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IMG_0586Are you afraid to climb aboard the SS Relation-ship? Many of us experience nausea, fear of rough seas, maintaining balance, and ultimately a fear of sinking. Yet we all want to sail through life cuddling with that one person who’ll cherish us into the sunset of our lives; that one person whom we know will have the life vest ready for us when we need it. This is why we take the leap from solid ground, for a ride on the mother of all cruises–partnership!

My apologies in advance for this shameless plug, but since my book, You Want Me to What?!—The Dating Adventures and Life Lessons of a Newly Divorced Woman is about the wacky, wonderful world of dating, I’m devoting the month of February to blogs about relationships.

Before deciding to sail away with someone, we must first go through the necessary process of dating: Meeting the guy with the hedge of hair growing out of his ears, the woman who had twenty more pounds and years on her than her picture; the guy who says on a first date that he’s looking for a wife to screw his brains out whenever he wants, or the woman who yelled at the guy for opening her car door. All true stories, all part of the adventure.

We must do a lot of sifting before finding the gem of a partner that is right for us. It can be quite tiring, stressful, and at times discouraging. They say aging isn’t for sissies; I say dating can be harder on the heart. Especially, on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be all about hearts, flowers and candy, oh my! But for many it’s tough. According to Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, 53% of women would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentine’s Day! Can this be true? Regardless, I do think this day of increased sales for Sees, Florists and Hallmark, can be tough on couples—especially men. Will they measure up to expectations, or will they go too far? Suffice it to say, the yellow brick road to Diamond City (whether that is your ultimate destination or not), can be paved with many challenges.

These challenges may not be easy, but can be made simple:

Ladies:

  • Do not expect a man to read your mind. If you don’t want chocolates, tell him. If you do, tell him.
  • Don’t get caught up in the BS that if he really knew you, he’d know what you want. Men want to make women happy. Allow them to do that by telling them what you want! If they choose not to hear you, then you get to decide what to do next.
  • There’s nothing wrong with surprising your man with something they want!

 Men:

  • Listen and learn the ways in which she feels loved and appreciated.
  • Show her so she feels you ‘get’ her!

 Women and men:

  • All of the above is applicable to every day, not just Valentine’s Day.
  • If you are not dating someone, treat yourself to something special on Valentine’s Day, because your relationship with yourself is the most important!

 Stay tuned for the next blog on how to ‘sift’ and get what you want! Also stay tuned for some exciting news next week!!

 Any thoughts on this you’d like to share?…(Click on Comments below!)

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So one day (I can’t believe I’m going to share this embarrassing story), I was getting gas at Costco and some jerk pulled in front of me at an angle blocking the center passing lane. I was stuck waiting until he filled his bottomless pit of a minivan gas tank before I could leave. With my windows up, as well as my blood pressure, I yelled obscenities at him. The nerve of this man! He then looked at me and smirked, at which point my hair turned a hotter shade of red. My windows came down and my voice rose up above the cacophony of gas pumps beeping, hoses squeaking, and nozzles nuzzling into tanks of cars waiting to be fed. He looked at me as he very slowly got into his car and gave me a, ‘I know I’m a shmuck and I don’t care’ look and drove off.

Evidently Zen Nancy had left the car and invading my body (a la Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost), was the next anger management reality TV star! This was clearly not my finest ten minutes, and as I rewound the scene in my head as I drove away, I wanted to rewind the clock and have a do-over.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our
power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our
freedom.” ~Viktor E. Frankl

While we cannot always control what happens to us, we can control how we react, or respond. None of us is immune to regrettable behavior, though we should remember it has more of an impact on others than we realize. Spreading words of anger or negativity is just as unhealthy as unwanted germs.

“Emotions are contagious. Harvard researchers found 25% of the average person’s happiness at any given time is a consequence of the emotional state of their friends.” ~ David R. Hamilton, Ph.D.

Learning from our behavior is true personal growth.  Discovering how/when to express ourselves, and how to listen and respond are skills that should be taught in school. They are crucial to healthy relationships. Since the art of expressing oneself is a subject unto itself, for now I ask, do you react or respond?

I was once involved with someone (who shall remain nameless), who wasn’t a good listener/communicator. Subsequently, he would always have a knee jerk reaction whenever I would try to express how I was feeling. Reacting in this way made it impossible to have a conversation, let alone feel heard, let alone feel cared about, let alone ever obtaining any kind of resolution. Not a shocker, but this is one reason why the relationship didn’t work. We must listen to each other! I recently read a fascinating observation of the word, listen. If you do a jumble with the words, it also spells silent!

