Shameless dinner invites

This was the Trudinator (aka Trudie) being my
couch-buddy a I attempted to decorate the hosue

My mom taught me right about not inviting myself over to dinner, and she’d be happy to know that her training took, right up until the point I got desperate. Granted, it was a good 30 yrs after I left her home, but still, like a California redwood that finally keel over, my inner core of decorum and etiquette cracked at the center, struck by the lightening bold of hunger.

“Let me know if you need anything,” was the polite, if half-hearted offer from a n
eighbor and fellow church-goer who had come over today to help me put up my Christmas decorations. (Yes, I know it’s before Thanksgiving, and Yes, I know this makes

me evil. But in my defense, my family is out of town, I am a one-legged gimp and my husband has gone full Jehova’s Witness on me by not wanting to put up Christmas if I can’t do it myself- something to do with ‘strange people’ coming in the house when he’s not gone. If that’s not eccentric, I don’t know what is, and he’s only 44, but whatever. So I waited until the day after he left w/the girls, called my friends and the hustled over to put up the tree and lights so when Rog and the girls return, they can all be surprised….but back to my story).

I thought about the offer and at first, gave the instant expression of appreciation with a “I’m good.” Not long after she left, I had a hunger pang.

Knowing my look, when it’s my turn to host, this is
what will happen

“I got it!” I texted my friend. “What I’d really like is to come over for dinner in December when your kitchen is done. I love your food. I love your company and I’d love to see your house!”

Do you see how sleezy that was? A shameless dinner invitation smothered in flattery..which, btw, is true. She IS a great cook. She DOES have a great house that’s she’s remodeled and her new kitchen kicks some fanny. Who wouldn’t want to go over. The only card I have right now is the sympathy one, and it’s not going to last long.

“You got it!” she texted back, and we have a date set in December. I can’t wait. I’m thrilled. I’m a bit embarrassed because all those years of good breeding from my mom were washing down the toilet in a single moment of unabashed shamelessness. Still, I’m going to get a great meal out of it, and know that the universal law of Karma is going to come around, and sometime, when I least expect it and someone else most needs it, I’m going to be on the receiving end of a shameless dinner invite, and I’m going to say “You got it!”

Tears from a man

It takes a lot to bring a strong man to tears, but it does happen. For first time readers, here has been what I lovingly call my “two weeks of Job,” which you have to know first.

Married 15 years, I figure I’ll start ice skating hockey to “become closer to my husband,” who plays hockey. I do well for the first two lessons (training with Rog’s trainer, a former NHL guy, who I have mentioned before). I fall, all 140 pounds of me crunches my left ankle inward, which, by the way, I hit the week before in martial arts class (I’m one belt away from my black belt), thereby cranking a previous wound.

Fast forward three days. The house is in an uproar, I’m laid up in bed, kids are not getting fed (well, they are, but I’m not sure Top Ramin counts as real food). A week in, no laundry. Dirty underwear abounds. Rog won’t allow my friends to come over and help, but on day 10, I call the calvary and food starts showing up at our doorstep (I gave out our gate code and arranged for the drop-offs when Rog was picking up the girls from school). Still no laundry. Day 12. I’m off the drugs, and as a consequence, have headaches that make me puke, then I can’t keep food down, my internal PH goes to pot, and I get mouth ulcers on my tongue that then spread to the roof of my mouth (think canker sores on steroids). A want to die. I call my swami.

“Drink water with lemon juice and take alka green.” I do. For all those with canker sores, when the acid in the stomach goes nuts, it erupts in sores in the mouth. Lemons restore the alkalinity in the body- the # source of such. In 24 hours, I’m better. 2 weeks yesterday. Rog has a meltdown in the car

“I’m not loved,” to which I responded “Of course you’re not. You’re being mean to all of us and you’re making us miserable.” Then two weeks of pent up frustration on both of our parts comes down to this:

“I always though that my job was to take care of the family financially, and I’ve done that. But I can’t do anything about your foot–and I was the cause of it— and with Porsche’s hair falling out again–my little girl…” and here he lost it. Tears from a man who never cries, and in the middle of a mall no less.

