Tips from people in long term relationships

These are just round about tips from several people who have been in successful relationships for 10 years or longer. If you have words of wisdom to impart to the newlyweds, please feel free to leave comments. This list is in no way inclusive nor exclusive. I wish all couples the love of a lifetime with their best friend.

Be who you are

Do what you do

That’s the reason

They fell for you!

Take them down off the pedestal

Let them walk on the ground

They are human, just like you

I promise, no messing around.

Do little things that bring a smile to their face

Like putting both seats down or hugging them ‘til they feel safe.

Trust is not easy to acquire

But if you cherish and nurture

You’ll find dreams are inspired

And the wings you needed,

Are now ready to mature.

Forgiveness and compassion

Are found within trust

You gave them your heart,

Remember you must. (Yoda moment)

Fight naked, because it’s difficult to stay mad

At someone yelling while they’re in the altogether.

It’s okay to get/be/stay angry at your partner

But there is never any excuse for intentional cruelty.

Do not ever assume that they know why you’re upset or angry.

If you are angry, take time to cool down to figure out WHY you’re upset.

Breathe until you feel calm enough to talk to them like an adult, not a child throwing a tantrum.

Remember, you chose them to be your best friend for life. Friends don’t intentionally harm one another.

Communicate freely. What are you dreaming about? What are your fantasies? What do you wish to accomplish in your life? Do you or do you not want children? Do you or do you not want to own a house or property? Will you have a joint bank account while maintaining your own as well?

Love without expectation. There isn’t one way to love someone. Be flexible because they are human just like you. You can love them through anything but you can’t love them through abuse of any kind or through violence.

Sex is important but it isn’t the end all. Do not be afraid to say no. You’re not obligated if you’re not feeling it. NEITHER of you are. But, do not neglect your basal needs either. It’s okay to masturbate if you want to and your partner doesn’t. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get them revved up.

Have a job or pursue outside interests that are solely yours. That way you have new and interesting things to bring to the conversational table. It maintains the first credo of be who you are and do what you do. You can have hobbies that are shared or interests that are both of yours, but it’s pleasant to have something oddball to bring along.

Divide the chores happily. If you’re better at laundry than your partner, then you do it because they may be better at doing dishes. There are no hard and fast rules, but if they’re divided by what you actually like to do or don’t mind doing, you’ll find a happier partnership across the board. Example, I fix the car, my husband hooks up the electronics. He loads and unloads the dishwasher, I cook and bake for him what he requests. He cleans the cat box, I clean up the dog poop. And if I get sick or he does, we do theirs too because that’s what partners do for each other.

Learn to cook. Both of you. Find your specialty dish. Eating out at restaurants is expensive, limits your interaction with one another, and makes it easy to fall into ruts. Cooking together allows for intimacy, trust, and conversation as you figure out a new recipe or method of cooking. YouTube is your friend for learning new ways to do things in the kitchen.

Your best friend is first, always. When the wedding vows (typical that is) say “Let no man put asunder…” It means that your best friend is your goto chick/fella. Example: Money does not come first even if it is scarce at first. If it costs over 20 bucks, consult with your partner. You’d be surprised how much trouble it can save unless you’ve previously discussed your budget for this or that project. Kids are not the boss either. Your best friend first, you can make sacrifices for your kids together.

Learn how your partner works. That’s part of the joy. My husband, for example has a hard time verbally expressing himself, but he makes coffee for me on Sunday morning. He takes out the trash without being asked. He picks up his clothing and puts them in the laundry. I make sure he has lunch packed and dinner cooked. I make sure his clothes are clean on my laundry day. I leave him love notes and he gives me secret codes to his heart. I have a lifetime to figure out whether or not he likes white socks best new or warm from the dryer (new every time).

Geek out to a minimal of one thing together. Make it YOUR thing. Date night has to be outside the house, even if it’s for a picnic in the yard at least once a month.

Start saving money for a house now because living in an apartment sucks. If you can’t pay for it in a month (other than a car or a house) then save up until you can. Protect your credit so that both of you can enjoy a solid life together instead of worrying about money.

Don’t be afraid to go on vacations alone for a weekend or a week. Sometimes missing them is necessary and recreates that feeling of, “Man, I really wish you were here.” There isn’t a place where anything stays where you were so behave as if you are married and the best part of you is safe at home. Do not jeopardize your marriage for anyone, it’s not worth it.

Please do not ever fall under the assumption that things will always be just as they are right now. Change is the only other sure thing besides death and taxes. Roll with it. Nobody knows what the hell we’re doing. We’re all just winging it. Do the best you can with what you have and remember that your partner is in it with you.

A meal with friends

If you're a vegetarian or vegan, that steak is metaphorical.

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, that steak is metaphorical.

My dear friends,

I invite you to my table where you may not like everything set in front of you, but if you nibble just a bit, perhaps you’ll discover that we like the same things but not spiced quite the same way. I want us to walk away from the table with heavy sighs of satisfaction, not frustration or the silence of an empty plate. I need you to rub your belly then your hands together and eagerly anticipate the next course to come. But first I need to establish some ground rules for this conversation so that we can see each other in a new light, candlelight perhaps with the soft glowing edges and the warmth of good natured humor served like gravy.

