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Miscellany

I lost track of who originally linked to what, so I can't credit them properly. But thank you to whoever they all were, anyway!

Filed under "another reason I'm proud to be a homeschooler": California court rules that private school can oust lesbian students. I do understand that it's a private religious school, and that their denomination doesn't approve of homosexuality. On the other hand, the girls' parents chose to send them to that school, not the girls themselves. And demanding that everybody in the school be heterosexual makes every bit as much sense as demanding that they all be right-handed! (It also sounds like the school went WAY the hell overboard in interpreting the "evidence.")

Can I get an "Amen"?! Ending Weight Bias: The Easiest Way to Tackle Obesity in America

This is news? Readers build vivid mental simulations of narrative situations, brain scans suggest

Not Good News: Mercury found in kids' foods - and in pretty much anything else that contains HFCS. I'm confident of my ability to kick the soda habit, but totally avoiding HFCS pretty much means avoiding all processed foods. GAH!

This is so cool! Implants Tap the Thinking Brain

No surprise to me, at least: Watch out. The Internet will cut you

Reality check: Sorry, you don't have a 200 IQ

Another no-brainer: Video Games May Hinder Relationships

What Can All Couples Learn From Same-Sex Marriages?

From
Gay Unions Shed Light on Gender in Marriage

A growing body of evidence shows that same-sex couples have a great deal to teach everyone else about marriage and relationships. Most studies show surprisingly few differences between committed gay couples and committed straight couples, but the differences that do emerge have shed light on the kinds of conflicts that can endanger heterosexual relationships.

The findings offer hope that some of the most vexing problems are not necessarily entrenched in deep-rooted biological differences between men and women. And that, in turn, offers hope that the problems can be solved.

One of the things the article points out is something I've definitely noticed, that how people handle resolve conflicts is far more important than how often they experience conflict.

One well-known study used mathematical modeling to decipher the interactions between committed gay couples. The results, published in two 2003 articles in The Journal of Homosexuality, showed that when same-sex couples argued, they tended to fight more fairly than heterosexual couples, making fewer verbal attacks and more of an effort to defuse the confrontation.

Controlling and hostile emotional tactics, like belligerence and domineering, were less common among gay couples.

The Challenge and a challenge/​invitation

A few days ago I referred to the Change Your Life Challenge, but I didn't really explain much, as I was in a bit of a rush at the time. I've been so excited about it, too, that some part of me thinks that of course everybody knows what it is!

Not so, silly Cyn.

So let me back up, and explain a little more about WHY I want to do it, and why I'd think any of you would have any reason to plunk down money to do it, too.

Every morning, no matter what else my email brings, I know there'll be an uplifting message from Brook Noel. I'm honestly not a big fan of most generic affirmations or inspirational newsletters, but somehow Brook's daily Good Mornings don't annoy me. They avoid glurge, and I frequently add her quotes and affirmations to my PopUp Wisdom file.

I first "met" Brooke through her book, The Change Your Life Challenge, which I found at a local bookstore a few months ago. I learned that the book is actually based on a successful online program, looked it up, and was intrigued. It promises to teach:

  • A step-by-step system for conquering clutter and keeping your home clean
  • How to recreate the dinner hour and manage mealtimes
  • How to make time work for you —instead of against you
  • How to discover and live by your core values and beliefs
  • How to implement the simplest “diet” in the world
  • The “key” to never forgetting anything
  • How to improve your relationships with the “5-Minute Miracle”
  • How to end procrastination
  • How to implement a budget and manage your money
  • And much more!

I was worried because of the "70 day" part, though. What business did I have signing myself up for yet another calendar-bound thing that I'd end up having trouble with?

Well, I listed to Brooke's podcast last Monday, and she happened to say that if she could go back and change anything, she would retitle the program as "A 70 STEP Life Makeover Program" and toss out the idea of tying it to the calendar. Forward motion is important, but making it fit your life is more important.

So yes, the Challenge is very much doable for anyone, including those of us who have chronic illnesses. It'll be even more so in a small group of women who understand each other's issues.

So here's my challenge: I'm going to begin the 70 Step Challenge on July 15. I've set up a private group for anyone who joins up to do it with me. You'll have all the normal (extensive!) support of the organization - there are thousands of people on her lists! - as well as a chance to build friendships within a smaller group of people in my group. We'll do some chats, set up "buddies," and use other techniques to help each other succeed. We won't get tied up in rushing through the challenge as much as in working it with a sense of balance.

