Shut It Down! Deal Breaker

             

What is perfect? How do you define it? What is part of your perfect? Are there versions of perfection? How does one even begin to explore perfection?

When I examine perfection, I’m more than curious not to what it is but how do you get there? Could it be similar to going to the grocery store without a list? Just hear me out.

In the book, Raving Fans, there are three secrets to creating a Raving Fan for your business. The book is focused on creating loyalty. The three secrets are Decide, Discover and Deliver.

  1. You have to “Decide” what you want.
  2. You have to “Discover” what your customer wants.
  3. Then you deliver the vision plus one percent.

This concept can be culture changing for an organization and quite possibly life changing for those of us…well like me. I have a semi successful dating history, but struggle with the purpose and want to make sure we are following the best steps along the way. “But Sally, how is this like going to the grocery store?”

grocery-list
Have you ever had that little trip to the grocery. You need milk, bread and ham. You don’t need a list for these items…you can do this without it. One hour and $200 later you walk out of the store with everything but milk, bread and ham. How frustrating? Or is it? Instead of the simple items…you now have wine, ice cream, steak, potatoes, three types of potato chips, sriracha sauce, new locally made soap and a vanilla candle. (You really don’t like vanilla candles, but it smelled so good in the store.) Not a thing wrong with these items, but still all you needed was milk, bread, ham and that $200 back.
Just like in Raving Fans, nothing wrong with the way you have been running your business and taking care of customers, but where is the intention. And how do you know if its working? Do all these extra items create a sustainable meal planning for the week?

Are you with me now? Do you see what I’ve been doing? I’ve been shopping without a list. (For men…not groceries.)

In a previous post, New Adventure? A Podcast! “Ask Me About” is Launched, I not only introduced you to my new adventure, the collaborative podcast Ask Me About , I listed some of my favorite podcast. One I am most fond of and will be referencing is Death, Sex and Money If You’re Not_____, Then Never Mind

In this particular episode, our host Anna Sale interviews actor Amy Landecker of Transendent. The focus of the interview is in regards to Landecker’s divorce and return to dating.

From the podcast: “Actor Amy Landecker got divorced in 2011. “It was the worst time of my whole life,” Amy says. “People told me it was going to get better and I didn’t believe them.” Amy and her ex-husband share custody of their daughter, and Amy struggled with being away from her for days at a time.”

Now, I’m used to this story, I’ve told this story. But I really tuned in when she explained that her daughter was the one to tell her it was time to date. “My daughter was worried that I was gonna be alone and…she was like, let’s just make a list of the qualities that we’re looking for,” Amy laughs. “So she takes out this piece of paper and she titles it, ‘If You’re Not This, Then Never Mind.'”

I’ve made several of these lists before, at the recommendations of many people. Prayerfully, by Gametime friend, TBQ, I made a list. It was a good one too, but I went to the store without the list bought ice cream instead. “The Mentor” talked me into another one of these lists too and I went back to the store and bought wine instead…lots of wine.

But that phrasing, “If you’re not this then never mind.” I decided to try again. As I wrote, I saw natural categories of the list. The first set were core principles. The second, for joy or fun and third, were action items. Some may see this list as basic, but nothing that becomes a nonnegotiable, a dealbreaker, is basic. So…here it is:

If You’re Not This, Then Never Mind

  • If you’re not a Christian, then never mind.
  • If you’re not working, then never mind.
  • If you’re not a Democrat, then never mind.
  • If you’re not politically minded, then never mind.
  • If you’re not a beach lover, then never mind.
  • If you’re not a music lover, then never mind.
  • If you’re not a sports fan, then never mind.
  • If you’re not going to buy me flowers, then never mind.
  • If you’re not going to respect my Southern ways, then never mind.
  • If you’re not going to respect my motherhood, then never mind.

I’ve carried this list with me for months…and I have neither added to it nor edited it since I originally wrote it. It’s just this simple. These embody my three secrets: decide, discover and deliver. The master grocery list. The nonnegotiables. The deal breakers.

Don’t spend too much time trying to dig holes into mine. Instead, take that time to write your own. Write your very own milk, bread and ham! Enjoy the ice cream, steak and locally made soap along the way…but don’t forget the milk, bread and ham either.And please, don’t buy the vanilla candle…you don’t like it. You know you don’t like it.

The Force of Love That Sings in the Rain

“The love of my life.” That’s what some say we should hope to find. Typically, I find they are discussing the romantic love we devote an entire lifetime to. Either, being in love, looking for it or fighting to keep it. I have even had justifying, sad conversations about the love of your life already passing by. Your first true love when you are 17 and stupid and let it go. Or 21, stupid and let it go. In the lowest of the low moments, I think I could have just stayed married and been miserable like a majority of people do. That sounds awful, terrible, a waste of time, a waste of life and a waste of love. No one should ever subject themselves to that, but they do. So the question is, the one I have, does “the love of your life”, have to be romantic?