When someone is trying to talk to you, be silent so you can listen! Even if you don’t agree and want to make your point, don’t be thinking about what you are going to say next; just listen. When they have finished, then respond. To try and prevent an unfortunate reaction, it’s as easy as 1,2,3:

1) Take a deep breath and count to ten

2) Reiterate what you think they said to clarify that your perception is accurate

3) Think and Respond

Had I taken a deep breath at the gas station, I probably still would have yelled a few choice words, but perhaps I would have kept those unwanted germs inside the vehicle. We should remember how our words and our actions affect others. How we respond or react is our choice. Whatever you choose though, just remember, it’s contagious.

 

 

 

 

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Two of my lovely (younger) co-workers enjoy teasing me as often as possible whenever they make a reference to something that I don’t understand. They say, “Hash-tag Gen;” or to put it more correctly #Gen. This twitter tech talk implies that I am of a different generation, and do not understand what the hell they are talking about. Ouch! This especially hurts since I just celebrated another year to add to my resume of life experience.

Birthdays are to be celebrated. Each new wrinkle, unwanted hair, stiff joint, and achy muscle represents just how much life experience we have endured; they’re our medals for surviving the ride. A break in our heart, tear in a tendon, or a bulging disc may be additional aftermath that lay on our path of a well-seasoned life. However, on this road well traveled also lie stories of courage, intrigue, humor, and probably even romance.

Everyone has a story. However, in our society today, the older gens are often ignored. I remember after a social get-together, my Grandfather saying how he felt that no one cared to hear what he had to contribute to the conversation. He was frustrated that his wealth of wisdom went unappreciated, and he felt ignored and unimportant.

That something secondhand and broken still can make a pretty sound, Don’t we all deserve a family room to live? Oh, the words can’t stay unspoken until everyone has found, That Second-hand White Baby Grand, still has something beautiful to give. I still have something beautiful to give.–Second-Hand White Baby Grand Lyrics–Smash

In talking to seniors, feeling unimportant is quite a common sentiment. On a daily basis I meet many wonderful people (well, some are not so wonderful!). One day I met Ellen, a very sweet and wise older woman in her eighties. She was sitting by her lonesome with the sunset backlighting her gray hair, creating a bit of a halo affect. As I walked by, she looked at me as if she needed to talk. I wasn’t busy, so I sat beside her on the couch. She asked me her question, I answered it, and she thanked me profusely for taking the time to talk with her. She continued to say that usually younger people (I was sure she wasn’t including me!) don’t have the patience to listen to her, and they talk too fast.

The next day I saw her sitting in the same spot on the couch by herself and I sat down beside her once again. Her face lit up, and she began to tell me about her day’s adventures, which segued into her life adventures. She told me how she used to be a teacher tutoring kids who had learning issues, how her husband had passed away, and how she is keeping her teaching license current because ‘you never know.’  She continued, “Getting to know yourself isn’t easy and I wish I understood myself better when I was younger. If I had, I could have learned from my domineering mother-in-law instead of letting her trample over me. Men need desperately to understand their own self and others. Women and men hold hands in work and life. My parents had a beautiful 74 years of marriage. They always discussed things. He never dominantly said things. It’s so simple, isn’t it? Life is beautiful!”

Generally speaking, we don’t deal well with aging, with regard to ourselves or others. I think age actually has more to offer than it takes away. Perception, as always is key.

The question is not what you look at, but what you see. –  Henry David Thoreau

So the next time a person older than yourself is around, maybe instead of looking at an older person, see all that they have experienced, and have yet to give. While there may be things we can no longer do as we get older, we need to focus on what we have to offer, and pursue what we weren’t able to do when we were younger. Perhaps now we can fulfill that dream or that passion we didn’t have time for before. Think about it.

 Consult not your fears, but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in,but with what it is still possible for you to do. – Pope John XXIII

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Each new day brings an opportunity for us to start fresh and be the best ‘us’ we can be. Each New Year gives us the opportunity to reflect on the past year and wish for a good or better one. And unless you’re one of the many who have given up on the whole idea, it is also the time we make those bold New Year’s resolutions. For the coming year we resolve to lose weight, gain courage; quit smoking, take up yoga; start a book, finish what we started; fill our souls, empty our thoughts; find our soulmate, lose our baggage; remember what’s important, forgive what’s not; give laughter, take time with loved ones.