Won't you join me? I'd love to get to know you better, and it's always good to have more friends and a better support network.

I'm taking the Challenge.....are you?
Take the Change Your Life Challenge:
A  70 Day Life Makeover Program for Women


If you join through this link, I'll be informed and will invite you to the private support group within 24 hours. I do hope to hear from you soon!

The ManDiet

I have referred to The Man Diet sev­er­al times as some­thing I have done and rec­om­mend. After explain­ing it sev­er­al times, I’ve decid­ed to write it up here and just refer peo­ple to the article. 

I call it the Man Diet, but that’s real­ly a mis­nomer. It should be an SO Diet or Rela­tion­ship Diet or some­thing like that. It just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well, so just take it as giv­en that I’m refer­ring to women, men or who­ev­er you would nor­mal­ly have romantic/​sexual rela­tion­ships with. 

There was a time when I went from one rela­tion­ship to the next. If I didn’t have one or more SOs, I felt incom­plete. I didn’t have incred­i­bly healthy rela­tion­ships, but I was sel­dom alone! I derived much of my self-esteem from being in rela­tion­ships with others. 

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, that led to “set­tling” for peo­ple who didn’t real­ly meet the stan­dards I thought I want­ed in sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers, and often to accept­ing treat­ment that ranged from unpleas­ant to down­right abusive. 

Right now, I do not tru­ly remem­ber what trig­gered the real­iza­tion that I’d nev­er have a tru­ly healthy rela­tion­ship if I felt that I absolute­ly had to have a rela­tion­ship with some­one oth­er than myself — that, in fact, cul­ti­vat­ing a healthy rela­tion­ship with myself, being com­plete in myself, was vital. 

I didn’t think all that out so clear­ly at the begin­ning. I was just tired of the crap. I was tired of going from one rela­tion­ship to the next and hav­ing the same crap come up over and over again. I was tired of the mer­ry-go-round. I didn’t hon­est­ly count on hav­ing any more sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers. I just decid­ed that I was done. I swore off men for a year. 

At the begin­ning of that peri­od, I felt anx­ious. I felt lone­ly. I felt more than a lit­tle des­per­ate, because hon­est­ly, I have nev­er been alone unless I chose to be that way. I’d spent my life using rela­tion­ships to avoid hav­ing to deal with my own issues in a deep way. If I hadn’t told sev­er­al friends what I was doing and asked them to help keep me hon­est, I don’t think I would have stuck with it. 

In the next few months, I seemed to meet poten­tial SOs every time I turned around. It was tru­ly rain­ing men! That was dif­fi­cult. It was real­ly tempt­ing to just make a lit­tle excep­tion, because hey, he was just so nice! Or so smart, or fun­ny, or what­ev­er. But there’s noth­ing like true friends to kick your butt when you need it. 

To be hon­est, I’ve nev­er had a prob­lem deal­ing with most prac­ti­cal things — bal­anc­ing check­books, basic home repairs, even sim­ple auto main­te­nance. I didn’t need a man to take care of any of that. No, I looked to SOs to keep me com­pa­ny, to keep me occu­pied, to suck up lots of ener­gy. I felt beau­ti­ful because they said I was, because they want­ed to be with me. 

So I found oth­er ways to use my time and my ener­gy. I went out with friends as friends. I devel­oped new friend­ships that were much bet­ter because I wasn’t putting any­thing into won­der­ing whether or not the rela­tion­ship would move into oth­er areas. If nobody else want­ed to go see a par­tic­u­lar music event, I went alone. 

I final­ly faced up to some of the issues I was avoid­ing when most of my ener­gy was going into inter­ac­tions with an SO — like why did I need a man around to feel worth­while? Why did I accept treat­ment that I wouldn’t want any of my friends to accept — that I had, in fact, told oth­er peo­ple to walk away from? Why wasn’t I hold­ing out for the kind of per­son I want­ed? Hell, why hadn’t I sim­ply become the per­son I wanted? 

While I was real­ly count­ing the days at first, by the end of that year I didn’t even real­ized it was done. I didn’t think about it until a cou­ple of months lat­er when a friend men­tioned it. Hey, it was over! I real­ized that I didn’t feel an urge to run out and start any­thing new. I was just fine with being me, with­out a man. 

