Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#Family – Why I Married At 23…Sometimes We Do Make Wrong Decisions! by Balroop Singh


Delighted to share the third of Balroop Singh’s posts from her archives and this week she takes a look at arranged marriages, including her own which has been incredibly happy, but others are not so fortunate… Balroop explores how this tradition is still maintained in the present day.

Why I Married At 23…Sometimes We Do Make Wrong Decisions!

Our decisions cling to us, we have to live with some of them all our life. We might live in the shadow of regret because we didn’t have the maturity to ponder. We didn’t have the guts to speak up, to express our resentment, to rise against what appeared to be a wrong decision.

What if a parent or sibling makes those life-changing decisions?

What if they were made under societal pressures or moral bindings?

What if they are seen to be quite right by everybody around us?

All these questions didn’t crop up when I married at 23 (actually 22+) and it happened to be a happy marriage.

Thankfully, I have lived by that decision without any regrets.

I am not alone!

I know many girls marry at this age, out of choice. But the million-dollar question is: Are they enlightened enough to gather the import of such a decision?

When there is an unwritten decree that you have to marry when you are asked to just because it is convenient for the people around you, when the society values your muteness at such decisions, when you are expected to concur with what your near and dear ones decide for you, when you don’t want to displease them…do you have any choice?

In many cases that decision may turn you into a puppet, a slave, a housemaid, a sex symbol, a money-churning machine – who cares? You are seen as respectfully, happily married woman!

Now many such questions stare at me and I realize how simple, how immature and young I was at that time.

I couldn’t even understand that I was abdicating my dream, my aspiration.

I was told that I could still pursue it. I just chose to forget it but that is another story!

I was told that everybody must settle down. I could hardly fathom the depth of those words.

Did I have a choice? I was not expected to question or even see the man I was supposed to marry though I did raise some queries and insisted on meeting him at least once.

It is another matter that I met a kind and understanding man.

All those who are married off like this are not that lucky.

Those were probably primitive times…we didn’t have any Google to ask all those questions. We just had a radio and a gramophone, which sang away to glory and who was interested in the news that women had been granted equal status, that they too could claim their rights!?

Nothing has changed in this technology driven, digital world.

The unwritten diktats of the society follow young, naïve girls to their grave.

Younger brides can be easily molded, that is the belief. They can’t wield much power and will-power, this weakness can be easily exploited.

I didn’t have the power or the authority; they too face the same scenario.

The patriarchal societies are driven by the same age-old traditions of marrying a young girl, demanding (or expecting) dowry and considering the wife as a personal property.

My own niece met with the same fate and I couldn’t do anything! Isn’t it strange? But she chose to divorce!

She could only do so when the choice lay in her own hands and I appreciate her bold step.

I am not shifting any blame.

I could have also made a wrong decision. Many people do so.

I am only trying to understand how much has our society evolved. How much freedom have we attained and who have actually got that freedom?

At the same time, I am awe struck at the wrong decisions made in the western world, where dating at teenage endows them with too much of freedom.

They have all the choices!

We all make wrong decisions but when we make them ourselves, we move on, thinking it was a bad dream, a little mistake, and an aberration.

How long will the societal oppressions keep demanding the sacrifices of young, innocent girls? How long would their ambitions be thwarted by the biased demands of their culture and dogmas?

Thank you for reading this. I am sure you have some thoughts to share. Please do so.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Image adapted from: http://kenmclane.org

©Balroop Singh

Here is Balroop’s  latest release Timeless Echoes, Poetry for young adults and teens.

About Timeless Echoes

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

One of the reviews for the collection

Bette A. Stevens 5.0 out of 5 stars Wise & Wistful October 14, 2018

In “Timeless Echoes,” the author searches within to share the trials and tribulations of life in unique poetic imagery that delves deeply into the human spirit echoing within each of us. Love of nature, love of family, grace and forgiveness are among the themes encompassed in Singh’s timeless collection.

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

Thank you for dropping in today and to Balroop for her thought provoking post..We would love to hear from you..

If you would like to share some posts from your archives that deserve to be read again and by a different audience, as well as promote your work.. then this is how…

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The only issue is the number of photographs and if there are more than five photographs in the post I will do a reblog rather than a separate post. (Media space)

Previous participants are more than welcome

Advertisements

Something to Think About – The R’s of Life – Romance, A modern fairy story by Sally Cronin


Last week was Valentine’s Day so I shared a post I wrote for USA Today Bestselling Romance author Jacquie Biggar’s website last year – on the subject of keeping the magic of romance alive every day.

In respect of this series, where I explore some of the key elements of our modern lives, I take a light-hearted look at love and romance. Well partly light-hearted, as there are some elements of this universally sought after state of bliss that can be from the dark side.

I thought I would share my modern fairy story with you and the things I have learnt along the way.

Have you ever wondered why the classic fairy stories that involve a beautiful farmer’s daughter, scullery maid or even a princess, who are swept off their feet by a handsome and rich stranger on a white horse; end with the words ‘And they lived happily ever after’?

It was not just because most were written by men, at a time when a woman was a chattel who cooked, cleaned and bore children. Women believed that was their role and yearned for it! The male writers of the fairy stories of the time were definitely headed off to happy ever after!

That may sound a bit cynical, but I can remember as a child being fed the propaganda. Most commonly via bedtime stories and the ‘Happy Ever After’ films that we were allowed to watch in our teen years. Disney had the whole thing down to a fine art. By the time I was sixteen and listening to the crooners of the day, I was convinced that at some point, a rich and handsome stranger was going to gallop into my life and sweep me off into a love filled paradise just made for two.

By the time I was 19 years old I had kissed a few frogs. I also thought that Prince Charming had ridden in a few times, then discovered that in reality they just as quickly rode off into the sunset. Still that is all part of growing up, but because of the indoctrination of childhood, I mistook one particular prince for the real thing.

 

Oh the joy in the royal family, that the princess had been chosen by a prince of such standing in the community. A large wedding was planned and executed by the two queens with the kings simply opened the doors to the treasure houses. The invitation lists in both palaces grew by the hour as dignitaries were invited from far and wide. Many of whom the princess and prince had never met. The reception was a masterpiece of just the right location and the food suitably divine. A vaulted arch of the prince’s entourage lined the drive from the grand cathedral; carriages awaited to take the jubilant bridal party to the festivities.

 

A few glasses of champagne, elegant speeches and a thrown bouquet that was caught by the next lucky bride. Then the prince swept the princess off on his luxurious charger into the sunset to the awaiting bridal chamber.

They call it a day to remember, and certainly as I thought about the celebrations in the weeks and months following, I knew it would be etched on my mind forever; not necessarily for the right reasons. Suddenly the prince was not quite so charming, but still my belief that in the end the magic would prevail, maintained the veil of delusion over my star struck eyes.

However, pretty quickly, what I had believed to be the essence of true romance had vanished, and during the next few years I had some pretty good lessons about the reality of maintaining a one-sided relationship. I was trapped by the web that had been spun around me and I felt it would be impossible to break free without angering so many; particularly at the two royal courts.

But one day, for some reason, the spell lost its power and despite the threat of banishment to a far off land where my shame would not be witnessed by family and friends; I packed up a small bundle of clothes and hit the road.

 

I spent the next three years wandering and keeping well away from anyone who knew me, ending up in the depths of the Welsh mountains where I flirted and flitted through a number of meaningless relationships. I was not going to be caught up in the fairy tale again. I was very happy to be the wicked witch and to spend my life making spells of my own and being loved by cats. My release papers arrived on April 1st which seemed totally appropriate.

