Let’s Talk: Dates!

I may have had my favorite date night ever last night. And it was so simple!

Brance and I started out the date by walking to a coffee shop near our home and chatting over iced drinks. We have had a heat wave lately, for Boston, so it felt pretty amazing to sit in some central air, too :). Plus there is nothing quite like sitting across from your man with no distractions. It’s the best, right!?

Next we wandered over to a favorite restraurant and ordered our meals to go. We grabbed our car and camp chairs and headed to a beloved park. The park is large (for the city) and gorgeous and so few people hang there (I think because most people in the neighborhood prefer to be on the beach). It has big, old trees and lovely bay views where you can see sail boats. And there are large colorful Victorian homes, with widow watches, facing one side. It felt wonderful to sit there and soak up summer with Brance. As the sun set, we ended our time there with a stroll around the park near the water and talked about life.

And then like the parents we are, we ran to the store ALONE to pick up some things we needed before heading home.You see. It was nothing special, but it felt nice to be alone together talking and laughing and relaxing. Even shopping.

Back when Brance and I were dating and engaged we spent many date nights cooking together. We had a lot of fun looking for recipes and shopping for the ingredients. We would turn music up while we cooked and would dance whenever the recipe allowed. We still love cooking together.

What are you favorite kinds of dates? Is there a certain place you eat out or do you prefer to cook at home? Do you like to do something adventurous? Do dates involve the movies or a concert or shopping?  Maybe you love doing something outside. Let’s talk!!

Let’s Talk

I am not much of an orator.

In fact, I often stumble over my words or get things mixed up in translation. (Just ask someone who knows me in real life). Perhaps that is one of the reasons I enjoy writing.

There is no one actively engaged and waiting for my immediate response. So, no reason to feel shy or nervous.

Writing seems to flow better for me, because it’s slower and my brain is able to keep up.

I can easily edit—adjust or move thoughts around. I can delete them entirely.

It’s not that I don’t want to become a better speaker: as an orator and in general conversation. I really do. But writing and I are a comfortable pair. I can express my thoughts and feelings, imperfect as they are (both my thoughts and the expression), easier.

After experiencing a huge transformation in my wellness (physically, mentally, and emotionally), I wanted to share that with as many people as possible. In case it might help them too. Writing seemed a natural way for me to do that and that is how this blog was born.

Perhaps one day I will feel comfortable sharing all of this in other ways. For now, though, I keep writing!

Which is easier for you? Talking to other people about your thoughts and ideas in person or writing them down? Let’s “talk”. I’d love to know!!

Boundaries

I’ll never forget the time a friend of mine waltzed into my bedroom after dinner and pulled everything out of my closet. To my further shock and dismay, while our husbands continued to talk in the other room, she proceeded to sort my clothes into piles and tell me what I should and shouldn’t wear! To look more fashionable, I suppose.

I wasn’t a teenager or in college. I was married with two kids. Oh my! The experience was totally uncomfortable and embarrassing. It felt rude and invasive. Yet, because I didn’t know how to set healthy boundaries then, there I was being told which skirt and shirt I should pair and to “never, ever wear those pants”. Yikes.

I can only imagine how this person would have reacted if the situation was reversed! Thankfully, she has since ended our friendship. Even though it was super painful, I was going through a rough season, I now see it was for the best—providence at work.

Just today, I received a manipulative message. It was from someone trying to persuade me to join their team for some business (I won’t say which one). I only say manipulative because this person doesn’t know me in the least—we have one mutual friend on social media—yet they called me friendly and outgoing in the note. I am actually rather shy. They said I was “totally gorgeous” (uhm…) and immediately followed it with a “by-the-way” pitch for a great business opportunity. I am not against an online business approach, but I am against being manipulated.

Thankfully between the clothing incident and the pushy “business opportunity” I have learned to set boundaries. I have learned say “no thanks”—NO explanation and NO excuses necessary. And if my polite “no” isn’t accepted or respected, then a firmer, more blunt “no” is given. Sometimes, like with the manipulative message I received today, I simply hit delete.

(Although, I am the world’s worst when it comes to email. So forgive me, if I have failed to respond to a message!  Please feel free to send a reminder message or reach out in the comments.)

I have discovered that if you are not intentional about setting boundaries, these kinds of events become the norm. And we find ourselves over-committed and doing things we would rather not do.

Thankfully, most incidents are not as bizarre as my clothing incident. But, certain people will—well-meaning or not—inevitably pull you in directions you aren’t comfortable or meant to go. They will make decisions for you that you should make for yourself. They may even take you for granted. Or even worse, take advantage of or mistreat you.

Do you set healthy boundaries? Or, do you let others walk all over you, manipulate you, and pull you in directions you would rather not go? Perhaps you find yourself hiding from or lying to certain people? Let’s talk!!

P.S. I don’t claim to do this perfectly. I am learning too! In fact, I can think of a time or two where I set a boundary and later regretted it. And there certainly still are times where I feel a desire to unnecessarily explain myself or hide from certain people.

Having kids helped me to learn to set boundaries. I’ll have to share my scary airport story sometime, because it all started there!