As we all know, resolutions usually end up resolving right into oblivion! Right?! (Statistics say that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolutions.) Losing weight is always at the top of the list, but we begin diets January 2nd because the 1st is still part of the holiday season! We have to have a big fatty high cholesterol breakfast while watching the Rose Parade; or chips and dip, hot wings, hot dogs and hamburgers with the football games. It’s the last hurrah of gluttony before we go to Jenny Craig for our food or Weight Watchers for a meeting.

The whole concept of making these proclamations is usually to change some pattern of behavior. What if, instead of using empty resolutions to improve our quality of life, we use our own life experience? I’m wondering if by digging up some jewels from our own treasure chest of untapped wisdom, it might give our resolutions a chance to thrive. We have all learned certain lessons along the way that are the key to opening the portal to change.

Giving advice to others is always easier than helping ourselves. How about offering it to someone that is closest to you. Not you, but your younger self?! If you could talk to him or her, and share your valuable nuggets from living life, what would you say? If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?

I gave it some thought, so here goes…

Dear Nancy,

Do not let fear control your decisions

Listen to your instincts. They are always right, but often the quietest voice

Negativity is like a magnet that will pull you down off your rock. Stay away from it.

Love, and allow yourself to be loved. You deserve it.

Enjoy ice cream without guilt!

Share your smile

Learn to love your body regardless

Remember all that you are grateful for at least once a day

Remember that how you react to something is your choice

Learn from your mistakes and move on

Forgive yourself for the bad choices you make

Don’t hold a grudge. It is you who suffers, not them

Anyone who doesn’t treat you with respect—dump their ass

It’s ok to say ‘no,’ ‘why?’ and ‘I don’t understand.’

Watch out for limiting beliefs, they will prevent you from living to your potential

Do not expect yourself or anyone to be perfect; you will be forever disappointed

Make time for fun

Savor every moment being with the people you love

Love,

Your Older Self

Perhaps what we write from our heart to our younger selves will have more of an impact than a template of resolutions. And perhaps by talking to the child in us, we can see more clearly what we need to do to succeed in our quest for change.

Ok your turn! It’s fun and enlightening! Try writing a letter to the young you, and see what flows from your fingertips. You may be surprised….

And please, so that we can all benefit, share your comments and/or parts of your letters below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to my new blog Nancy Tells All! By way of introduction I am Nancy, a fifty-something divorced woman with two incredible adult children. Without sounding obnoxiously proud, let’s just say they are beautiful inside and out, causing me to kvell pretty much all the time. Aside from being their mother, (the title for which I am most proud), I am an actor, singer, Life Coach, and yes, writer.

My first blog, Life Lessons, was born in another blogosphere almost two years ago. Since that time I have moved on and recently, after a very long gestation period, delivered a book named You Want Me to What?! The Dating Adventures and Life Lessons of a Newly Divorced Woman, (available on Amazon!).

What to expect with Nancy Tells All: I will be sharing many of my personal stories, insights, secrets, and observations about relationships–romantic, familial, and those in the workplace. I’ll write about divorce, dating, and sex in the suburbs; the joys and complications of friendships, the wisdom and frustrations in getting older… including the inability to defy gravity in all sorts of areas. Also, empty nest, the need to rest, be our best, and I do not jest: how not to lose our zest. Some will be poignant and many (I think) humorous.

I want you to tell all too! I welcome and encourage your feedback, your thoughts, your questions and how you relate, or don’t. So please, participate in the comment section of the blog. It is as a way to interact and share your stories! And if you’d like me to address a specific topic, or if you have a question for which you’d like feedback, please let me know!

In addition to helping people live life to their potential, two other passions
of mine include music and quotes, so inevitably I will include song lyrics
or quotes that are relevant to a blog topic. (Please feel free to email me your
favorite quotes to use!) I will also be using pictures, so if you have a photograph or drawing that you feel will be good for a blog topic, e-mail it to me at nancy@nancytellsall.com and if I use it, you will be given credit.

In summary, I plan to talk about life situations we all experience in a way that is unique. There are some people who can paint a picture with a brush, and I so admire that talent, because I cannot. I draw with words, and my goal is to create visuals that will inspire thought, laughter, and maybe even tears. I hope you all are able to find something in each blog that is meaningful for you, and I hope you will all participate with me on this journey.

 Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning
makes the conditions perfect. ~Alan Cohen

If you would like to follow my blog, just click the ‘follow’ box in the bottom right hand corner of the site, or click the subscribe link on www.nancytellsall.com and sign up!

P.S. There are some very exciting things happening soon, so stay tuned!!

 

 

 

 

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