Then, would you believe it… a prince arrived in disguise. Quiet and bespectacled and riding an ancient nag that had seen better days. There were no grand or extravagant gestures, just a gentle wearing down of my defenses. But there was magic involved of that I am certain. I felt myself being drawn in despite the walls that I had built around me. A spell was being woven that ensnared me and despite all my best intentions, after only one dinner date, I found myself saying yes to spending a lifetime together with this softly spoken suitor.

The Queen and King back at the castle were I was born were aghast on hearing that I was betrothed again. And to a foreign prince from afar with as yet unknown credentials, who had the audacity to propose on our first date; the Queen announced that she was about to faint.

My prince was not about to let the grass grow under his steed however and he approached the King and asked for his daughter’s hand. Rather hopefully, the king offered him £5 and a step ladder, and an enquiry as to if  there might be an elopement. Which there was, and within six weeks, very quietly and without undue ceremony, we were married.

 

This time just both sets of Kings and Queens and one lady in waiting attended! Drenching rain blessed the union in a small office in Wales. After a celebratory lunch we set off on the prince’s ancient steed to a rather dark castle in the mountains, where the bridal suite, decked in red flock wallpaper, vibrated to the noise emanating from the public bar beneath.

Then it was off to the damp and musty rooms, that we managed to find and afford, whilst we worked hard together to build up enough savings to buy our first modest home. That has set the pattern for the last 39 years, where we have both worked together as a team to keep our relationship strong and to achieve a reasonable expectation of ‘Happy Ever After’.

 

Every fairy story usually has a moral at its heart and for me, that was ‘All that glitters is not gold’ and fancy cars, uniforms, extravagant gestures and empty promises are not worth the paper they are written on.

Thirty-nine years into my second marriage, I have no doubt in my mind that my first disaster was sent to teach me a valuable lesson and to appreciate the real thing when I finally found it.

Considering that statistics show that at least 45% of marriages and civil partnerships end in divorce or separation, at least some of you reading this will have gone through a similar experience with your own modern fairy story!

A few observations I have made along the way.

Overuse of the ‘L’ word

I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to overusing words that are supposed to be used to express ones devotion to another.  I love, sugar, salt, dogs, writing, reading, movies, music, next door’s cat, Tom Selleck, chocolate, red wine, ice-cream, strictly come dancing, buying clothes, shoes and handbags.

So how special does that make my husband feel when I tell him I love him?

Words are very easy to use and they spill from our mouths with increasing thoughtlessness to their actual meaning. Telling someone you love them all the time and expecting them to do likewise, especially when you also use the same expression for all the other ‘things’ in your life, can dilute its meaning.  It is lovely to hear from time to time, especially when accompanied by an act of love that reinforces it.

It is actions that speaker louder than words and you can show how much you love someone every day without having to vocalise the emotion.

A very good reason for that loss of the bond that keeps a relationship strong is our expectations. However realistic we may think we are, we still believe that life is going to be eternally happy when we have found our prince or princess. In truth once the courting days, when we are on our best behaviour and make an effort to look great are over, we find out that perhaps we are not as suited as we thought.

Expectations for some young people are fuelled by the the constant stream of gossip about celebrities and their million pound weddings, 100k dresses and a centrefold spread in ‘Hello’. And the fact, that they are far more likely to break up within seven years,also brings a normalcy to the temporary nature of relationships. Particularly as it seems that it is okay to have another million pound wedding with a 100k dress and lavish party again and again. Recreating the fairy story and quite frankly tarnishing it.

It is certainly true for some that there is an expectation of instant gratification and when it looks like some hard work is needed to make a relationship work, it is easier to leave and find another short term fix.

My sympathy does lie however, with the children who seem to be dragged through the public spats and repeated matrimonials without any say in the matter; and you can only wonder what it does to their perception of love and romance!

It seems that once the honeymoon is over, there comes the period of adjustment when it it is permissible to change anything and everything about your new spouse, so that they conform to your idea of perfection!

Football or basketball might be more of a priority than previously thought and nights out with the girls once a week and clubbing might be tough to give up.

One of the assumptions that we make is that when we get married we will be joined at the hip and do everything together. This might be fine if you get married at 75 or 80 years old, but if you are in your twenties, you are still growing and developing. Being married should not mean losing your individuality and there should be activities that you continue to pursue, as long as it takes your partner into consideration.. In fact over the years you will find that you begin to share more and more and that you grow more alike.

There are plenty of activities that you will share as a couple, including when children arrive; which is a wonderful but labour intensive part of a relationship. Sleepless nights and eighteen years of car-pooling and soccer practice begin to eat into time that might be set aside for romantic gestures. Certainly cash flow is usually also restricted with mortgages and college funds. Life is going to keep pushing your boundaries and if you do not have a strong bond, then it will succeed in tearing you apart.

Then there are the little things we didn’t really notice when we were in the throes of passion. Prince charming does snore, have smelly socks and breaks wind and so does his princess.

One of the most often used excuses by men for their infidelity is ‘My wife does not understand me.’ Which usually means that a wife and mother is spending all her time keeping food on the table, taking care of the children as well as hold down a job and not paying him enough attention.

The most used excuse for women for infidelity, is that the love and romance has gone out of their marriage, and they just wanted to feel beautiful and desired. Which usually means that a man is out working in a stressful job all day, comes home and just wants to eat his meal in peace, watch the television have a beer and get some sleep.

And just a tip… let him take his coat off, have a meal and relax before you tell him the washing machine is broken.

It takes a huge amount of work to keep the various relationship elements alive and well.  A lot more work than some people are willing to put in.

There is nothing wrong with ‘Contentment’

Happiness is this all encompassing emotion that is a high we all expect to achieve; and of course there are moments in your life of sheer joy. However, it is impossible to sustain that for 60 or 70 years. You would be worn out. To be honest your friends and family will be pretty weary of seeing your perpetual smiling face and happiness.  It will simply be too tough for them to compete with the perfection.

It is much healthier to achieve a state of contentment, where you still make the effort to keep love and romance alive, and are able to sustain it. This is when the small gestures such as making cups of tea, holding hands in the movies, cooking a favourite meal or a date night, really come into their own.

And one of the key elements of a healthy and long relationship is the laughter. Without that glue to keep you together, it is easy for one or both of you to descend into misery.

At the end of the day this is just my views on romance and certainly every couple needs to find the formula that works for them. Hopefully I have given you something to think about and if you feel that the romance in your partnership could use some TLC then now is the time to give the matter some serious thought.

©sally cronin 2019

You can find the other chapters in the series in this directory… and your feedback is always welcome: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/something-to-think-about/

 

Something to Think about – The R’s of Life – Relationships in a Modern World Part Two – Adulthood by Sally Cronin


In the last post I looked at the impact on a child who has not been socialised with other children before going to school, and the growing concern of placing babies as young as six months in childcare.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-one-childhood-by-sally-cronin/

This week I explore the next phase in a child’s development as they move into puberty, their teen years and into adulthood.

There are millions of children who are well adjusted, coping brilliantly with school, friends and the move into secondary education. Their sights firmly fixed on a career that they are best suited for.

However, like me, I am sure that you remember that it only took one disruptive child in a class to make a difference to all the students. The one who requires the most interaction from the teacher, who never excels but always achieves the maximum attention, who is also usually the bully in the playground.