Classic and Sci Fi movie lovers along with the entirety of popular culture learned this week of the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Fisher passed away on 12.27.16 and Reynolds on 12.28.16. For me personally, I am also facing the birthday of my oldest daughter on 12.30.16. I was shocked when I heard of Fisher’s death. I had recently listened to her interview on NPR with Terry Gross A few things stuck out to me in that interview, but the main one being how Fisher has become a beside caregiver for her mother through her recent decline n health. During the interview, Fisher talks about a period of her life at 19 and the relationship she had at that time. She was also filming Star Wars and the relationship she discusses is the affair she was having with married co star Harrison Ford.  She kept a journal of her time while she filmed Star Wars. Her last book, The Princess Diarist has many excerpts from this journal. During the interview; Gross asks Fisher to read from the book how she described the relationship with Ford during this period.

GROSS: In your journal that you kept during “Star Wars” you write a lot about your relationship with Harrison Ford. And I want to ask you to read an excerpt of that journal. This is where you’re describing how Harrison Ford was like a fantasy for you, but the fantasy did not always work out. And it was – you kind of projected a lot onto him, so if you could read an excerpt for us.

FISHER: Sure.

(Reading) We have no feeling for one another. We lie buried together during the night and haunt each other by day, acting out something that we don’t feel and seeing through something that doesn’t deserve any focus. I have never done anything quite like this. I sit patiently awaiting the consequences. I talk, walk, eat, sleep, patiently awaiting the consequences. How can a thing that doesn’t seem to be happening come to an end? George says that if you look at the person that someone chooses to have a relationship with, you’ll see what they think of themselves. So Harrison is what I think of myself. It’s hardly a relationship, but nevertheless he is a choice. I examined all the options and chose the most likely to leave no emotional investments. Never love for me, only obsession. Someone has to stand still for you to love them. My choices are always on the run.

I have looked back on my relationships, recent and prior to my marriage and recall them as extremely formative and scarily similar to what she describes above. “If you look at the person that someone chooses to have a relationship with, you’ll see what they think of themselves.” I haven’t been seeing myself in a very good light if this is the case. Attributes like dignity, responsibility, honesty and devotion are becoming very, very attractive.

princess-diarist

 

Following the news of their deaths, I wanted to hear from Reynolds so I found another interview. During the interview regarding her recent memoir “Unsinkable”

unsinkable

I was reminded and just as shocked to find out that Reynolds first husband Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher’s father, left the family to marry Elizabeth Taylor, Reynolds best friend. Over the years Reynolds attempted marriage two additional times with Harry Karl (1960-1973) and Richard Hamlet (1984-1996). During the time of Reynolds relationships, Fisher has the affair with Harrison Ford. She then is married to Paul Simon for one year (1983-1984). She was also briefly engaged to Dan Aykrod. She then had a child with Billy Catherine Lourd in 1992. Lourd left the relationship to be with another man. Fisher had a very successful professional life not only acting, but writing eight books and producing films. She unfortunately struggled with drug use and mental illness becoming an advocate in these areas. Many called the mother/daughter relationship complicated but at the end, they proved to be a tremendous support for each other. Fisher talks about being at her bedside in recent interviews and Reynolds was supportive of her daughter. Son of Reynolds and brother of Fisher, Todd Fisher is quoted saying that some of Reynolds last words were of Fisher; “I just want to be with Carrie.” Is it possible to die of a broken heart? I believe in this case, it was. All of this, topped with a year that was far disappointing on so many levels-multiple celebrity deaths, an election that makes many of us question the sanity of the American people; no matter what side you are on, but I have had a discovery thanks to the this mother daughter tragedy.

I have participated in many discussions regarding a full life. In my life, I don’t define its success by being in a current and more than likely disastrous romantic relationship. People in marriages, either visibly or internally shake their head at me…most of the time. However, let’s pose a question. Looking back on the timeline of Reynolds failed marriages, and Fishers failed relationships along with her mental health status and substance abuse, is it possible that the men in their lives were to root of the estrangement? Was the battle based in the nonrecognition of the true love of their lives, eachother?

I will continue to respect myself and the relationships I have with men, but after this deep moment of thought and reflection, I may join the realization that a man will not be the love of my life and enjoy that the loves of my life are already in my life. Present and accounted for are my children. Two delightful young ladies who I adore. The heart of this mother is full of these children’s love. My family. The gift of good parents is a blessing not to take lightly. A brother and now a sister in law that’s presence is a joy. Their love and marriage was one of the best things of 2016. My girlfriends. I will admit, in the past year I have neglected these ladies. One of my resolutions will be to spend more time developing deeper relationships with my group of female friends. As I look back, I was devoting more time to men and received no benefits from my devotions and these women are still here even though they have been neglected. My bromances. My sweet devoted male friends. So much they know, so much the honor and so many times they have kept me from the edge of insanity.