It’s true. Man has penis, and that means provider and caretaker. But he can’t do a darn thing about our daughter, who will lose all her hair now, and as I type this, she is with her father and getting @200 shots on her head (and they can’t put her to sleep) in an effort to keep the hair follicles open until the hair starts to grow back. Nor can Rog do a thing for me. 2 weeks down, 6 to go. It’s hard, I get that. Personally, I’d rather have my hair fall out than be an invalid. The house is a wreck. The kids are unhappy. Rog and I are miserable. Alas.

“It’s only hair,” I remind Rog, “and it’s starting to grow back. She’s not deaf and she’s not blind. She has her limbs.”  Then Rog tells me that my confidence gives him confidence, and for one of the few times in our marriage, I’m reminded that he actually has breaks in his aura of assurance. It never occurs to me that he has the spikes of humanity that afflict the rest of us.

Following some sushi, we both feel better, having purged the mental and emotional constipation that has afflicted us for the last fourteen days. Last night, around six, he made the first dinner- beef stroganoff. Sure, it took him nearly two hours, and he doused it with a bit too much ground mustard, but I must say, we got fed (and thanks to the lemon juice, I could eat it), and it was good. He laughed, and as I looked at my husband, who also happens to be my good friend, I thought it was a glorious sound, and that the tears he shed in the mall (of all places) were worth it.

Need a relationship upper? Get rid of “the sportsman stench” : The Rocket Sport Dryer review

It’s big. It’s black. It inflates. Best of all, it’s a relationship upper.

For what am I referring? The Rocket Sport Dryer, strong enough for a man, but seriously, made for a woman. Know why?

Product DetailsSports equipment stinks, and I’m not talking just football. In my case, it’s hockey, but it could be lacrosse or baseball. Anything with equipment and clothes that don’t get washed every usage can be nasty. And “the stink” is equal opportunity, man or woman located here or there. Don’t matter.

In my case, it’s hockey. It’s a smelly, gross sport. When my fingertips touch the gloves or shoulder pads or my husband’s hockey gear, they are stained with a stench that can only be found in the bog of eternal stench. Even a fingertip on the inside of the helmet soils my hands, and I have been known to life the socks with a pencil and the hockey skates themselves don’t get raised without lifting blade-first.

This wasn’t the worst part. The worst was being misled and downright lied to about where said hockey tree was going to reside.

“In the garage of course,” was Rog’s first suggestion, lo, these long 8 years ago. Quickly, the lie was proven out. In the summer, it stunk up the three car garage worst than the dead varmint we found under the car after a long trip. It had got in (probably through the cat door), gotten stuck and died, rotting in the heat of the garage. That stink, as bad as it was, had nothing on the hockey stink.

“Outside is so much better,” Rog rephrased, migrating the metal stand to lawn. So attractive. I’m all about trailer-trashing our front yard. I’d come out, ready to mow, and find his gear strewn out, all across the lawn. It reeked. Worse? The grass died, the yellow outlines akin to the markings of a dead person on the ground. It should have read Crime Scene Here, Do Not Cross, for I wouldn’t get near it.

“You’re killing my grass,” was all I said, the grumpy, b***y tone not so subtle.

During the winter, the stand moved in downstairs, like a thief in the night, the pole of pain, along with its accoutrements, found itself in front of our pellet stove, blowing fetid air up to the right (practically killing our puppy), up the stairs, to the main floor, then another level above, to our bedroom.

It work me up. I stood, my nostrils flaring, stomach roiling. I lean over the banister, and saw the light of the flames glancing off a mystery outline. No, he couldn’t have. I walk downstairs. The smell grows worse, as though I’m walking up behind an elephant after a bad case of worms. Yes, he did. He put the damn thing in front of the pellet stove. I’ve had enough.