Unfortunately, they are the ones we all end up hearing about as they rampage through their school years, often absent and finding solidarity with like-minded misfits. They are also the ones who find themselves with their fifteen minutes of fame on the front pages of the newspapers.

Here is a short extract from a recent article on knife crime in London, and I am sure it is reflected in many of our major cities whichever country we live in.

When you speak to gang members and ex-gang members their world is totally different from ours and I think we need to understand that in order to intervene.

“The journeys of some of these young people embroiled in knife crime and gangs are quite similar. Excluded from school, no significant role model in their life, move from place to place, involved in petty crime very early on, come from a household known to social services. All those things, you look at the pattern, it’s all the same. Police have a role, but every profession, every agency has a role to play, so hopefully we intervene in the right places.”

Half of all knife crime offenders in London are teenagers or even younger children, new Met figures have revealed in a stark illustration of the scale of youth violence in the capital.

The police statistics show that 41 per cent of those being caught for knife crimes across London’s boroughs are now aged between 15 and 19.

Another 8 per cent are younger still, ranging in age from ten to 14, in a further sign of how carrying and using blades has become part of life for a minority of troubled young people.

Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/half-of-london-knife-crime-carried-out-by-teenagers-and-children-as-young-as-ten-police-figures-a4056596.html

Developing and maintaining relationships into adulthood.

It is tough enough to manage the many diverse relationships with will develop as we move into adulthood, without having been taught how to play well with others as a toddler and then during the early school years.

It can be extremely stressful maintaining relationships across the breadth of our connections. A bit like the performer who spins multiple plates on thin, flexible poles, running frantically around the stage keeping them from falling and smashing on the ground.

It is that stress that erodes the foundations of a relationship and causes so much heartache. Some relationships are very resilient. Especially within a family where children have grown up together and have loved, squabbled and then laughed together. However, there comes a time when we reach an age where our personalities have formed, and we begin to move into different circles of friends and the romantic relationships we discover.

If we have not had a strong sense of belonging within a family, or have had a difficult relationship with either or both of our parents, we can take baggage with us as we form these outside connections. Our expectations of relationships are not high and so it is easy to accept less from interactions than we should.

This inability to form strong and lasting relationships is not just limited to romance but also impacts our job prospects and long-term mental, emotional and physical health.

One of the most important relationships, and often the toughest to maintain is marriage which is embarked on with a view to lasting a lifetime.

Although there has been a steady decrease in the numbers of divorces over the last ten years, last year saw a slight increase for the first time in a decade. This partly down to the inclusion on divorces for same sex marriages which has been legal since 2014.

What is not taken into account is the nearly 4 million families where parents are cohabiting without a formalised agreement, who also have their own statistics with regard to splitting up.

The statistics show that a cohabiting couple is three times more likely to break-up than a marriage. But the more worrying fact of this, is that there are far less legal safeguards for a single parent and their children in these circumstances.

A recent report has identified that Britain has more single parents than almost any country in Europe, and almost one in three of them are unemployed.

“A report has found that of the 1.8million single parent households in Britain, 650,000 of them are not in any sort of work.

This has led to a situation where the average single parent household in the UK claims twice as much in benefit support as the average two-parent household.

The proportion of lone parent households in the UK is the fourth highest in the EU – behind only Estonia, Latvia and Ireland – with 24 per cent of of children being brought up by just one adult”.

More importantly a huge burden of parenting the children in these failed relationships, falls onto the shoulders of just one person, usually the mother.

There is no doubt that most single parents do their very best to ensure their children grow up with a balanced view of relationships. But I do believe that some parents do not appreciate the impact that is made on a child’s future by their actions in their own interactions with others.

Parents are role models, and the way they interact with each other, their own family members, friends and casual contacts, is under scrutiny by a child from a very early age. They learn from their mother’s and father’s knee and will take those lessons with them for their entire lives.

If approximately 42% of marriages end in divorce and a larger number of cohabiting relationships end, how does that impact the views of the children concerned about relationships?

How does a child, who sees a mother struggling to manage to bring them up alone, often with other siblings, see the role of a father, and therefore their future role. How has the lead up to the split, which is likely to have been acrimonious impact them?

It is not likely that it will prepare them adequately for their own relationships in the future.

And it is not only the young whose lives are fractured when a partnership ends. Although many men and women go on to remarry and have long and happy relationships, those whose marriages end in their middle years, find getting back into the dating game very tough and often spend the rest of their lives alone.

Modern relationships are complex.

The world is becoming more integrated and relationships are becoming more complex, not simpler, with the development of technology. Our concept of friendship is changing as we form more relationships online. Many are also turning to technology to find romantic attachments based on a computer algorithm. Six million British men and women look to dating sites to find their perfect match each year. In some countries such as Japan, romantic simulations are becoming increasingly popular, as men and women form virtual relationships that take the place of human interaction.

The dynamics of romantic relationships has changed along with the technology as we have access to the rest of the world, particularly to the pseudo-celebrities.

We are now in the era of the celebrity culture, where fashion, serial relationships and what should be private, is public property. The days of the Hollywood stars misbehaving has been overtaken by the pseudo-celebrities who do little more than remove clothing, have butt lifts and make a fortune selling their ‘brand’ to the media, as they move from fleeting public romance to the next. Having children, it would seem often, as an accessory, or to ensure that they will be taken care of for life, at the almost certain demise of their latest pseudo-relationship . And make fortunes they do, fuelled by the need of the young in particular, to have this glittering lifestyle, all without going out and working 9-5 in some boring dead end job.

It sounds harsh doesn’t it. And as I said at the beginning of this post, there are millions of wonderful young men and women entering marriage and long-term stable relationships, who will go on to be amazing parents.

But they are nowhere to be seen in the headlines. They are not the role models that the media present to the increasing percentage of young people who are desperate to find something to belong to, follow and be a part of. They have nothing to judge these wannabees against.

There are two people in a relationship but it can influence the lives of several more.

A relationship is a two way interaction between individuals and also groups of people. It requires time, patience and tolerance. Great beginnings, particularly in romantic relationships, need to be built on so that the initial chemistry is combined with trust, respect and loyalty. It needs to become a partnership in every sense of the word; there is no room for inflated egos or dominance if it is to succeed.

This applies in friendships, as well as within teams or groups of people that we work with. As in the playground, those who do not know how to communicate, share and support are soon excluded, and I have seen many such individuals, drift from job to job over many years.

Developing healthy relationships is not based on a computer algorithm, but a deep-rooted need to belong that has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. A clan provided safety from other humans and also animals, provided more effective food gathering and hunting, and made better use of individuals specific skills. The individual hearths did not only provide heat, light and the ability to cook food, but also the basis of the first families, where men and women shared the care of children by forming strong and stable relationships.

The impact of relationships on physical, mental and emotional health.

Over the years of working with men and women who have come to me looking to improve their health, it is clear that relationship issues play a huge role in in a number of key areas in our lives. This included weight loss and gain, depression and other stress related physical and mental illnesses. Most women and quite a few men that I have counselled with difficulty losing weight have very low esteem and many have projected the cause of that onto their partners.

In fact low self-esteem in this particular instance, is a combination of long-term relationship issues with both the people in our lives going back to childhood, and also the attachments we have formed to food as a source of comfort.

Our desire to change our partners into who we think they should be!

A massive influence on the strength of a relationship is acceptance. One of the major stumbling blocks in any connection we make romantically, within a friendship or a group, is the need to change the other person or people to a version that we feel more comfortable with.

There is an old joke about the woman who searched for twenty-five years for the perfect man only to find him and discover he was looking for the perfect woman!

