The Best Way to Find Mr. Right

Notice I did not say the fastest way to find Mr. Right, but the best way.  Now, I have been divorced twice, so you may not want to take advice from me.  I will say that I have learned a lot from the mistakes I’ve made.  And I learned something very valuable after two failed marriages.

When I tell people I am on my third marriage, he tells me, “No, this is your last marriage.”  I have definitely become successful at marriage, and I want to share my secret for finding Mr. Right.  (What you do once you find him is on you.)

I was a single mother with four children and, although I was not bitter about marriage, I simply was not interested anymore.  I idealized marriage and was not able to make it work.  I had been thinking about the fact that men didn’t treat me well.  I was attractive, intelligent, kind, and industrious, yet I kept attracting men who used me for a door mat… and frequently a meal ticket.

It occurred to me that I was going to stop waiting for a man to do nice things for me, and I would just do them for myself.  In particular, I really wished that a man would bring me flowers, but they never did.  So one day when I was doing my grocery shopping, I purchased a bouquet of flowers.  I took them home, cut them, and put them in a vase that I dug out from the cabinet under my kitchen sink.  I put them on the kitchen table and stood there looking at them for a long time.  Although I don’t even remember what kind of flowers they were, I remember the feeling I got seeing them on my table and smelling their perfume on the air.

This was the first step.  I began doing nice things for myself on a regular basis.  I went to nice restaurants.  I bought myself a silver bangle for my birthday.  It had a heart cut out on the inside of the bracelet (where no one else can see it), that reminds me to love myself.  All these little things added up to a huge change in the way I carried myself and in what I would now expect from a potential partner.

I began dating after I felt whole, and one of the first serious relationships I got into showed me how far I had come.  He had me flown to where he lived and he was waiting in the airport with a dozen roses!  Although I chose not to continue that relationship, I was being given affirmation that I deserved this kind of treatment.  Incidentally, the fact that I could end a relationship with someone who was good to me, not because I didn’t feel worthy, but because I now knew exactly what I wanted in a relationship was amazing in itself.

Then I met my current last husband.  If I had met him only a few years before, I would never have considered dating him because I would have felt he was out of my league.  I am grateful I found him after I found my own self worth.  He opens doors for me, brings me gifts (often when I least expect it), teaches me new things, and gives me permission (not that I need it anymore) to take care of myself.  He believes in me, builds me up, and is strong for me when I can’t be strong for myself.

So if you are looking for Mr. Right (or Ms. Right), the best way to find him (or her) is to stop looking, and treat yourself the way you want to be treated.  Then he will come looking for you.

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Can’t Get It Out of My Head

LilyI passed this fence and this lily every day this week. And every time I passed, I thought, “That would be a good shot.” Today, I did not have need to pass by there, but I couldn’t get the picture out of my head. So I drove to this spot, pulled into the closest driveway, got out of my car, and snapped a few photos (I also caught a bee on a thistle while I was there… but I’ll us that for another post). Now I will be able to sleep tonight.

Thriving With Autism

I walk nearly every day. While I’m walking, I listen to personal growth mp3’s, webcasts, podcasts, or radio programs. As I walk and listen, I frequently begin composing my blog post for the day, often unintentionally. Tonight was no different.

Today was my youngest son’s 12th birthday. Although all children go through things as they grow and develop, some have more challenges than others. My youngest son is one of these. Fortunately, he has dealt with these challenges well.

He was initially diagnosed with generalized anxiety, ADHD inattentive type, and a short-term processing deficit. My purpose is not to get into a dialogue about labels, but to paint a picture of the struggles he was facing. Later added to his diagnoses were mild Autism and possible dyslexia.

When very young, my son wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone except immediate family. He was extremely anxious. If we drove home a different way than we usually did, he panicked. We avoided many places and situations in order to keep him calm. Like many children with Autism, my son has sensory issues such as hypersensitive senses of smell and hearing. He also has proprioceptive problems, which cause him to walk so hard that he wears holes in the bottoms of his shoes in a very short period of time, and make it difficult to do things that require balance, like riding a bike. He had great difficulty with fine motor skills such as writing and did not learn to tie his shoes until he was eleven years old. I could write a book on the difficulties my son struggled with, but I would rather celebrate his successes.