“If you ever, ever want to bed me again, you will get rid of that reek,” I threatened.

The solution to the stench

Fortunately, some man, some where, had heard this before. And that man, in his wisdom, determined that marriage could in fact, coexist with hockey. So he created this Rocket. Here’s how it works and why you should buy it (from me, the non-hockey player perspective. I’ll give you Rog’s opinion in a minute)

The upside
1. it’s small. it can fit nearly anywhere. in the shower, in the corner. wherever
2. it folds down (e.g. it’s portable) but when erected can actually handle all that gear
3. it’s quiet. Quieter than a dryer. like wind blowing.
4. it’s fast. In an hour (or sometimes longer, I don’t know all the settings), it’s over.

The downside? When it starts up, some “reek” is going to escape. For this reason, Rog fires it up when I’m not in the room (and he does it downstairs). I’m asleep, I don’t smell it nor do I hear it. But even when it’s on and I’m writing upstairs, I won’t hear it, but I will get a whiff of ICK for about a half hour.

Why does Rog like it? I don’t complain nor run away from the room.

That’s it women. Get this for your man, or yourself, if you too, are a stinky sports-playing woman. It’s the best gift you can give to your family.

Rating: 4.5 stars (why not a 5? I want it faster, quieter and less smell escaping. In other words, I want the ultimate machine. I can dream can’t I?)

Contentment among Strangers

A man comes to work on the property. He shows up at 7 am with his wife of 21 years. He looks 50, she doesn’t appear to be a day over 35. But they have 3 kids, 19 down to 12, and as I watch him pour concrete while she assists, I get the story.

Buckely, before the
“big revolution”

They met at a bible-line dancing club, she was 18, he 21 and married two years hence. 21 years of wedding bliss later, I’ve come to the conclusion I’m standing in the midst of one of the kindest, modest, salt of the Earth couples I’ve met in a long time. I use the “I’m an author line” to start asking semi-intrusive questions, which they in turn, answer.

Where do they live? not far from her childhood home in Buckley, Washington, a place as small as it sounds

Do they like it? They both describe a mouse-size house where 5 people are crammed: Less than 1500 square feet- but it’s cozy and they bought and paid for it over the years, a fact they are rightly proud of.

Buckely-mid-revolution

How did she get roped in to helping him pour concrete in a very cold, clear morning? Her older son bailed to work at a friends construction firm and Safeway didn’t need her.

What Safeway? (The one in MapleValley).

At that point, I think- “I shop there,” and have been doing so for twelve years. Then I learn the rest of the story. He started out as a finish carpenter and owned his own business in his late twenties. In his early thirties, the toxins from the paint(s) seeped into his kidneys, eventually destroying 70%. The constant pain is what causes him to lean forward, as if always on the verge of vomiting. The pills left him with other issues (e.g. sterility, as offered up by his wife), cutting short the bigger family they had hoped to have had. Bit by bit, they watched many of their life dreams and goals vanish due to circumstances beyond their control (and I should add- knowing, for back then, not much was written about toxins).

Buckely now- post revolution
Good thing the people are still as nice. I was
worried for a bit there.

Yet here they were, talking about their life situation without the vitriol, anger, regret or self-pity often accompanied by life-changing stories that are far from positive. I wondered at the peace they had achieved, if it was preceded by a decade or years of anger and fury, or if it had never occurred to them to question their lot in life. It was what it was, and they could make the best of it and each other, or complain and be miserable. By the time I reached the door and sat down to write this out, I knowing envied their state of mind while at the same time acknowledged that being around them had affected my emotional state for the better (at least temporarily). Two souls…two strangers, reminded me what it’s like to be content.