After that kind of acclaim and review, now you see why I am more focused on a truer love, a force that defies romance, men and women. So, here’s to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher and all the other single mothers successfully surviving in their Motherhood. They were complete and were given the gift of “the loves of their lives” when Carrie Fisher was born to Debbie Reynolds. The thoughts of I am not complete until I am remarried is so 2016.

Please watch the tribute below and remember their love.

May the Force Be with Us All.

Reynolds/Fisher Tribute

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Should Be Ashamed!

LOVE

It’s Sunday and it’s beautiful. So much joy and beauty to be celebrating, but I am so angry right now I could spit nails! I just left a church service where I found myself holding and praying with a dear friend who is watching her marriage crumble. Her pain and suffering sent me into this rage. I am angry at her husband whose addiction caused this pain. It also makes me extremely ashamed! I am ashamed that I didn’t honor my relationships. I had so much opportunity to be a better part of them, I threw it all away. Also, I have not honored and respected others while seeking my own selfish joys and satisfaction. In the past 72 hours the hypocrisy of beliefs and heterosexuals around the world has become so apparent to me.

Since the beginning of time, the straight relationships have been given all the glory. Humans wrote vows uniting men and women for generations; even eternity. Modern society adopted their legalization of these unions to fit our needs and no other relationship has been honored until Friday, June 26th. This is when the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that all unions will be recognized by the federal and state governments. Many homosexual couples headed straight to court offices all over the country to obtain a license to marry. When I went and got my marriage license, this was no big deal. But can you imagine, finally being able to legally unite with the one you cherish above all others being granted.

What do straight people do?  We mock marriage, we lie, hurt and ruin relationships. We cheat and disavow the very right we have taken for granted. We allow people to treat us unfairly. Men and women alike are committing acts of adultery even as I write this. These actions take place at work, phone conversations, texting, Tinder, Facebook, Kik, hotel rooms, cars, even in the bedrooms we share with another.

And what about the innocent bystanders like my friend. The one who is begging for answers and crying out that she wants her reality, even if it may have been fake, back! What about those who we have loved who have moved on but we carry feelings for them that never seem to waiver? What about the number of men and women who are deceiving complete strangers? This is the end of my rope on the subject. I will no longer tolerate being a part of your lies and your wretched example of what love is.

My first incident with lowering my standards was my relationship with Derek. Our first relationship he was single, well as far as I knew. Our two year on and off again, did involve his unresolved remarriage to his wife not once, but twice. My guilt was shadowed for my selfish thought that I was doing the right thing and when it was all over, we would be together. It never happened. His ability to lie to her should have showed me, he could lie to me too. It was some time before I was placed back in that situation again.

The phenomenon of me being “the other woman” didn’t begin until I started using Tinder. One of my first conversations involved a request to talk off Tinder by using either Kik or Snapchat. I was so naive. I mean, come on…I am smarter than this. Why couldn’t I have his number and why didn’t I hear from him in the “after work” hours. His communication with me started at 6:30 am and would carry on until 4:00-5:00 pm. Then he started asking to meet me for lunch. Finally, it came out. He was married. Disgust, horror, shame, this is how I felt. It happened numerous times then I finally figured out their game. Most recently, a very promising candidate gave me a fake last name…so I couldn’t find him on Facebook. He would say, “but I can see your stuff.” My response, “well send me a friend request…” Crickets now for about a week and a half.

How about the one you are friends with and his girlfriend?

“But you can’t kiss me… what about Mary(This is a Gilmore Girls reference).”

“But I’ve always wanted to kiss you. For years!”

Possibly the fact that I am not a “Mary” is what this was all about.

I got fed this line about how the relationship was all in “her” head and had been “off” for months. I believed him and we started dating, but only Monday through Thursday. See Mary traveled for work and came back to town. The first time he ignored me in public, I was hurt, honestly hurt.  This was on a weekend get a way with a group of friends. He explained, the opportunity to discuss with Mary just wasn’t convenient and the plans for her to attend were already set. “She had been looking forward to this trip for months, I hated to disapoint her and explain I was involved with you. And don’t worry, we have separate rooms.” What was his attempt at reassurance. The next week was the same, he and I until Thursday. I grew tired of it after a few weeks. Then I just got mad! I still am…especially when I still see them together. Was he lying to me or is he still lying to her? I do know he is lying to himself.

