Check out the New Blog Here!

Click on "Bliss Habits" and let me know what you think!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Anticipating gratitude aka Christmas morning living

GRATITUDE - warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; very thankful. [Gratitude week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

I'm a big holiday gal. I love any excuse for celebration and I particularly like a good surprise.  Christmas morning, before a single present is opened is probably my favorite moment all year. I also like the ride to the airport before a trip or even a few stolen minutes before my family wakes up.  There is something about the potentiality of of those moments that makes my soul sing. Once the paper is off the packages, sun lotion is squeezed or the morning routine is underway I forget the bliss of expectations, mostly unrealized.

You see that is the thing. BEFORE anything happens there is this moment of possibility so pure that even though you have had years and years of mediocre, less then stellar happenings, there is always the hope that perhaps THIS TIME it will be one of the perfect ones. A surprise pulled off that totally blows your mom's mind in the best of ways, a vacation enjoyed so thoroughly that when it is time to go you feel satisfied and wanting no more, or a day of playful seamless joy when you would wish for nothing to change your life even one little bit.

The interesting thing about those MOMENTS BEFORE is that they happen ALL THE TIME. Moments before your husband tracks mud all through the house, moments before a favorite Teddy loses an ear, moments before the sunburn, moments before Jessie opens the exact same present for the second time... moments before are all still pure potential. 

"Pure Potential" Image from Hypnosis Institute 

Certainly it may seem as if the tide was already turning in a specific direction when your toddler took the top off the bottle of glue but what if, crazily possibly if, it might be ok anyway. Maybe she won't pour it all over your new sweater. Maybe she will carefully place it on the table. Maybe she'lll spend 20 happy minutes making a masterpiece of feathers and cotton balls so you can finish dinner. Maybe the sweater will come clean in the washer when you thought it was dry clean only and you will be freed up to wear it all the time. Maybe the sweater will harden into an irreparable lump suitable for cotton ball and feather sculptures that take 30 minutes and allow mommy to take a whole shower all by herself! Maybe...

As life happens, it is the rare occasion when we allow ourselves to have that Christmas morning kind of thinking. We have limited the amount of grateful anticipation and substitute worry, disappointment or, possibly the worst of all, knowing exactly what will happen. We live lives that are predictable and if we tell the truth are rarely remarkable in our eyes. We've been brought up to think that looking through "rose colored glasses" isn't necessarily a good thing but I'm beginning to think that may be all wrong. What if we could add the slightest shade of pink and add a sense of wonder to our everyday moments. What if we allowed ourselves to be delighted and surprised by all of it? 

Maybe, crazily possibly maybe, we can!

Next Post: Gratitude week comes to a close.

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

Friday, February 26, 2010

Grateful for a Whimsical Bohemian and the community she has fostered

GRATITUDE - warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; very thankful. [Gratitude week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

As all of you are aware, to some degree or another, I participated in Lisa aka Whimsical Bohemian's fabulous blog event last month. In fact the majority of you followers found me as a result of this terrific event. More then 1000 bloggers participated and I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone. To begin with, I knew it would be interesting to see what everyone was offering as a giveaway and I was hopeful a few new people might like my blog but I never in my wildest dream thought that more then 60 new people would start following me. I appreciate it so much and sincerely hope you enjoy your time over at Everyday Bliss.

I also was fortunate enough to win several of the giveaways and my February has been filled with fun packages arriving at my door including two I will share today:

The super darling Angel Cat ornament by Suzanne Urban Designs. Jessie insisted the cute cat get a place of honor next to the picture of her with Mickey Mouse so we are not saving her for the Christmas tree! Suzanne's shop also goes by the name "Smirking Goddess Studios" -- LOVE that! and recently her very fun retro style Mad Housewife button/magnets were featured  in an ETSY compilation . 


 Next up is this fun ornament pin cushion made by Deborah over at Vintage Soul which arrived just today. We have all of our shoes lined up by the front door, including some doll shoes Jessie has insisted on putting there so when I opened this little beauty up Jessie said, "I have an idea, let's put it by the other shoes." When I explained it wasn't that kind of shoe she said "Well it is awfully cute!" Indeed awfully cute and even prettier then the photos. 
I do not sew so it will not be used for this fun use but I am excited to add it to my very special ornament collection. I am a HUGE Christmas fan so I find it fascinating that I should end up with two ornament giveaways! The universe really works huh?!