Forget the shrink- call Mom

When the fur is flying at my house (a Sarah-phrase for things are swirling out of control with my husband) I always assess my options for resolution. I call Dad if I want an actual “answer” and I want it fast and hard. Dad doesn’t spare my feelings nor does he mince words. As such, before I call him, I make sure I’m all girded up with the emotional readiness of a soldier going into battle, for I better be able to take whatever he shoots my way.

Mom, on the other hand, is when I have a “scenario” that I want to present, and I need to talk through every last bit of my angst before hearing her empathetic words followed by her politely put and often delicately phrased commentary “(eg suggestions, but she would never be so bold as to actually tell me what to do).

This can include, but not limited to things beyond Rog, like-

prgrsvimghttp://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4910888202207239&w=207&h=207&c=8&pid=3.1&qlt=90
At our house, when we get riled, this is us…
without the blue hair (although my hair has been known
to be every bit as big)
  • the very-un-neighborly things our neighbors do (like turning off our water) because they are delusional enough to think that we are in the times of the Hatfields and Macoy’s
  • why someone wasn’t talking to me at a party
  • what’s the best way to support my daughter’s hair loss (do I cut it with her, go bald or try and show normalcy and leave it as is

The variety of topics that are really ‘what-if’s’ in nature, and can go on ad-nauseam, which, in fact, is part of the therapeutic process.

Don’t worry about boring or burdening your own personal shrink. I’ve long since forgotten that concern. Mom is bored. Mom is retired (really, aren’t all moms once the kids leave the house?!) Mom wants to know what all her kids are up to, what we need, what we struggle with. She also likes to commiserate, empathize, sympathize, etc.

You know what she doesn’t do (much to the surprise of my friends?). She never, ever, offers opinions unless asked. I think this is her vocational background (therapist), because she listens and asks all the right questions, (‘did that hurt your feelings?”) or in the case of her empathetic statement (“that must have really hurt your feelings”) I can always give an emotion-releasing “yes!” Once I have it off my chest, (because I’ve been validated by a person I respect and who I know cares for me), I feel soo much better. My problem might  not have even gotten addressed in the “resolution” type of way, but I’ve received something much better, such as understanding. And sometimes, that’s all I need.

Fighting Fair- Are you kidding me? I’m still 14

The notion of a fight applies to words and fists, yelling and throwing things. Age and maturity means we take the same anger and pissy-ness to the courtroom, the moderator’s office or, well, forget that and go back to words and throwing things.

Take the other day, for example. I walked into the garage, fired up my car, looked in the rearview mirror, and, seeing the lawn, I backed-up. Then came a crash, a crunch, and an expletive that I won’t share here. Fortunately, my entire car didn’t go through the garage door, only my extended hitch used for our jetskis. It hit the garage door about the same time all the idiot-bells and whistles went off– thankfully, giving me enough time to apply the breaks that should be used in just this instance.

The door. The new, unpainted wood. The white around
is the wood glue, which Rog painted on like Picasso. To
the left is the power nail gun thing that was also used.
When painted, no one will ever see evidence of my stupidity, for
as Rog said, “you had three opportunities to screw this up..1-
when you walk into the garage, 2- when you open your car door and 3-
when you look behind you. Huh. I guess I’m needing a #4

It wouldn’t be so bad if this were the first time, but as the Radagast says to Gandolf, “No, (Gandalf) ’tis not.” About 9 months ago, I had another run in with the door, although slightly less embarrassing, for as the garage door was going up, I zoomed out (notice a trend?) and clipped the rack on my car with the bottom of the door as it went overhead. One handyman and $300 later, it was fixed.

This time around, I was headed to yoga (one must have priorities), and after I returned, I figure I might as well deal with Rog immediately, and go downstairs. I’m all apologetic and weepy. With those simple words, my weepy, self-loathing, apologetic self fled the room. I went like a pig to the butcher, ready to be slaughtered but in the end, expected to be a) heard, b) understood and c) lauded for dealing with it straight up.