Then there are those we can’t let go of. The ones we think about, dream about and is dangerous as it is, even still talk to. Marco was caring, kind and a good person. But our worlds were heading in two total different directions. I called it off pretty quick, but we had the occasional re-connection over time. Then he met a really great girl and they moved in together. For sometime, I didn’t hear from him at all. Then it was the occasional, ‘hello’, ‘how are you?’ text. Then he asked to see me.

“Why, why do you need to see me.”  I ask

“There is something I still need from you.” he says

What is it about people that we only need pieces of? All of us, are whole beings. and the uniting of two whole people is so amazing. But what is  missing from one seemingly whole being, that we think another person has that the other doesn’t. The connection we long and search for in our actions of infidelity is not something we find in the other person, it is something we are looking for that is missing from ourselves. The one we are in relationship with doesn’t have it and the one we seek secretly certainly doesn’t contain it either.

If you want to deep dive into the current state of infidelity, check out Esther Perel’s Ted Talk.

Will the ruling giving all Americans the right to marriage make it any more of a mockery than it already is? I believe that the unity of more people, no matter the origin of their love, gives relationships strength. It gives me hope! All of these stories have set a tone to what I consider the future state of love is for humanity…and it’s not good. What happened on Friday, may have changed my perspective. Because not one of the stories above have done anything to strengthen the current state of marriage and relationships in our society. Let us try to love more and judge less.

kennedy_2.png.CROP.promo-mediumlarge

Peace to You All,

Sally

Failure to Launch Phenomenon

People get married everyday. Traditionally, Saturday’s are the most popular, but any day will and can do. I’ve had the big white wedding. Hundreds of guests, church, reception hall, dinner, dancing, bar, the works. It was lovely. If I ever do walk that aisle again, I honestly don’t think it will be this kind of affair. But my optimism cup runneth over and is never failing so, we shall see.

Grace is my best friend and has personally witnessed many of the stories I share here. She actually gives me the go ahead to write on many topics. This one is no different. We were discussing a recent engagement of one of my exes-The Yankee. This one and I actually broke up almost a year ago…yeah-I was thinking the same thing “that was quick.” We started counting, he was number seven. He was the seventh guy I have broken up with that the next lady he dated after me, he married. Yep! MARRIED!

#1-serious boyfriend from college

#2-second serious boyfriend from college and 1st post divorce boyfriend

#3-Sweet Fella

#4- #2’s friend

#5-Momma’s Boy-wedding planned for June

#6-Squirrel (who is not married or engaged…yet, but it’s likely coming)

#7-The Yankee

#8-Cleats

Yep, I failed to mention that Cleats is now married. Now this one is amazing. Less than 2 weeks…TWO WEEKS!!! I end it and he put a ring on it!

Some of you may be saying, what about Derek…If we count him that makes it 10-because he dated and remarried his ex wife twice while dating me in between. I just don’t count it but you can if you would like.

Sarah Jessica Parker is making a heavy appearance in this blog  but not as Carrie Bradshaw. I give you Failure to Launch-Paula’s Pitch:

So there you have it mostly ladies and a few brave gentlemen…I have been doing this since 2000!!!! 15 years and increasing the self esteem of men I have been in relationships with and preparing them for marriage. Everyone on this list has had ample opportunity to marry me. It just never happened. I can’t answer the why it didn’t  part, but as I write, I stare at the left ring finger and it’s as bare as ever. Sometimes I wear and substitute ring on it just for fun. It would be nice to have one there one day, but for now there are nine other fingers if you count the pinky’s that can have rings on them.

This week, today in particular is Mother’s Day. Can I be honest…I really dislike Mother’s Day. Now, I love to celebrate my Mom! She is awesome and deserves this day. But this is just not a good day for me. For example, I left my ex husband on Mother’s Day. A few year’s later was the first time Derek got back together with his ex wife and now…#7 and #8 all with in a week! I have difficulty wrapping my head around this.

This morning, I made a list. A list of my research of dating men since my divorce.

1. They don’t know how. Yeah, obviously I don’t either. But, I had to recently date a man who was old enough to be my father to actually feel like it should to date. Come on men between 30 and 45. Get it together!!!

2. They show no effort. Again, back to the older man I recently went to dinner with. He showed effort and I appreciated it.  I want to ask any single, straight man reading this-when was the last time you sent a girl flowers? Yep…that’s what I thought.

3. No gentlemen qualities. Either they have been lost or they were faking it in the 20’s. ( and so was I…)

I would like to iniate a challenge. A challenge to men. Date me, I dare you! Baseball season has started and its a whole new ball game. My record is not as good as the Cardinals, but there is still time to make the playoffs. So if you are reading this and you are a single man or if you know a single man, I’m game if you are! Just remember, “there is no crying in baseball.”