I won’t pre­tend that I’m all past all of that stuff. It comes back at times, but not near­ly as strong­ly. It’s much eas­i­er to insist on the kind of treat­ment I deserve from an SO, because I don’t fear being alone. I can be alone, and be hap­py. Not a problem. 

I think spend­ing at least a year alone as a tru­ly inde­pen­dent adult is a good idea for absolute­ly any­one. If pos­si­ble, live alone. Be sole­ly respon­si­ble for your­self finan­cial­ly. Devel­op a healthy social life that has noth­ing to do with whether or not you have an SO. Do any­thing you’ve been putting off. Were you wait­ing to take a vaca­tion until you had some­one to go with? Go now. Go back to school. Change jobs. Vol­un­teer. Learn to dance. Just do it, and enjoy it. 

Dur­ing that year, prac­tice celiba­cy. That means not only do you not have SOs, but you don’t have “friends with ben­e­fits” or one-night stands. Just be with your­self. Hon­or your­self. Love your­self. Treat your­self as you would some­one you tru­ly treasure. 

Tell some­body what you’re doing. Tell peo­ple you can trust to help you con­tin­ue on to your goal. If some­one isn’t sup­port­ive, dis­tance your­self from that per­son. I don’t care if that per­son is an imme­di­ate fam­i­ly mem­ber. You need to main­tain bound­aries, and you don’t need any­one tear­ing you down. Seek out new friend­ships with peo­ple who are supportive. 

It may take some peo­ple longer than a year to get past the “ohmigod I’m gonna get old and be ALONE!” pan­ic. That’s fine. Take what­ev­er time you need. I promise that you will be health­i­er and hap­pi­er for it. The world, and all the men and women in it, will still be there when you’re ready.

What I learned from my past relationships

So I actu­al­ly heard from some­one via Orkut. I can’t remem­ber if that’s ever hap­pened to me before or not.

Any­way, I went to check out this person’s pro­file, and real­ized mine was way out of date. Some­day, I swear, I’m going to repro­duce all the ques­tions all those dif­fer­ent places ask right here on my own site, keep that up to date, and refuse to fill out any oth­er profiles.

Any­way, one of the fields was “From my past rela­tion­ships I learned…” I found the ques­tion more inter­est­ing that most, so I’m repro­duc­ing my answer here, expand­ed a bit.
from my past rela­tion­ships i learned: Some­thing dif­fer­ent every time 🙂 A few of them:

Hon­esty is the only way to relate that’s worth both­er­ing with.
Love isn’t enough.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is priceless.

Rela­tion­ships take lots of work from every­one, and some­times they just aren’t sustainable.

Sex is often the canary in the rela­tion­ship mine. Bar­ring health issues that make sex impos­si­ble or unlike­ly, a decrease in sex­u­al inti­ma­cy is usu­al­ly due to a decrease in over­all inti­ma­cy, which is Bad.

There’s no under­stand­ing crazy. Just walk away with as much of your san­i­ty intact as possible.

Nobody deserves abuse.

Stay­ing togeth­er is sel­dom “best for the kids.” In fact, I’ve yet to see a sit­u­a­tion in which it was best for anyone.

There’s no way one (sane) per­son in a cou­ple or oth­er group­ing is hap­py if the oth­er is miserable.

If some­one changes in a big way right after you get mar­ried, start try­ing to get an annul­ment. He isn’t the per­son you thought you knew.

While an adult can lie to you eas­i­ly, his kids can’t. Nei­ther can his pets. If either doesn’t behave con­sis­tent­ly with what she says, or she doesn’t treat them the way she says she believes in rais­ing kids or pets or what­ev­er, she’s a liar. Leave before you get any closer.

Some things are worth the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a bro­ken heart.

“If you real­ly loved me you’d…” means that the speak­er is an abu­sive ass­hole try­ing to get you to do some­thing that’s unhealthy for you.

Play­ing togeth­er is essen­tial. So is work­ing together.

Peo­ple are not projects.

Knights are noto­ri­ous for set­ting up new tow­ers with you inside them. The only safe “res­cue” is the DIY ver­sion, where you just walk out of the prison

What are yours?