My friends, I gather you today to first offer you my hands. I offer you my hands in service because you’ve offered yours to me or to others. I’ve seen the example you set and I wish to embrace your hand with my own. I wish to mimic that which I have learned at your knee. I wish to give to those who have less than I do. I wish to hug those who need comfort. I wish to press my hands against the faces of those I love, you and my neighbors (even when this is far too difficult to do) with gentle caresses of: “I’ve been there too.” “I can help you.” “Let’s do this together.” I will share my hands.

My dear ones, I bring you with me to give a part of my spirit to each of you. I offer you my spirit so that you know you’re not alone. I offer you that place you can put your woes and troubles without having someone try to fix you or the situation. Even though I may try, I know, as you do, that I can only offer support while you learn how to live your life. We all do this. We all try on things our spirit can’t handle and mine has worn many hats. I will shine for you when the night in your heart is so dark and you feel you’ve lost your way. I can be your lighthouse. I can because you’ve asked. I can be your champion because you require it of me. And when you’ve used what you need and what I can give to you, we will continue on our paths, better for the adventure we’ve shared spirit to spirit, step by step. I will give you parts of my spirit.

My beloved ones, I am delighted that you join me at the table of love. I offer you my friendship wearing the face of devotion that love gives me. I do, however, need to remind you that I am, like you, human. I will do my best to give to you the love my heart has for you. Even if I don’t understand, if you come to me with troubled heart, my arms will open to shower you with encouragement because love, to me, does that. It shows me that I am beautiful. It shows me that I am worthy. It shows me that I have more strength than I imagined. It shows me that even with all my lumpy bumpy bits, I am destined to become the best version of me just as you are to become the best version of you. There isn’t a linear timeline to dictate when you will be this mythical you or the fantasy me. Sometimes we are everything we’re meant to be, other times we are striving to gain our footing. I will love you through it because I need/want/have to and I may/may not have regrets about it, but that’s my battle, not yours. I will give you love.

My sisters and brothers, this sounds like a zombie idea, and maybe it is, but I will gift you my intellect. My ideas, ideals, thoughts, knowledge, and wisdom are yours to rifle through like a high-end second-hand sale. My ideas because they may help you stride forward in your world and people don’t forget that. My ideals because Utopia can only occur if we continue to strive for an unobtainable perfection that I see with my Spirit Eyes from the Otherwhere. My thoughts because sometimes they share with me a place that seems wacky, outrageous, and naked as a jay-bird but filled with mischief and delightful daring that presses forward into the mundane world with colorful prances of pretty playgrounds the world is renowned for owning. My knowledge because I read less than I should but more than others. I try hard not to just scratch the surface on things that interest me because it’s when you’ve dug down through the facts and seen both sides of the story that you can figure out the truth in your own mind. You can make your own decisions. I will try to help by maintaining as accurate of a log in my mind to share with you. If I don’t know, I will find the answer or we can seek it together. We can learn from/with one another. My wisdom I also offer because I’ve made a lot of bad decisions that gave me perspective on so many of the defined nouns and yet they are but a drop in the bucket of what this world has available. I query everything and everyone to discover the secrets it/they hold(s) and I’m rarely disappointed. I invite you to share your intellect with me. I will gift you with what treasures my vessel has accumulated so we can fill one another with knowledge.

And if, as I intended at the beginning of our “meal” together, we push back with a burp and smile at one another with a peaceful parting of ways, then that we’ve broken bread together makes my heart happy. I wish for you peace, blessings, and the pursuit of your own bliss, for when we are together in whichever capacity we are kind enough to share, then I know we will both and all be better for it. Please pass on the bread of life sugared and spiced exactly right for you and for me. Peace and light to you my dear friends. I wish you a fond good life.

Goodbye Again, Persephone: Advice from an Autumn Leaf

Originally posted on The Anjana Network:

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As I sit watching the wheels of nature turn, I wonder what advice the leaves would give me if they could tell their life stories.

I’ve seen them grow on what appeared to be desolate deadened trees, blossoming into their spring and summer finery, surrendering the first flush of green with orange, red, and yellows. Then, they gracefully drift on the winds of the changing seasons to carpet the ground with rustling tapestries. They speak to us in their ancient tongues. We can hear them when we listen.

Be Unafraid to Bloom.

In the beginning, the start of any project, there is darkness. There is a point where we don’t know and we don’t understand. We wonder what if? Will the risk we’re about to become engaged to grow or will it whither? We don’t know, but we can hope. We take the idea that needs great care…

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These Are My People: The Newlywed Waskey’s, Eva and Rich

A Wedding Poem:

If you’re lucky like the Waskey’s

And I hope that you are

May you know as much love as they do

Which numbers boundless like the stars.

If you’re lucky like the Waskey’s

And I know that it’s true

May you know much joy as they do

Which is as much as every drop of morning dew

If you’re lucky like the Waskey’s

And I hope you are, my dears

May you know laughter as they do

Which will fill centuries of years

If you’re lucky like the Waskey’s

And I write this for posterity

May your life be abundant with adventure

And filled like theirs with prosperity.

