Mediocre Expectations

Do you have an ex? More than one?  Do you find that you are attracted to people similar to your exes? There is a reason for that.

We are drawn to what we are familiar with.  Once a pattern of behavior has been established we expect everyone and everything we encounter after that point to follow the pattern.  And when we find something that diverges from it we’re not sure what to do with it.

People as a group do not take well to change.  Not in our personal interactions.  We prefer people stay predictable so we know how to respond when things happen.  Even if we frequently bitch about the way people behave we expect that behavior from everyone.

But what if someone doesn’t fit that mold?  With a population as high as it is today, is it realistic to expect “everybody” to behave the way your ex did?  Not really.  It’s basically a case of not letting a couple of bad apples spoil the whole barrel.

We have all had a bad relationship, maybe more than one.  But that doesn’t mean there are not people out there who genuinely care about each other and show it without being prodded to do so.

I posted a video today on my Facebook page of a marriage proposal.  Most of them lately are really cheesy but this one was pretty good.  The guy had his entire family and many friends involved, about 60 people.  It was awesome.

A friend of mine commented that now the guy will have to be over-the-top with whatever else he does in the relationship or the bride will bitch about it.  Why?  Why can’t two people be in love and stay in love with each other?

Showing your partner you love them shouldn’t be a chore.  And neither person should feel like they have to perform a song-&-dance to show their love.  Be honest and open.  Show and say how you feel.

Both men and women need positive feedback.  Just like teaching a child something new, positive feedback (a.k.a positive reinforcement) will help much more than anything negative.  But you have to start off being positive.

If you keep waiting for the other shoe to drop you just may bring it on.  Don’t look for a problem where there isn’t one.  Be consistent and honest.  I can’t stress that enough.  Let me say it again.  BE CONSISTENT AND HONEST.

I’ve said before that we are experts at lying to ourselves.  You have to be honest with yourself about your relationships.  What is it that goes wrong?  Do you pick the wrong person to start with?  Too many points of disagreement from the start that are compounded once the relationship gets serious?  Does something change further into it?  Who changes?  Why?

These are not easy questions.  But anything worth having is worth working to make it good.  Look back at your past experiences with open eyes and ask these questions.  You might surprise yourself with the answers you find.

Look at your current relationships, too.  Are behaviors predictable?  Do you complain about the same things you have in the past?  Do you like feeling that way?  If not then you need to make a change.  Only you can keep yourself miserable.

If you expect mediocrity that’s what you’ll find.  If you choose to stay miserable then you’ll be miserable.  Being happy is ALL about the choices we make.  So what do you want to be today?



Just breathe…

I wish I could.  I’m allergic to everything.  If it blooms, molds, walks on four legs, or gets sprayed on then I’m allergic to it.  My head is so stopped up I can’t breathe at all through my nose.  But it’s just another day in the neighborhood.

I posted a status on my Facebook page yesterday that simply said Happy Monday.  I got several responses, mostly in the negative.  There were several people though who posted positive comments about Monday.

Why does this one day of the week get such a bad rap?  Why do people stress out about Mondays?  Chances are you know what will happen at work on a Monday.  Meetings, paperwork, stuff you do every week or every month.  So why get so worked up about it?

I’ve talked before about ripples on a pond, that what we project comes back to us.  This goes for Mondays, too.  If you think you’re going to have a crappy day chances are you will have a crappy day.  If you clench your fists and act like a four year old, guess what?  You’re going to spend your day frustrated and dealing with childishness.

Keep an open mind.  Expect good things to happen and you will attract good things to you.  The old cliche is true:  you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.  So don’t be so pessimistic.

Wake up on Monday mornings and say “This is going to be a great day!”  In fact do that everyday.  Why waste a chance to have a great day?  Smile, open your hands and your mind to new experiences and possibilities.  You just might surprise yourself.

Dabbling in water colors…

What color are you wearing right now?  Why did you put that color on?  Matched your mood?  Matched your shoes?  Is it a pattern you like or a slogan that makes you smile?

The colors we surround ourselves with can be very important, even if we don’t think we’re paying attention to it.  Sometimes we hide in our clothes when we don’t want to be noticed.  We use them as a shield against the world.  I have a friend that wears a lot of black and white.  When she stops to think about it she’s not sure why.  She rarely sees the world in black & white.  Everything is some shade of gray.

When she does wear color, it’s usually her favorite purple.  Most any hue of purple is comforting to her.  It makes her happy.  Red looks good on her but she doesn’t wear it often.  It’s too bold, she says.  Her personality is sometimes bold so it’s not like she needs the help.  But this illustrates my questions above. 

Do you wear colors that make you happy?  I do.  I’m wearing yellow as I sit here writing.  Yellow is the color associated with my birth sign and it’s associated with the element air.  To keep it brief, there are associations between every element, zodiac sign, color, plant… everything!  No matter what you believe these associations surround us everyday.

Advertisers use colors to get our attention.  Different colors elicit different moods.  Red is bold.  It says HELLO, I’M HERE!  It’s an exciting color, sometimes aggressive, sometimes angry.  Red is the color of fire, heat, power.

Blue is more soothing, gentle.  That’s why it’s used in hospitals, doctor’s offices, government buildings.  Keep people calm.  Blue is also the color of water, again soothing.  You get a lot of meditation music that is basically water sounds.

I’m not going to take you through every single color.  That would take forever and quite frankly I’m pretty sure you’re smart enough to see what I’m talking about.  The question now is the why? 

I do not like pink.  The cute baby pink you think of for little girls.  Why you ask? My mother loved pink.  Prissy, little girl, baby pink.  My mother also used to dress me up like a doll when I was small.  It was with great amusement that I began expressing my own color palette.  Mom was not amused.

If I’m going to wear pink it will be a bold, hot pink.  I usually call it hooker pink.  Think Hubba Bubba gum and go just a wee bit darker.  That’s the only shade of pink I like.  Give me purple, red, green, yellow, blue… the brighter the better.  I love color.  It’s how we express ourselves on a very basic level.

What colors are in your house?  Have you painted anything?  Did you just change color or did you go for a pattern?  I loved the older version of Trading Spaces on TLC.  They always got people to try colors and patterns they thought were too far out there.

Why not try it?  Hell, it’s only paint.  You can paint over it if it gives you a headache.  Look at the colors you surround yourself with.  Do they make you happy?  Are they associated with some memory from your childhood?

I had a sweater I loved back in junior high.  A deep burgundy kinda purple with a gold stripe.  I was wearing it the day a complete stranger molested me on the street not far from my home.  Afterward I wanted to burn that sweater.  I knew mom would freak if she found me with the matches so I settled on trashing it.  But I have never worn that shade again.

Not all associations will be happy.  And that’s okay.  Find the colors that bring you joy.  Use them in big ways or little, but surround yourself with things that make you smile. You don’t have to make everything match or coordinate.  Think color families, not identical shades for everything.

Paint a wall, buy a dish or carpet or toothbrush holder in that color.  Anything that adds that pop.  It will definitely brighten your day.

Now where did I put that paint brush…