Nope. “Tis not” to happen.  I get this far:

“Rog, I’m really sorry, I hurt the gara–“

To which he interrupts and says, “F*** Sarah!”

When Rog got all mad (which really, it was the second time, and I don’t really blame him 48 hrs after the face), I got right back in his face with something to the effect of:

“Well, at least my $40 dollar mistake (for it only broke a panel on the wood door) was an accident. When you didn’t level the trailer last week (the 2nd time we had it out, and it’s our 3rd in 7 yrs, so he can’t claim ignorance), it slipped off and bent/broke two of the stabilizers. That was sheer stupidity.”

See how it goes down in our house?

After that, bad words flowed with the gusto of water gushing over Niagra, spit flew in all directions from the gnashing teeth that would have made a troll proud. In the end, we laughed. We apologized (me for my stupidity and he for his not-so-helpful reaction). He fixed the panel for $27.50 (a new piece of wood and some wood glue) and tomorrow, he’ll paint it. My car? Undamaged. Our fighting skills? Maybe we aged it up from 14 to 15.

Give me the high- mileage version, in cars and in men

It’s 10:27 according to the clock on the office wall, and I sneak up behind Rog. The glow of the two adjacent computer screens give an ethereal look to his body, like an angelic being facing down a site with lots of red. I creep. I wonder. I sigh.

It’s a Porsche site, and I’m thinking, “please, no more parts. No more parts,” for we could feed an Etheopian village at this point for the money he’s been dumping in this thing.

“Whatcha doin?” I ask, making sure it is absent sarcasm, irritation or any non-happy-time manner. I must have been successful, for he answered with a hint of defensiveness.

“Checking out values.” He’s going to sell it? I wonder (nay, hope). “It looks like value has really gone up.” I’m immediately commodities trader on the floor in Chicago. Sell! Sell! (but I say nary a word outloud). He points out one similar to his own that’s just shy of $70K. Not bad for a 20 year old car.

“But that’s low miles,” I point out, seeing the odometer at around 20,000 miles. He disabuses my notion.

“Any good mechanic will tell you that low miles on an older sportscar, particularly a Porsche, is bad. The (here he loses me) will need a complete overhaul and that’s spendy.” Apparently, cars need to be driven, not just looked at.

As I stood there, only slightly disappointed we weren’t going to free up the third bay in the garage, I’m thinking that yes, I’d rather have a well-running, high mileage car than one that newer and/or, not broken in. This then, got me thinking about older men in general, and the wisdom that comes with age. There is a value in experiences, and perhaps this is what attracted me to older men when I was of dating age, which really didn’t get going until my early twenties, because I was so gawky etc. What I found, however, was the mental experience was there, but the physical compatibility wasn’t, and I’m not talking about bedroom activity. I’m talking about jetskiing, skiing, climbing–just a few of the activities I liked to do, yet weren’t appealing to some of the older men who appealed to me. When I met my Colorado-born outdoors guy, who’d grown up dirt-poor and had many challenges to overcome on his way to achieving professional success, I knew that I’d had it all backwards. Rog was like a young, shiny-new model wrapped around an engine that’s had a few hundred thousand miles on it. He ran great and had smooth skin to boot.

“I say you keep the one you have with more miles,” I say, offering my unsolicited advice. The kinks have already been worked out. The engine overhauled. Less cost. Less risk. I pat him on the shoulder and leave, content in my own thought process, and he keeps staring at the screen, completely oblivious to my moment of clarity, wherein I found myself a bit more content with him, and with our relationship.

 

Rotator cuffs and Romance

“Can you please pay attention? I’m trying to share my world with you.”



Oh, the sexiness..,



I immediately snapped back to the present. I was, in fact, physically present, but my mind hand wandered to somewhere far more exciting than hearing him talk about a cam shaft, the rotator cuffs and what happens….well, I’m not sure what happens. It got blurry somewhere along the way, I think it was between the time he started pulling the metal items out of the box and explaining to me (in excruciating detail akin to a root canal), what each part did and what it was for. For really, what did it matter after he’d informed it was yet another two grand.