Over the years, my son has seen psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, naturopaths, pediatric Autism specialists, educational Autism specialists, language therapists, occupational therapists, reading specialists, and special education teachers. All of them were impressed by how much progress he has made over the years. He was essentially a non-reader in the second grade. He had a series of teachers who have helped him get close to grade level now that he will be entering sixth grade.

When my son was eight years old, I took him to an international camp for young people. Prior to attending the camp, we took him off the medication he had been on for his ADD and anxiety, at the suggestion of the facilitator. One purpose of the camp was to teach children how to face and overcome their fears. On the way home from the camp my son told me he didn’t think he needed his medicine anymore. He hasn’t been on medication since.

Socially, my son is working on things that many children with Autism must be taught more explicitly than other children (i.e, taking turns in a conversation, showing interest in other people and what they have to say). He tries to turn every conversation back to whatever he is interested in at the moment (currently it’s the Beatles). Ironically, he loves middle school. Even more ironic is the fact that he likes it for the social aspect.

Tonight at the dinner table, we were talking about the fact that my son likes older music (mostly from the sixties, seventies, and eighties). His classmates often give him a hard time about this. (I’m sure they point out his idiosyncrasies well.) He commented, “I’m just different, and that’s okay.” I know that no matter what he says, he doesn’t like being teased. I do believe that he has healthy self-esteem and realizes that the children that aren’t so nice to him are simply ignorant and rude.

In addition to his positive outlook, my son does love music. He dabbles in guitar and piano, and sings like a bird. He loves costumes and getting into character. When he likes something, he learns everything he can about it (one of the Asperger’s traits he displays)… and will tell you all about it. Above all else, he is happy. So my son is not suffering from Autism, he is thriving with Autism. And for that, I am happy.

Broccoli Greens and Being a Good Steward

My son planted a garden for me this spring.  So far, we have enjoyed red leaf lettuce and butter crisp lettuce from it.  I have also used the spearmint we’ve grown in a cucumber and pineapple dish that I love, and in iced tea.  Because my broccoli began flowering, I researched whether I should toss it or whether it was still edible.  I was fascinated to learn everything that could be done with broccoli.

As it turns out, broccoli can be eaten after flowering.  In fact, the flowers alone can be purchased in some places for consumption.  The stalk can be grated and used to make cole slaw (which  I have seen but never tried).  What I found most surprising was that the leaves could be cooked and eaten like any other form of greens.  Tonight I cooked the broccoli spears and I also cooked the leaves, adding some bacon bits to them as they wilted.  I was surprised at how good they were.  They had the texture of kale, with a milder flavor.

I share all of this to say that I have always strived to be a good steward of what has been entrusted to me.  In this case,  food is the currency.  I often use leftovers to make soups, stews, or casseroles.   I just can’t stand to throw things away.  Incidentally, growing my own broccoli and studying it has allowed me to use all of the vegetable.  (I actually think I like the greens better than the florets.)

If you have any recipes that use other than traditional parts of plants,  or recipes that utilize leftovers, I’d love to hear them.

A Walk in the Park

I took these photos while walking at our local greenway on Friday.  Click on the photos to read the captions.  (I had the thought to hang onto them for my phoneography on Mondays, then I thought better of it.)  It was a beautiful day to be out in nature.

Happy Birthday, Suzanne!

I attended service at the spiritual center to which I belong this morning.  Then we celebrated my sister’s 31st birthday with lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  I then spent some time with my two oldest children, their spouses, and my granddaughter.  Beyond that, I have been writing the better part of the day, either in my head or on the keyboard.  So this is the extent of my post today:  Happy Birthday, Suzanne!  

(Incidentally, I am inspired to write about my family and how we celebrate every chance we get… and how I learned that my grandfather was always hoping someone would marry so there would be a party and he could dance… but I’m too tired… perhaps later this week.)  The photo is completely unrelated, but I thought it would complement my sister’s birthday wish.  Suzanne, I hope you got some rest this cloudy afternoon.

My oldest son brought me this Easter lily last Sunday.
My oldest son brought me this Easter lily last Sunday.

 

Flowers

I bought pink roses today.

Folks that know me know I always try to keep fresh flowers on my kitchen table, and I usually brought fresh flowers to work with me on Mondays.

Flowers represent the miracle of life.  Any kind, any color… I love flowers!

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Pink Roses on My Kitchen Table

(For more beautiful flowers, check out the photographs on the blog entitled dobetteralways.)