We all have faults and are less than perfect. It is easy to say. ‘This is who I am, love me or leave me.’ However, this is where the second major influence in relationships comes in.

Compromise is not a sign of weakness, but a willingness to meet someone else half-way, combine positive traits, work on negative issues and still maintain our individual characters within the relationship.

Which brings me to the third ingredient of a good relationship which is patience.

You cannot force someone to change to suit your expectation of what they should be. If you value their individuality then you need to remember that this is one of the main elements that attracted you to them in the first place. Adaptation may happen naturally over time as you live and work together, but it is likely to take years not weeks or even months. Learning everything there is to know about an individual takes a great deal of time and effort and if you are lucky you will still be finding out new things after 30 years in a relationship.

Happiness is a much sought after commodity but unfortunately we tend to place the burden of providing that onto others in our lives. We expect others to make us happy; which is simply not acceptable. Happiness is not an emotion but an expectation that is instilled in us from childhood by our parents, fairy stories, outside influences such as the media in print, film and music. We quickly forget all the simple things that made us feel good in childhood such as playing in the sand, a day at the beach, opening our birthday presents.

As we get older we crave that feel good reaction from everything that we do including at work, in friendships and in relationships. We forget that happiness comes from within; is very individual to us and if a situation is not providing us with it, then we need to examine what we are bringing to the table.

How many times have you stated that ‘ I will be happy when… I have lost two stone, bought a house in the sun or won a million’?

If you explore where you are in your life right now and the relationships that you already have, you might feel that some areas are not as good as they might be, but most already give you every reason to be happy.

It is an interesting exercise to imagine what it would be like if those people, experiences or events were not in your life at all. I think most of us would be devastated to be without them.

Many people associate happiness with what they are given, be it in the form of gifts, friendship or emotions. They fail to realise that we are far more likely to experience that sense of happiness when we are the ones that are giving and not taking. Our happiness is intensified when it is reflected in the face of others in our lives, both personally and in a work environment. The most successful relationships are those where there is a mutual giving of time, love, friendship, support and loyalty.

However, it is very important to recognise that there are times when a relationship of any kind becomes toxic and will never offer you the chance of happiness, however much you give and keep giving. The relationship becomes totally one-sided and without extreme intervention is not going to survive. I know from previous experience how easy it is to hang onto the belief that you can change the situation, but there comes a time when you do have to accept that it can no longer be sustained and that you may have to leave it behind.

Relationships are precious and need nurturing and developing if they are to survive. That applies just as much online as it does with the people in our immediate circle of family and friends. The world is changing and certainly it will be interesting in another 25 years of Internet access, to discover just how much our ability to form relationships will impacted.

©Sally Cronin 2019

You can find the other chapters in the series in this directory… and your feedback is always welcome: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/something-to-think-about/

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Family Dinners: Keeping the Spark Alive by Marian Beaman


It is time to welcome another new contributor the series with the first post from her archives, here is Marian Beaman. In this post Marian shares some of her own family dinners across the generations and illustrates how important this bringing together of family members is so important.

Family Dinners: Keeping the Spark Alive by Marian Beaman

Are family dinners important? What about empty nesters? Families of one? Do family dinners protect against the effects of teen drug use and cyberbullying? Writer Melodie Miller Davis in her recent blog post “How do you keep family dinner?” got me thinking about recent research on the topic.

In her post, she refers to Columbia Casa Family Day, a national initiative to remind parents that they have the “power to help keep their kids substance free.” Cornell University researchers also have discovered that shared meals may help prevent eating disorders. An article in Time asserts that teens benefit from interaction with their families and find security in the shared, predictable ritual of family mealtime possibly preventing early drug use and the effects of cyber-bullying. However, there is also research that claims such effects are overstated or not verifiable.

Whatever the case may be, the faster the pace of our lives and the more insane world events become, the more I long for the sweet spaces of serenity that sharing family meals can provide.

The Longeneckers and the Metzlers, two strands of my family line were oblivious of any such research but carried on the ritual of family meal time together. Here is a post from the Metzler gatherings, often picnic style.

Family dinners can be very large as seen here in Grandma and Aunt Ruthie’s house with twenty, mostly Bossler Mennonite Church friends, gathered around their huge dining table.

Whether large or small, indoors or out, dinners require preparation. My sister Jean and her family provide some of the “raw material” from a shared meal at Mother’s house.

Years ago if we didn’t visit Pennsylvania, I shared holiday meal making with my sister Janice, who lives just 2 ½ miles from us.

 

And then the over-flow table with the kids . . .

Any excuse for a party! Besides birthdays, Fourth of July can be a cause for celebration too.

One of us, who loved everything about entertaining from meal preparation to talking and eating around the table, will be missing this holiday season and every meal in between, our Mother Ruth Longenecker, hostess extraordinaire.

How have family dinners marked your family history?

My thanks to Marian for sharing her family memories in these photos.. I have not included all of them and you can see more at her original post: http://marianbeaman.com/2014/10/04/family-dinners-keeping-the-spark-alive/

©Marian Beaman 2014

About Marian Beaman

At one point as a teacher at Lancaster Mennonite School, I was addressed as Sister Longenecker. Then I turned fancy and became Beaman after marrying a blue-eyed, blonde-haired German boy from Washington State. His original artwork often appears on my pages. I wrote about our unlikely meeting here.

My love of books, along with a connection to students and colleagues, has made my years in education pure joy. I have spent more than 40 years teaching, finishing my career with 21 years at Florida State College in Jacksonville.

Writing dovetails with reading and teaching. My academic writing includes a multi-colored array of topics, ranging from “A Thousand Acres: Not King Lear in a Cornfield” for the American Popular Culture Association and “It’s Not Easy Being Green, Wal-Mart and Me,” recounting my neighborhood struggle to keep large oaks and tall pines from biting the dust.

Former Mennonite with a Writing Habit

A dream came true when I presented and published “God: Myth and Mystery from the Romantics through the Twentieth Century: Informing Global Religious Conflict” in magical Oxford, England. In 2011 Bedford St. Martin’s textbooks published “Facilitating Cooperative Learning,” the mantra of my most effective teaching techniques.

Now in my Third Act, I’ve embraced creative non-fiction with “Gutsy In Ukraine,” published in Sonia Marsh’s My Gutsy Story Anthology (2014), Volume 2. In September 2016, my story “Making Love Edible: Lessons from Fanny Martin Longenecker” was published in The Mennonite magazine.

Since beginning my blog in 2013, I’ve uncovered nostalgic photos, letters, and artifacts from my two Longenecker homes in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, many of which are featured here on my blog.

I publish my blog Plain and Fancy Girl on Wednesdays. Whether you are a commenter or reader only, I appreciate your noticing. Scroll down and subscribe to my weekly blog.

My work in progress is tentatively titled Tomato Girl, a memoir that reveals family secrets. I don’t think the title quite fits my story. You can contact me to make a better suggestion or offer a comment.

Connect to Marian

Website/Blog: http://marianbeaman.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/martabeaman
Facebookhttps://facebook.com/marianbeaman   (All my weekly blogposts are published publicly on Facebook.)
Rifflebookshttps://www.rifflebooks.com/profiles/136032  (I have published 111 book reviews on this site.)