“When the engine is dropped, doing (this or that) is a few hundred bucks, but–“

“I know,” I interrupted, “it will be $1,200 if we do it later.” Quite honestly, I can’t even dissect the conversations now, which one was a rotator, which one was a tube or a tire. In the end, the car should run, and that’s all that matters. For car enthusiasts, this car is an old school Porsche turbo, 1995 vintage, and the heavy doors click, the engine rumbles, the tires are fat and the fin is wide. When oil leaks, it’s spendy. When the muffler cracks, it’s spendy. Really, when the wrong person farts in the car and leaves a stench, cleaning it’s spendy.

But whatever. It was and is and always will be, Rog’s dream car. Life is short. Keep the car. I have but one rule. Drive the **** thing. Don’t let it sit and mold in the garage like a mummy that will take 4,000 years to be useful to someone.

I nod my head and give appropriately-timed grunts, but he saw my glassy, vacant-eye look.and he starts shoving the parts back into the box.

“I’m just doing what you said,” Rog says as he sullenly puts back the parts. (e.g. get it running or get it gone, or something to that effect). In a last ditch attempt to mollify him, I draw upon a long, purposefully-forgotten image  of one of those car and driver magazine covers flashed in my head, and you know what I’m talking about. Some half-dressed girl with big calves and a Hooters crop-top t-shirt stretched over the hood like she’s going to give an X-rated wax job. 

“Well,” I drawled, putting my hand on his back. “If you intended this to get me rarin’ to go, you succeeded.” Of course I saw with the perfect combination of sincerity and come-hitherness. “After that explanation of how the camshaft lobes and rocker arms sit on the bearings, and that it has six rocker arms per camshaft, I can tell you that those aren’t the only valves that are opening.”

His mouth dropped open. His eyes popped wide. His 15 year-old boyish grin curls the corners of his lips skyward, and I detect an attitude of victory. He came. He communicated. He conquered. Most importantly, he shared his world and I actually listened,



Bad weekend? Sex first, Not last

Around 8 pm Friday night, it dawned on me why Rog and I have had such an up and down life “in the saddle” so to speak (for my non-English readers, which are many, getting in the saddle, riding on the saddle, and generally- anything referring to “saddle” typically means sex of some sort or other), has been less than it was pre-kids. We mistakenly thought, as so many flustered parents do, it was because of sleep deprivation, work, frustration, lack of time; all those fears that ensure people don’t procreate. Two weeks ago, Friday night, we did something I insisted upon: having sex before going out.

“Give it to me now!!”
“Nope. Right now,” I tell Rog, thinking of the spoiled peanut-heiress in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, whilst in a position of love, on the bed, awaiting my man. He stops. He stares. He smiles. “And why not?” is the look he gives me. All I do is shrug in response. I reminded him we could do what we always do. Go out. Eat, and both get stuffed in a turkey-gobble-carbo-loaded type of a way, followed by the thirty minute drive back that sucks out the libido faster than an eighteen-year old drinking Redbull from a firehose. The end. (seriously, the end).

He took my point. There it was. 5:30PM (kids were at the sitter already, FYI). Before dinner. Before the date. You know what? It took away the angst and anticipation. Removed all doubt of satisfaction by evenings’ end. No arguments about little, stupid things that happened that day or during the week, and it’s no wonder. All of life’s inane irritations evaporated in that most harmonious of activities.
And must you share this?? my mother and aunts will cry (ok. shout). Yes. Yes I do. No one else does. It’s simple. It’s free. No therapy required. Just change the schedule. Friday evening last (two nights ago), I replicated the event, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Sure enough, same outcome. Same happy factor. No, scratch that. Higher happy factor. It’s a legitimate tactic to support the objective of a better night out (and ideally, a healthier, more satisfying relationship). 
Having issues getting your spouse to take you out? Suggest this strategy. Sex first, not last. I’m just sayin’ it might work. 

