Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mixed Signals

As I am getting older (and better,) changes are happening to me and my general well-being, both physically and mentally.  Some of these changes are purposeful in their direction and intent. Some are necessary to improve my health and my chances of living this life I cherish for as long as possible. Some are just those "circle of life" changes, age, growth of my children, the ones you can't control, like the seasons in a year. Time is marching on.

One of the most important changes has been in my communication thought process. I want to be clear and sincere; I want to "walk the walk." I want to make sure when I am communicating or expressing something, written or verbally, that there isn't a misunderstanding or a glitch in the message I am sending. It will still happen occasionally, but I am trying to be a bit more conscious of it.

This seems like a difficult process for some. There are those that are stuck in the past. Dwelling in a place where they were once a legend in their own mind. Back in the day, when they were young, invincible, daring, with that devil-may-care swagger. There is a perception among these folks that everyone else is stuck back there with them. Whether these are long-time relationships or people you have just met, they think they KNOW you. They haven't expanded their horizons, therefore, neither have you. They judge the actions and words of those around them based on that bygone era. What they remember about you or others is applied in the present, but based in the past.

There are also those that are always busy. Too busy to call, too busy to spend time, too busy to even communicate with you. Do they think they are the only ones who are busy? Do they think that we aren't ALL busy? You make time to spend time with those you want to; it goes both ways. If I have made plans with someone, once, twice, three times, or at least attempted to, and I'm not successful, I move on. There are those that enjoy spending time with me. Why would I continue to chase after someone who repeatedly sends me a message that they are too busy? I get it. It may take me a little longer, but I get it.

I wonder, sometimes, is it me? Is my quest for better communication between grown adults a dream? Are good, solid relationships, whether they are familial, friendly or romantic, unattainable? Or are they unattainable because those around me haven't embraced the growth process? They haven't been able to see the forest because they are stuck in the same old tree? Perhaps I am scaring those who love me with my current zealousness of the process? Then I remember, I am who I am, you are who you are. We most definitely, whether we choose it or not, are NOT who we were. We have grown up or are growing up, right?

Relationships should grow and become redefined. As they progress, the information exchanging should be clear and focused. If you have a question, ask it, if you have an answer, give it. If you want to be clear in a thought or purpose, say it. If you are having a conversation with someone you care about and who cares about you, there should be a comfort level. You should be able to say what's on your mind, freely and fearlessly. Even if it's a topic that might be uncomfortable or painful, isn't it better to get the message or lesson the first time? It's ok to debate; we aren't always going to agree. Healthy disagreements assist us in future discussions or decisions. Life is a learning process.

I guess the message that I am trying to convey here is, say what you mean and mean what you say. Mixed signals are confusing. I don't think it's fair to any of us to try to read into the words that are said. If we are clear in the interaction we have, there would be less confusion, less hurt, more understanding and better communication. It's time for us all to get the message...with love...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mending Fences

I had dinner last night with a friend I hadn't spent time with in awhile. We had been really close when our boys were young, but as their relationship transformed, ours did too. During the time we have known each, some events occurred, things were said, feelings were hurt. I don't believe anything was done maliciously or intentionally, but it happened.

When I sat down to dinner, I felt like I had just put on a comfortable sweater or picked up a favorite book. I missed our conversations and time together very much. I felt like a fountain overflowing, I couldn't talk fast enough. I am certain that going forward, I will make more of an effort to spend time with her. It makes me feel good and we really understand each other. I am sorry for the time we lost.

Mending fences is a process that validates you and your personal feelings regarding relationships in your life. It helps you understand who and what is important. There are people and things that, in order to move forward, have to be let go, released. They may be toxic or detrimental to you and your future.

There are also people and things in your life that need to be embraced, appreciated, that have been lost or could be lost. It's time to examine what these are and act on it. During a conversation with my daughter, she said, "I hate the scorched earth." A perfect metaphor to heal and grow.

If it makes you feel good, do it. Call a friend, have dinner, a cocktail, a conversation. You might be surprised how happy you feel when you do. You might be missing something that you didn't realize was gone. You also will reaffirm or appreciate those in your life more...with love...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dream A Little Dream

I have learned recently the true importance of sleep, rest and relaxation. Your heart and health can really suffer if you don't get these physical requirements. On average, we need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep at night. It depends on you and your personal schedule, of course, but a real effort to get some good rest 5-6 nights a week is vitally important.

Rest and relaxation don't necessarily come from sleeping. Reading, watching a movie, listening to music, speaking with friends, even exercise can assist you in restfulness and relaxing. Make a real effort to try one or several of these things to relax.

Mental rest and relaxation are important for your peace of mind and heart. Making plans for your future, setting goals, thinking about what is good in your life will put your worried or frazzled mind at ease. Thinking about what you want and how you can achieve it, making a mental list to follow through can give you hope. You may be lucky enough to feel peaceful and relaxed all the time; I believe that most of us aren't that lucky, especially with the circumstances in the world today.

Try it tonight. Take a warm shower, some deep breaths, relax, dream a little dream about you, about your future, about what you can release and what you can embrace. Your mind and body will rest, your heart and soul will be peaceful. Your dreams are possible, realize them...with love...