I am now looking for archive posts for the festive season.. short stories fiction and non-fiction, food and recipes, humour, memorable Christmas’s etc.  Please send one or two posts to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.. I will be resuming the regular archive series in the New Year.  Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Mid-Life Joyride: Love in the Single Lane by J. Hope Suis


Welcome to a new author to the bookstore with a brand new release published on 24th October…Mid-Life Joyride: Love in the Single Lane by J. Hope Suis

About the Book

Mid-Life Joyride is the ultimate user’s manual for mid-life relationships. Being single in mid-life is not usually where many SIMs (Single In Mid-Life) expected to wind up. In Mid-Life Joyride, J. Hope Suis takes SIMs on an incredible and often humorous journey from how they ended up here (widowed, divorced, or never married) to learning to love again. With a lighthearted yet meaningful collection of stories, advice, and encouragement from both personal and anecdotal experiences, she provides insightful navigational tools for every SIM including:

* Entering the dating cyber highway, creating your profile, and recognizing red flags
* Dating etiquette as a SIM (who now pays for the date and what not to wear.)
* Developing and maintaining new relationships and when to walk away
* Learning and discovering how to love yourself FIRST
* Sexcapades of today’s boomers

Mid-Life Joyride is a manual for SIMs as they discover (and own) their current situation and explore the possibility of new roads to travel and paths to pursue. With a personal RPS – Relationship Positioning System – Suis guides hearts towards personal happiness in a relationship whether it be a long term-term monogamous commitment, marriage or even being content staying single. Buckle up and laugh your way through an adventure to being the best version of YOU.

An excerpt from the Prequel

Excerpt from Prologue: As a society, we have become obsessed with directions and never getting lost. Every Smartphone we buy and almost every new car on the market has a built-in GPS. There are apps that talk to you, map your route, pick out your food stops, rest stops, and even sightseeing stops. You can plug in any destination throughout most of the world and immediately know your arrival time (by plane, train, or automobile) if you left right now! We have an abundance of navigational tools at our disposal to get us from point A to point B. What many of us are sorely lacking in, however, is instruction on how to navigate the personal relationships in our lives, our love lives in particular.

Before I go any further, I want to make one thing VERY clear. It is not my goal, nor is it my suggestion, that to be happy we must be in a marriage/dating relationship. Far from it. I think finding love is a beautiful thing, and if it happens to you (or me), I’m all in favor, but please know the most important relationship you will ever be in is the one with YOURSELF! By the time the last page is read, I want you to walk away believing you are capable of giving and receiving love, but also with the full knowledge that you are an amazing, strong, worthy and complete person just the way you are, with a precious heart and a beautiful future. We only have this one life and it goes by so quickly. We should all do our best to make it a wonderful JOYride!

An early review for the book

Excellent writing! on October 24, 2017

Loved this book! The author is easy to follow, sharing great insight, tips and advice for “mature” singles like me. Her use of analogies is delightful and dead on! You will find yourself chuckling at her humor and shaking your head in agreement, with the trials, tribulations and adventures of a SIM! I definitely recommend this book!

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Mid-Life-Joyride-Love-Single-Lane/dp/0999479903

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mid-Life-Joyride-Love-Single-Lane/dp/0999479903

About J. Hope Suis

J. Hope Suis is an inspirational writer and relationship expert with over 20 years of experience in single-parenting, dating, relationships, with a phrase she coined as “Solitary Refinement”, which is simply a season of being single to grow and develop as an individual. Her new book, Mid-Life Joyride, is a light-hearted yet meaningful collection of stories, advice and encouragement from her experiences.

Her passion in life is Hope Boulevard, which is a blog and website focused on uplifting and challenging her readers to live their best life now. She is a strong advocate for mid-life issues and committed to the idea of sharing ‘hope’. In addition to her blog, she also wrote a weekly newspaper column entitled; “A Single Thought”. J. Hope currently writes for divorcemag.com, divorcedmoms.com, has a platform on onmogul.com and has been cited in national magazines including the Chicago Tribune and Reader’s Digest. She believes it is never too late to pursue a dream or achieve a goal and always encourages her followers to Hope With Abandon.

Connect to J.Hope Suis

Website: www.hopeboulevard.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hopeblvd
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHopeBoulevard/

If you would like to know more about J. Hope Suis, she will be sharing some of her expertise with posts from her Archives from next Monday 13th of November.

Please spread the word about her new book.. thanks very much Sally

 

Smorgasbord Poetry – Time on my Own – by Sally Cronin


Life is not one never ending fairy tale. Not many people sail through their years without encountering obstacles to their happiness and most of us, being human, contribute to the problem.

I was only twenty when I fell for an older and charasmatic man. I was told I was playing with fire but knew better. Four years later the charm offensive had just turned offensive, and I left with a couple of suitcases.

At first I thought a distance of 100 miles was sufficient but a few late night calls from friends persuaded me that I needed to put even more miles behind me and I headed to  Snowdonia in Wales to work in a hotel. Forty years ago, without the Internet you could disappear quite effectively. It eventually took me three years to disentangle myself legally and my divorce was finalised on April Fools Day 1980!.

They say that our lives are mapped out for us. I find it ironic and slightly spooky that if I had not run off to Wales I would not have met David six months after my divorce.. and that would have been the bigger tragedy.

I wrote a lot of song lyrics back then (never seen the light of day). They are good old fashioned country with plenty of angst.. But those original lyrics have formed the basis for later poetry and this is a poem about what was a short but impactful period in my life.

Time on my Own

I came to these green hills in search of peace
Away from the betrayal and blame
Hoping the distance would make nightmares cease
help me banish the feelings of shame

Some told me that it was mainly my fault
That our marriage was doomed from the start
Filling my wounds with their pinches of salt
Ignorant of what caused us to part.

Some of the truths I will take to my grave
There are others I need to let go
It is frightening but I must be brave
Learn to breathe and to go with the flow

I doubt that I will completely forget
The emotional scars of those years
And my decision I do not regret
refusing to shed any more tears.

I am young and despite all this drama
I will not let its pain mar my life
I just need time to patch up my armour
And forget I was ever your wife.

Life is taking me along a new path
Winding around and not very clear
I hope to a safe place where I can laugh
Throwing away these feelings of fear.

Will I love again I really don’t know
For now I just need space of my own
But it is time to get on with the show
To stop my heart from turning to stone.

©sallycronin

The R’s of Life – Chapter Six – Romance – The biggest Fairy Story of them all


The R's of Life

In this chapter, a light-hearted look at romance. Well partly light-hearted, as there are some elements of this universally sought after state of bliss that can be from the dark side.

Have you ever wondered why the classic fairy stories that involve a beautiful farmer’s daughter, scullery maid or even a princess, who are swept off their feet by a handsome and rich stranger on a white horse; end with the words ‘And they lived happily ever after’?

It was not just because most were written by men, at a time when a woman was a chattel who cooked, cleaned and bore children. Women believed that was their role and yearned for it! The male writers of the fairy stories of the time were definitely headed off to happy ever after!

That may sound a bit cynical, but I can remember as a child being fed the propaganda. Most commonly via bedtime stories and the ‘Happy Ever After’ films that we were allowed to watch in our teen years. Disney had the whole thing down to a fine art. By the time I was sixteen and listening to the crooners of the day, I was convinced that at some point, a rich and handsome stranger was going to gallop into my life and sweep me off into a love filled paradise just made for two.

By the time I was 19 years old I had kissed a few frogs. I also thought that Prince Charming had ridden in a few times, then discovered that in reality they just as quickly rode off into the sunset. Still that is all part of growing up, but because of the indoctrination of childhood, I mistook one particular prince for the real thing.

