories, and from what I have been reading online recently, women tend to loose interest in their husbands as the kids grow older and they realize that keeping the family together is no longer such a big deal.

As men grow older they seem to, slow down a bit. They find enjoyment in coming home and relaxing. Women, on the other hand, seem to go the opposite direction. I read that women who are divorced are looking for men who want to go camping, hang-gliding, hiking, spelunking, etc... It's like women are trying out for, "Survivor", and men are just trying to stay awake.

I'm not certain where I'm going with this, just that I am observing some strange behaviors in this whole marriage thing, and I find it disturbing.

Why do people continue to get married in the guise that it will last forever, when it seems that the reality is that it is more then likely not going to.

I know many people will argue that they have been happily married forever, and I have no clue what I'm talking about. As I think back on many relationships, more often then not I see people tolerating each other as time goes on. Some are better at it then others, and these marriages are called, successful.

Many couples live on, trying to make it work because they are husband and wife and that's what they are supposed to do. Others ride it out, "for the kids".

I think people get married with the good intentions of making it work forever, but after 10-20 years of dealing with all that life has to toss your direction, people grow apart or just flat out can't stand each other any more.

Is this good or bad? I'm not in the position to say.

No matter what happens, I think the stigma that getting divorced is a horrible thing needs to be reworked.

I'm not condoning flippant relationships, but just maybe mating for life is not a practical life model anymore, or really ever was. It's just that in these times it seems that folks are not as scared to get divorced as they once were.

Religion has played a part in this trend.

People aren't getting divorced more frequently because of our society, they are getting divorced more frequently because religion is loosing its hold on dictating how people should live.

Some will have you believe that this is a horrible thing, and the trend must be reversed at all costs.

I believe it is only natural, and the reason we have had a lot of problems in the past is that people force themselves to remain together because of societal pressures.

What do you think?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Psychic Reflections

Certainly I'm not unique.

In spite of my self-proclaimed open-mindedness, I have come to the realization that I have been plodding along through life with blinders on. It's not that after 19 years of marriage I am depressed about being separated from my wife. In fact, the opposite feeling. There is a sense of freedom and release.

One of my traits I have always thought of as being strong, is the ability t get along with anyone. At work, or in my personal life, not much really bothers me. I believe this is actually a negative thing now.

It feels like instead of getting along with people, I am just a doormat. Now that I have control of my own castle once again, I'm enjoying the freedom and finding myself wanting to get things done such as cleaning out the garage, and going through all of the crap that has been in boxes for the six years we have lived here.

During my marriage I have claimed a tiny spot in the house where I could be me, and let my wife have the run of the rest of the house. My thinking was that I really don't care about that sort of thing, so why not let her do what she wants. This may have unknowingly been our undoing.

Because I relinquished all of my power and control to my wife, I didn't realize that this also diminished my desire to even want to do anything around the house. Now that the house is mine, and mine alone, the drive is slowly returning because the end result will be my responsibility now.

When you have been a part of a team for so long, and that team suddenly breaks apart, the invisible dynamics begin to show themselves. I know my wife is having to adjust to life on her own as well, and is probably realizing the same things, although on the flip-side.

This time apart will help us each to grow in our personal lives, but I'm not sure that it will lead to repairing our current situation. At this time, unless something drastic happens, I believe that ship has sailed.

If you're in a marriage, and having problems, take a step outside your comfort zone, outside the box you have created for yourself, and try to view things like you have never viewed them before. Have you lost your identity because of your marriage? Are you letting yourself be walked on, or taken advantage of? If so, you need to find yourself again. Become a more active part of your relationship.

When I hear women talk about men, one phrase seems to come up frequently. "Well, he should just know what I want."

Ladies, let me tell you straight up. Men are clueless as to what you want. Despite what you see when you watch romantic comedies, soap operas or read in any of the women's magazines, men are not psychic. No, really, we're not. We have no idea what you want, and will NEVER know unless you tell us.

When you want to tell your man what you want, don't be clever, and subtle either. Take out a 2x4 and beat us over the head with it! If you want jewelry, tell your man that nothing on the planet makes you happy like jewelry does, and the more expensive the better! If you're more of a flower girl, then let your man know how much you love to receive flowers from him, and what kinds make you the most happy.

Once this point has been driven home, you're not through. Men have short attention spans, so you're going to have to remind him over, and over, and over again what makes you happy. I have a news flash for you, men will never do these things on their own no matter how much they love you. Oh sure every once in a while he'll do something special, but the less you remind him, the more he'll forget, and the longer it will be between the things you desire.

Constantly you hear that communication is the key to a good relationship, and it's true. It's not psychic communication, it's not memory, and it's certainly not patience. You have to speak to your man in slow, small, simple words. Then tell him again, and again. Yes, communication IS the key, but you have to actually communicate.

Time to quit bitching to your friends how you man doesn't do this or that for you, and start telling him what you need him to o for you.

After all, once you have made it blatantly clear what you need, and he still ignores you, then you'll feel better about dumping his worthless butt for a better model. ;)

If he listens to your needs, and gives you what you ask for, show him how much you care about what he has done for you, don't follow it up wit more demands. It's the little battles that will win the war, and never an uncompromising surrender of the enemy.

Good luck!