Tips for Getting out of your Rut

Get out of your personal ditch

When I wrote the piece on getting out of the rut, I “failed to provide any useful tips,” griped my friend, Holly, from California. Huh. Tru dat. “Why don’t you put in all the things you tell me about?” 

Like what? I ask. She reminds me. Oh, that. Ok. Here’s me. Trying to be useful, talking about changing patterns.

  1. Early morning workouts. I referenced extending my network by working out at oh-dark-thirty in the morning. That helped. It was so disruptive, everything changed. To wit:
    1. I had to change my sleeping patterns. No more staying up till midnight writing. It meant I went to sleep with my daughters, or no later than 10. this forced me to:
    2. Be more conscious of my time during the day. Not that I wasn’t before. I found I could do more with limited time. The early morning time also meant I had to:
    3. Change my eating. No more late night eating (and hence, no more snacking, weight started coming off). I then ate a bit of protein before working out, giving my metabolism a boost, which meant:
    4. Ate breakfast with the family. Never did this. Usually cooked, not ate. I was so ravenous, I plowed down oatmeal and eggs, eating with my girls.
  2. Self-imposed Internet regulation. My on-line rut isn’t playing with an ipad. It’s waking up in the morning, turning over and checking out the news on my phone. Or having it beside my bed, or in the car, or in my purse. Rog found this great app for limiting time on the Kindle and other devices. I pretend I have it on my phone. I give myself 5 minutes an hour. Seriously. If I can’t read it or do it in 5 minutes, forget it. I hustle through as many lines of news as I can possibly fit in, and then when I see the clock turn to 5, I’m done. I turn it off.
    1. This has begat a whole lot more happiness. News is generally depressing. One link leads to another, then another, and pretty soon, I want some good news to counter the bad news. Then I’m going to health sites, author sites, good news sites…it’s a rathole. How I turn it off before I get sucked in.
  3. Switch up my friends. Not permanently, just periodically. This sounds harder than it was. Some friends always want to eat out when we get together, others want to workout, yet others just want to talk about religion, others politics— Rog’s friends go golfing, fishing, skiing– but not all the same ones. I took a lesson from him. Isolate the friends with the interest, and don’t try and force-fit someone into a role that doesn’t work. Instead of making plans weeks out (or days) I’m more ad-hoc, and fit it to where I’m at during the time.
    1. This has led me to spend more time with people who I am interviewing with books. I find cultures interesting, different views on spirituality and enlightenment fascinating, and I’ve given myself the time expand in circles uncommon to my daily life. This is how I’ve come to know an Indian Shaman, a Siberian spirit-man, and several others who open my eyes wide to things in this world.
  4. Throw out the old. Clothes have memories. Old books take up space. I found that when I actually physically remove something from my life, my countenance changes. My outlook improves.
  5. Wear something new or different. This is a great one and applies to everyone. A good friend, the VP of HR for a global consulting firm, never wears jeans. Well, I suppose he does, but in five years, I’ve never seen him wear them. “People treat me differently,” he explained, referring to his observations. He likes the distance and the formality that dressing apart gives him. Others are exactly the opposite. My husband Rog, lives in jeans. He likes the informality. The challenge, as he’s noted, is that people underestimate him, they think he’s a former athlete who doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together. He likes this. (I think it’s a bit irritating), but who know his philosophy? “I like to see how people are going to treat me.” There is truth in that of course. If a person is going to look down his/her nose at Rog, then that’s probably not a relationship he’ll pursue.
  6. Pray and list (outloud) 10 things you are grateful for every day. This changed my world, particularly the latter. My level of appreciation and gratitude sky rocketed, my relationship with Rog improved- there was no downside, and it’s free. How can that be bad? 
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