Oh the joy in the royal family, that the princess had been chosen by a prince of such standing in the neighbouring country. A large wedding was planned and executed by the two queens with the kings simply opened the doors to the treasure houses. The invitation lists in both palaces grew by the hour as dignitaries were invited from far and wide. Many of whom the princess and prince had never met. The reception was a masterpiece of just the right location and the food suitably divine. A vaulted arch of the prince’s entourage lined the drive from the grand cathedral; carriages awaited to take the jubilant bridal party to the festivities.

A few glasses of champagne, elegant speeches and a thrown bouquet that was caught by the next lucky bride. Then the prince swept the princess off on his luxurious charger into the sunset to the awaiting bridal chamber.

They call it a day to remember, and certainly as I thought about the celebrations in the weeks and months following, I knew it would be etched on my mind forever; not necessarily for the right reasons. Suddenly the prince was not quite so charming, but still my belief that in the end the magic would prevail, maintained the veil of delusion over my star struck eyes.

However, pretty quickly, what I had believed to be the essence of true romance had vanished, and during the next few years I had some pretty good lessons about the reality of maintaining a one-sided relationship. I was trapped by the web that had been spun around me and I felt it would be impossible to break free without angering so many; particularly at two royal courts.

But one day, for some reason, the spell lost its power and despite the threat of banishment to a far off land where my shame would not be witnessed by family and friends; I packed up a small bundle of clothes and hit the road. I spent the next three years wandering and keeping well away from anyone who knew me, ending up in the depths of the Welsh mountains where I flirted and flitted through a number of meaningless relationships. I was not going to be caught up in the fairy tale again. I was very happy to be the wicked witch and to spend my life making spells of my own and being loved by cats.

Then, would you believe it… a prince arrived in disguise. Quiet and bespectacled and riding an ancient nag that had seen better days. There were no grand or extravagant gestures, just a gentle wearing down of my defences. But there was magic involved of that I am certain. I felt myself being drawn in despite the walls that I had built around me. A spell was being woven that ensnared me and despite all my best intentions, after only one dinner date, I found myself saying yes to spending a lifetime together with this softly spoken suitor.

The Queen and King back at the castle were I was born were aghast on hearing that I was betrothed again. And to a foreign prince from afar with as yet unknown credentials, who had the audacity to propose on our first date; the Queen announced that she was about to faint.

My prince was not about to let the grass grow under his steed however and he approached the King and asked for his daughter’s hand. Rather hopefully, the king offered him £5 and a step ladder, and an enquiry as to if  there might be an elopement. Which there was, and within six weeks, very quietly and without undue ceremony, we were married. This time just both sets of Kings and Queens and one lady in waiting attended! Drenching rain blessed the union in a small office in Wales. After a celebratory lunch we set off on the prince’s ancient steed to a rather dark castle in the mountains, where the bridal suite, decked in red flock wallpaper, vibrated to the noise emanating from the public bar beneath.

Then it was off to the damp and musty rooms, that we managed to find and afford, whilst we worked hard together to build up enough savings to buy our first modest home. That has set the pattern for the last 36 years, where we have both worked together as a team to keep our relationship strong and to achieve a reasonable expectation of ‘Happy Ever After’.

It was also the beginning of learning the true meaning of romance. In my opinion it is a bond that is ever present in a good relationship, but it is rarely showy or flashy, and whilst there may be the occasional extravagant gesture when a special event warrants it, mostly it is the small things that keep romance alive and flourishing.

Red roses are wonderful and we all love to receive a bouquet on Valentine’s Day. But it is the odd flower brought in from the garden and laid on a breakfast tray, a small tree planted in the garden that blossoms every spring, or the paper flower, misshapen and oddly coloured that appears by a bedside, that really help to keep romance alive.

Romance is waking up on every birthday or anniversary (remembering them is a very good start) to find cards made from images of sea, sunflowers, cats and dogs, golden sunsets with handwritten verses inside that come from the heart. It is also those few minutes on your 35th wedding anniversary when you sit silently, holding hands and remembering that special day and the people who are no longer there to share the memories with you.

True romance flourishes when you are unwell and scared, and a strong hand holds yours as a voice close to your ear, tells you that it will be alright. It is when you suffer a loss and cry together and heal together. And when it gets tough, and it will for every couple, it is that buffer of small but very important gestures that act as the all important glue that keeps you together.

Part of the spell that we are complicit in maintaining about romance, is that everything has to be big and brash and magnificent to prove how much you love someone. The modern fairy tales are spun by the celebrities who litter the glossy magazines and headlines. They are on our screens in their fairy princess wedding dresses that cost thousands of pounds, wearing engagement rings that would buy a small house, and surrounded by their courtiers in all their finery. They create the desire in many young girl’s heart and mind that this is the dream, the ultimate vision of happiness; they too want all that glitter.

The reality is that celebrity might provide the means to fund a fairly tale wedding, but it comes at a heavy price. Celebrity marriages are under scrutiny the whole time, those in the acting profession seem to be particularly prone to temptation and money does not seem to bring happiness. In fact it would seem that many princesses are in it for the ‘Pay off’ rather than the ‘Happy Ever After’.

Overuse of the ‘L’ word

I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to overusing words that are supposed to be used to express ones devotion to another.  I love, sugar, salt, dogs, writing, reading, movies, music, next door’s cat, Tom Selleck, chocolate, red wine, ice-cream, strictly come dancing, buying clothes, shoes and handbags.

So how special does that make my husband feel when I tell him I love him?

Words are very easy to use and they spill from our mouths with increasing thoughtlessness to their actual meaning. Telling someone you love them all the time and expecting them to do likewise, especially when you also use the same expression for all the other ‘things’ in your life, can dilute its meaning.  It is lovely to hear from time to time, especially when accompanied by an act of love that reinforces it.

It is actions that speaker louder than words and you can show how much you love someone every day without having to vocalise the emotion.

Romance and love go hand in hand and as I watch very old people together, you can tell the ones who still adore and respect each other. It is easy to still see that spark and twinkle in the eyes, the small touches of a hand or brush of lint from a shoulder. That unity has been welded from years of life, laughter, sadness, joy, disappointment, excitement and love. Thousands of cups of tea, breakfasts in bed, dances in the kitchen, date nights, holding hands in the movies and vigils by a sickbed, have gone into the rich tapestry that is romance. There might be a faded red rose pressed between the pages of a diary, or a diamond ring that comes out on special occasions, but it is these small daily gestures that will have kept the romance alive and will continue to do so long after one or both of them dies.

Romance is also about the things we don’t do in a relationship. We don’t belittle someone we love in public and then say ‘But you know I love you’. We don’t bully them and then say we are doing it ‘Because you know I love you.’ We don’t marry who we believe is Prince Charming or the fairy princess and then set about changing them by saying ‘You know it is because I love you.’

We don’t take the actions of those we love for granted. Saying ‘thank you’ for a meal, a wardrobe full of clean clothes or for being a great mum or dad, goes a long way to keep romance alive.

Romance is not about making someone happy or expecting them to make you happy. Your happiness is your responsibility and choice. Putting the onus for your happiness on someone else is a very quick way to lose them. You seldom find that romance thrives in a relationship where there is one who gives and one who takes the whole time.

In Britain 42% of marriages end in divorce and in the United States it is around 50%. Whatever else is present at the point of no return in those relationships, you can bet on the fact that there was no romance left.