Change and Progress: Learning to Birth Risks

Change and Progress: Learning to Birth Risks.

I am gestating in the womb of change and progress.

I am developing the skills and strength to become reborn in my own image without the yoke of false hope, without the bearing of bloody lies, without the praise for being different tainted with shame. The strings and ropes that moored me to the shore are severed with my clear consent. I am no longer anchored at the pier of someone else’s demands and lack of mercy. What is no longer necessary for my survival is falling away rapidly, some of which is regret.

I Regret that I didn’t realize sooner what was occurring. I Regret that my need to hope that things would improve could not be sated by the harmful actions of others. Regret that I saw the omens, realized the map, and ignored my compass.

 

But there will be obvious bouts of discord as there always are when rebirth is occurring. There is always pain, but that is the labor of passion. That is the direction of one’s eyes being opened to a new dawn. That is the sanctity of new life being brought into the world despite the age of its possessor. It is a covenant union between life and the living. It is where, just outside of the comfort zone, new and wild adventures are committed to memories with delight. It is where the spirit remembers why the pain is sometimes deeply necessary. It’s there so we remember not to walk that path any more. That pain is there as a guidepost, a milestone, a mile-marker.

My future destination is still being navigated, charted, and lined into a clearly mapped path. But I fear the end result out of resistance to chaos, upheaval, and the possibility of error. I am petrified that I will be stillborn. I am so frightened that I won’t evolve into something or someone I recognize. I look in the mirror and wonder what’s next, what am I going to do? I play the Wo-Co-Sho (would have, could have, should have) game and the What-if’s because my uncertainty in the future is wrought with cautious ambition.

I know better. I know that I am being guided by the blessings, gifts and goals painted on my dreamy canvas. I know that what is to come is not for me to know, even if I can see glimpses of it. I know that once I’ve arrived in THAT place, it will match my vision and I will weep once again with gratitude.

But, for now, I will gestating in the womb of change while I grow into my new spirit self. While I bloom, blossom, develop, and change. The risks that are involved, while in this state, are negligible.

It’s what comes after the rebirth and during that process that will engage every moment of bravery required of my soul spirit to achieve that which my heart remembers, requires, and desires above all else. My courage will come when it is needed as long as my feet are still moving towards my own evolution and reconstruction of who I am destined to be at this time in my life.

My umbilical chord hums with rejuvenation and possibility. The anticipation of new sprinkled with historical re-validation, and written onto slightly off key musical staffs, create wonder in my spirit. I wonder if this music I hear is loud enough to be heard by others. I wonder if this tune I write will inspire others to seek their symphony, to take the risks that encourage growth into the sonata after the dirge has bilged their spirits clear of the desperate attempt to belong where they don’t.

Some of the music my spirit knows are still empty notes played at random while the steady rhythm of my heartbeat drives me forward. The harmonica plays. The violin strings. The chorus of bass (because it’s all about the bass, ’bout the bass, no trouble) drives the beat forward. I am immaculate but still dusty and bloodied from my last go round. I see the path to walk, nay run, and I lay my foot down against the soft walls of wisdom. I must keep moving forward.

The risk will be worth the reward despite the outcome of the final piece I’ve committed to writing. The outcome, come what may, will be life unfolding in a grand mastery of orchestral parts with some blended so lovingly with beauty that joy is easily found.

I will be reborn. I will shake free of this shell. I’ve become like a chrysalis wrapped tight in swaddling adventure, changing my colors, changing my heart, changing my spirit for the next chapter. I will be reborn because to remain where I am, who I am, doing what I’ve always done is not an option if I hope to experience the life I was destined to meet. I MUST risk everything in order to rise up and meet the challenge of my spirit. This temporary state of rebuilding is my sole opportunity for the path I’ve chosen. But it isn’t my only option or way to get there, it’s just my choice to follow this particular path.

One foot in front of the other. One step forward. One belief that I am more than what I am right now. One wise guide that tells me to bloom, to grow, to breathe, live, act. I follow this inner voice, but I’m truly leading myself on my own spiritual journey.

Random Notes from my book

As the kids run through the grass, they kick up passels of summer gnats that flutter like dust in the sunlight.

Clarinets lined up like a firing squad splattering shrill notes on the crowd with missing rhythm and imprecise playing. SPLAT! WHACK! ting! Sploot! Trill!

To stretch my aching back, I bent oddly angled and realized by the horrified look of the salesclerk that I must have looked like I was trying to poop my pants.

I am an evil monkey today
I can behave exactly how I wish
I’m proudly wearing my top hat
they ignore my empty dish
I have crashed into the universe
it has politely punched me back
so I’ll sip my bitter coffee drink
while plotting my next attack

“Curse you vile human!” vs. “Have a blessed day!”

Blessed is a bisexual word. It can go either way. The argument is stated whether it be the Pagan or Christian way. Blessed or Bless-ed belongs to both or the other.

If you can’t see your shorts beneath your shirt, go change. That’s not attractive.