A very good reason for that loss of the bond that keeps a relationship strong is our expectations. However realistic we may think we are, we still believe that life is going to be eternally happy when we have found our prince or princess. In truth once the courting days, when we are on our best behaviour and make an effort to look great are over, we find out that perhaps we are not as suited as we thought. And, it is not only those who marry who find that living together is not the heaven they anticipated, as three times as many of those who cohabit will split up than those who are married.

Prince charming does snore, have smelly socks and breaks wind and so does his princess. Football or basketball might be more of a priority than previously thought and nights out with the girls once a week and clubbing might be tough to give up.

One of the assumptions that we make is that when we get married we will be joined at the hip and do everything together. This might be fine if you get married at 75 or 80 years old, but if you are in your twenties, you are still growing and developing. Being married should not mean losing your individuality and there should be activities that you continue to pursue, as long as it takes your partner into consideration.. In fact over the years you will find that you begin to share more and more and that you grow more alike. When we first married David was into mountaineering and skiing and continued to do those on his own until only a few years ago.. I was happy to tag along for mountain trails but to be honest I was more enamoured with the Apres Ski!

We have different tastes in music. David likes audio books whilst I prefer to read them. He likes raw food and l enjoy mine more with less bite!  But we have the same sense of humour, like great wine, good company and movies. We have worked together in a corporate environment and continue to do so with our self-publishing company. But David enjoys the graphics, formatting and technical elements and I prefer to write. We each have our own strengths and we have also developed new ones that combine the best of both of us.

There are plenty of activities that you will share as a couple, including when children arrive; which is a wonderful but labour intensive part of a relationship. Sleepless nights and eighteen years of car-pooling and soccer practice begin to eat into time that might be set aside for romantic gestures. Certainly cash flow is usually also restricted with mortgages and college funds. Life is going to keep pushing your boundaries and if you do not have a strong bond, then it will succeed in prising you apart.

That is why it is so important to focus on the small things that bring pleasure. Say to hell with it occasionally and throw clothes into drawers without being ironed, order in Pizza or takeaway once a week, get a babysitter and set aside time to remember just how important the two of you are.

I was one of the 42% whose marriage fails, and I know exactly when the relationship floundered. It was the moment when I realised I was in a relationship of one. Romance went right out of the window.

I also recognise times in the last 36 years of my second marriage, when we have been apart for long periods of time, under stressful work conditions or have family issues; when romance has taken a back seat.  Sometimes it can be difficult to notice those warning signs if you are wrapped up in working on keeping life and family running smoothly.  It is one of the most important lifetime commitments we make to another and it needs to have a ‘check up’ regularly.

One of the most often used excuses by men for their infidelity is ‘My wife does not understand me.’ Which usually means that a wife and mother is spending all her time keeping food on the table, taking care of the children as well as hold down a job and not paying him enough attention.

The most used excuse for women for infidelity, is that the love and romance has gone out of their marriage, and they just wanted to feel beautiful and desired. Which usually means that a man is out working in a stressful job all day, comes home and just wants to eat his meal in peace, watch the television have a beer and get some sleep.

It takes a huge amount of work to keep the various relationship elements alive and well.  A lot more work than some people are willing to put in.

There is nothing wrong with ‘Contentment’

Happiness is this all encompassing emotion that is a high we all expect to achieve; and of course there are moments in your life of sheer joy. However, it is impossible to sustain that for 60 or 70 years. You would be worn out. To be honest your friends and family will be pretty weary of seeing your perpetual smiling face and delusionment.  It will simply be too tough for them to compete with the perfection.

It is much healthier to achieve a state of contentment, where you still make the effort to keep love and romance alive, and are able to sustain it. Back to those small gestures again such as those cups of tea, holding hands in the movies, cooking a favourite meal or a date night. You can always raise the game from time to time with dinner out, a bouquet of roses, tickets to a game; but in essence it is important to remember that it is not a competition.

It puts enormous pressure on one partner or another if they are constantly bombarded with gifts and grand gestures and feel they need to reciprocate. A romantic partnership is a marathon not a sprint and whilst you might welcome an injection of glucose along the route, you are looking for a running mate who helps you get to the finish line.

At the end of the day this is just my views on romance and certainly every couple needs to find the formula that works for them. Hopefully I have given you something to think about and if you feel that the romance in your partnership could use some TLC then now is the time to give the matter some serious thought.

©sallycronin The R’s of Life

Thank your for joining me as I write this book here on the blog.. It is not finally edited but I look forward to your feedback and very happy for your to share if your wish.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Bookstore and Cafe – Book of the Week – Words We Carry by D.G. Kaye

Status


sally's cafe and bookstore

Welcome to the new series where I will be featuring one of the books on the shelves of the cafe and bookstore. There are now over 100 authors and their books, with more added each week as they are promoted in the regular features. To join the other authors you will need to be promoted in those posts first and here is the link for how you can do this.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/book-promotion-smorgasbord-summer-reading/

Book of the Week  kicks off with  Words We Carry by talented non-fiction author and friend to many of us in this blogging community, D.G. Kaye.. also known as the elegant and charistmatic Debby Gies. It so happens that Words We Carry is on offer all of this week.

Special purchase price for Words We Carrywww.smarturl.it/bookwordswecarry

5148dy-kWHL._UY250_First here is D.G Kaye with a few words about the book and I have also selected one or two reviews that the book has gathered from readers.

Words We Carry focuses around women’s self-esteem issues. My essays focus on my own experiences I suffered from my younger years when I was left to feel inadequate and harbored a deep inferiority complex.

Being a memoir, the stories are told through my own struggles, and I share the methods I used to try and conquer my own feelings of low self-esteem.

The stories progress with the impact that the residual damages have on our feelings of insecurity as we carry through into life and relationships.

Women of all ages can relate to this book. Ridicule, nor abuse of any sort should ever be tolerated. My goal when writing was to share and empower not just women, but men too who have endured similar events in their own lives.

Blurb

“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?

D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.

Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

A selection of reviews for the book.

I just now finished “Words We Carry” and wanted to come here and write a review while it was still fresh on my mind. But it is actually the kind of book that you will draw from as needed in different circumstances as the occassion may arise.

It is a journey through this author’s life, describing the effect that words have had on her. And it really makes you think twice. It helps you kind of re-evaluate your own life and agree with a lot of the points she brings up and has you feeling not so alone in your own journey.

D.G. Kaye makes you feel as if you are sitting at her kitchen table, just having a friendly conversation about “life” and experiences we have as women. I wish I’d read “Words We Carry” in my twenties! She makes you think that other people think and feel and have had the same experiences as you. She talks about abuse and red flags, jealousy and lonliness. It is empowering and real and was timely for me, since I just quit a job of ten years and am beginning a new one next week!

A great gift for young girls just moving away or someone like me who has already lived a half a century, and am starting a new job! Thumbs up on this one!I am becoming an avid fan of D.G. Kaye books!Can’t wait for the next one.

I really gained a lot from reading Ms. Kaye’s memoir. I appreciated her struggles with self-esteem and how she came to terms with herself and began living life on her terms. I appreciated her candor about the process and her advice for how other women can do the same. And yes…I’ve been more conscious of wearing my lipstick…thanks D. G. 🙂

 Special purchase price for Words We Carry : www.smarturl.it/bookwordswecarry

Also by D.G. Kaye

51c+jfFAgNL._UY250_51IpQxBodML._UY250_Have-Bags-kindle-cover-live

Buy all of D.G. Kaye’s Books : http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

About D.G. Kaye.

71F8zMPwPML._UX250_

D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, and Words We Carry. D.G. is a nonfiction/memoir writer. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcomes some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood, to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues. When she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, Kaye brings her natural sense of humor into her other works.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became tools to express her pent-up emotions during a turbulent childhood. Her writing began as notes and cards she wrote for the people she loved and admired when she was afraid to use her voice.

Through the years, Kaye journaled about life, writing about her opinions on people and events and later began writing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine as her interest grew in natural healthcare. Kaye became interested in natural healing and remedies after encountering a few serious health issues. Against many odds, D.G. has overcome adversity several times throughout her life.

D.G. began writing books to share her stories and inspiration. Her compassion and life experiences inspire her to write from the heart. She looks for the good and the positive in everything, and believes in paying it forward.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return, Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

D.G.’s Favourite Saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favourite genres of reading are: biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. Kaye loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker (when she gets the chance).

Links to connect with Debby.

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/pokercubster
Blog – http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Facebook –   http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google   –   http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7

Thanks for joining us today for the first Book of the Week from the Cafe and Bookstore. Please help promote Debby’s book on promotion by sharing. Thanks Sally

 

Meet and Greet – A welcome to new bloggers – Makeovers, Music and Reviews


meet and greetI have met some terrific bloggers this week who cover a very wide range of topics from makeovers to house and gardens, latest in fashions and music and of course writers and poets. I think you will find something for everyone so without any further delay… let’s meet them.

Meet Kirsty of Embracing Authenticity is 17 year’s old and has already experienced harsh reality in the form of Anorexia Nervosa. In her blog she shares her experiences in a very mature way as she faces the challenge of moving through what is a devastating eating disorder.

https://embracingauthenticityblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/discharge-is-only-one-step-closer-to-the-finish-line-and-im-racing-towards-it/

John Willingham of Dreamy Home has some great ideas for makeovers. Since we are in full makeover mode it is great to see some examples, particularly of colour matching.  This blog is very helpful..

https://dreamyhome.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/window-treatment-ideas/

Those of you who pop in regularly know that I am not a fan of diet or full leaded fizzy drinks or most of the industrially produced fluids sold at an exhorbitant price. Great to see Millennial Survival Blog by Britt Berner giving such excellent fitness and nutritional advice..

https://millennialsurvivalblog.wordpress.com/category/food/

Meet Drew Avera who is an active duty navy veteran and science fiction author.
Drew currently has book one of his series The Alorian Wars on the waiting list for Kindle Scout and would love your help..

https://drewavera.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/the-alorian-wars-is-coming/

Meet Sharon Cosgrove of Ask Riverbed who devotes her blog to helping others strengthen their writing and marketing skills. Search her inventory in the How to Write Killer Blogs series. Here is an example.

https://askriverbed.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/the-girl-from-ipanema/

Meet Maddi of Passive Funderingar who has created her blog to inspire herself to write more consistently and to experiment with different styles. Here is a post on War… very thought provoking.

https://passivafunderingar.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/krig/

Meet Tim Keen who is a life long writer of fiction – mostly short stories. Tim has recently published on Amazon with a collection of short stories – After Hours. Tim is also an ardent advocate of the Westerns.. me too.

https://timkeen40.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/deadwood/

About Ordinary Madness Blog – This site uses philosophy, the arts, psychology and psychoanalysis to discuss the significant and unique suffering experienced by humanity without using language based on the medical model. Here is a post that asks Is Mental Illness Glamorous?

https://ordinarymadnessblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/is-mental-illness-glamorous/

Talent Castle is a platform with various talented Nigerians that want to be heard. Our goal is to put them out there, give them a voice and give them a stage to show the gift they have within. Here is a post on success……
Success demands a gradual everyday progress 

Meet Candace of Literary Dust who is a crazy reader of books.She reads pretty much anything that looks appealing and she is a sucker for a beautiful cover. Here is a great post for a new book Breathe Again by Sydney Logan

https://literarydust.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/breathe-again-release-day-giveaway-excerpt/

Meet Stephanie M. Hopkins of Layered Pages who conducts author interviews and helps promote the B.R.A.G. Medallion.  She is a short-list judge for the 2016 Historical Novel Society indie Award and participates in the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.  Read more about her interests and work on her blog.  Here is one of her posts.

Cover Crush: My Sister’s Secret by Tracy Buchanan

An Eco friendly blog from Stella Madison about several lifestyle topics and liked this one for nervous drivers.

https://liveinformationblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/driving-tips-for-nervous-learners/

Meet ‘C’ the Meerkat who has a very varied blog with posts on health, entertainment, clothes and books.. ‘C’ offers both product and book reviews and here is one for a children’s book.. Where do Clothes Come From?…. my husband keeps asking me that!

https://happymeerkatreviews.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/fun-and-informative-childrens-book-where-do-clothes-come-from/

Sharon Ross has Epilepsy and in her blog she highlights the challenges this presents and also the difficulties with getting the right treatment.

https://sharonrossblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/18th-july-2016-mothering-whilst-ill/

Meet T. Wayne of Joyful Process Blog where you will find music, articles and poetry. Here is an example.

Take A Look At Yourself

Meet M. Zane McClellan of The Poetry Channel… https://thepoetrychannel.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/midnight-mote-2/

Music news 2day blog is for anyone who wants to keep up to date with news in the music industry and reviews.
https://musicnews2dayblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/legacy-recordings-set-to-release-lou-reed-the-rca-arista-album-collection/

Jan of Witness to Fitness Music is a big fan of new independent music, and also a fan of keeping fit. I like to mix these up by listening to new music while I work out, and this site is designed to allow me to recommend music for those of a similar persuasion.

https://witnesstofitnessmusic.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/hailee-steinfeld-releases-new-single-starving-with-grey-featuring-zedd/

Meet ‘K’ of Counting Pennies and Sheep where you will find challenges for flash fiction and photo prompts. You will also find posts on mental health issues, in particular depression.

https://theblackwallblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/think-positive-and-caption-the-pic-challenge/

I hope this has introduced you to some new blogs to follow and also perhaps some new interests. Thanks for stopping by.. Sally

Self-Promotion, Social Oblivion – Article by D. G. Kaye


D.G. Kaye AuthorDebby posted this article on Wednesday and here is an excerpt with a link to read the whole article.

Today I’m going to share my thoughts here on the madness of social media, and book promoting, and our constant battle to keep up with everything social media to stay afloat with our presence.

I’m speaking for myself, but I know my thoughts are shared by many a writer. As writers, we all develop our routines, and although every one of us has our own methods of tackling our ‘to do’ lists, if we’re writing books, much of what we do will involve ways to market our books using social media.

With the explosion of new authors and books in the past few years, there are waves of cries to ‘buy my book’ in order to be heard through a sea of social media blasts. I sometimes feel as though I’m drowning in that sea. But I don’t wish to become one of the ‘hard sell’ authors, and I don’t even spend nearly enough time or dollars doing the amount of marketing I’m urged to do through all the social outlets I follow and with all the subscriptions I read from newsletters telling me about another method to push my books.

Continue reading…..   http://dgkayewriter.com/lost-social-oblivion/

Books by D.G.Kaye

5148dy-kwhl-_uy250_51cjffagnl-_uy250_51ipqxbodml-_uy250_

have-bags-will-travel

Buy the books on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

Links to connect with Debby.

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/pokercubster
Blog – http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Facebook –   http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google   –   http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies

I hope you will head over to read the rest of this interesting and helpful article and share with your own network.. thanks Sally