I am a new follower over at Vintage Soul because of Deborah's post about her son: An Embrace. I'm not the craftiest girl, (although OWOH has helped me to get my groove on in that regard a bit more) so I don't know if I would have followed this blog if it was only craft related but as soon as I read An Embrace I knew I wanted to hear more from this woman. Check it out!
I originally intended to post about all my gifts today but as I was going through my emails, I realized I am still expecting more! Unbelievably lucky huh? Anyway, I thought it might be nice to spread the love about this event out a bit. Give you a chance to visit these lovely blogs before I send you off to others. Besides, I am certain as time goes on I will have even more to be grateful for as my new friendships percolate. The fun really is just beginning and for this I am very very grateful!

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

Next Post: Anticipating gratitude aka Christmas morning living

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Technological loathing and gratitude

GRATITUDE - warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; very thankful. [Gratitude week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

I was not in a writing mood yesterday. I had some thought that I should push myself through it and write anyway but ultimately, given that this isn't actually a job AND I do it for my personal enjoyment I opted for other activities which included surfing around and visiting other people's blogs. Wow, there is so much good stuff out there! It is really hard to believe that most of what is out there has only been around for 10 years or less. I can't even begin to imagine what kinds of things my daughter is going to see in her lifetime.  

When I was a little girl I used to think about how my Grandmother saw her first car when she was a little girl and my Dad was a teenager before he saw a television and I always wondered what things would be my big firsts... maybe that microwave my mom got when I was in high school, or the fact that calculators decreased in size every year from eighth grade through my college graduation. Digital watches were pretty hot in their day as was the electronic typewriter my college roommate had. As I was graduating from college the computer was just starting get sized down for personal use but it would still be a decade or so before any type of an internet would be born.

Generally speaking I am an early adopter, if finances permit. I used way back before there were profile pictures and you would have to wait for wail of the modem anytime you wanted to check for new messages. Professionally, I went into teleconferencing which at the time was unheard of and certainly not a free feature on your phone. I prided myself with being ahead of the curve.  I had a car phone, the actual gigantic thing you see in 80's movies and a Palm 7 -- another big beast of a device that boasted the first wireless internet. 

Since becoming a stay at home mom however I've become worried that technology I routinely interact with has advanced beyond my personal recognition. I started this blog and I already feel I am way behind the curve. I am just barely figuring out how to post with pictures and links and I read that all the hot sites have a video blog component to them. Are you kidding? Do I really want to be hosting the Kathy Sprinkle show from my living room? Apparently I should be optimizing for Search Engines and Readers and to date I have no idea how to pick keywords that are even useful to me!  

My mom can't even use a DVD player without messing up her TV.  My husband has ours set up with so many bells and whistles I am certain to ward off Alzheimers by practicing the mental agility required to mange the 15 remotes. Even so Jessie can already change our passwords and freeze the system with the push a button so I guess my technological ineptitude is likely to rise in direct proportion to her aging.

I do have and enjoy my Kindle but other technology is getting a bit daunting. I currently own a motorola flip phone. I've been due to upgrade for a couple of years but I just can't decide. Iphone, Droid, Blackberry...what? Now there are tablets and all sorts of netbooks vying for my geek dollar. I am a bit of a Facebook fanatic, with over 500 friends. I love being in contact with so many people so easily, although I do not understand the fascination for Farms, Mafia Wars and all the other games to which I routinely say no thank you. 

Twitter confounds me. I just can't get in the groove of it. I signed up for my Twitter account just because I'm nosy and I don't want to be too far out of the technological loop. I bring this up in the context of sharing all my posts directly with my Twitter account. I'm finding that I am holding back a bit.  I barely have any followers and I worry that even so I will be bothering the masses with my updates. I certainly don't want to be one of those people who tweet their every move all day but what exactly should I be doing? 

Wow what a little ramble I am on... bottom line I am fascinated with all of it and I always want more even if I don't know what I will do with it. Have I seen my "car" or "television" yet? Maybe. The wireless laptop I am typing this on may in fact be it. I am excited and grateful to live in a time that offers such interesting stuff and I am jealous of the wonders my daughter will get to see after I am gone. 

Next Post: OWOH Gratitude

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

5 things... an approach to gratitude

GRATITUDE - warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; very thankful. [Gratitude week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment,
 all you have is all you need. 
Sarah Ban Breathnach 

Last Gratitude week I went a bit overboard trying to find things for which I felt grateful. I went on a frenzy and posted every crazy little thing on, "I am grateful for toast perfectly toasted," and after a while it started to feel very forced and I began to worry about what other people were thinking instead of actually getting present to my gratitude. This time I have opted for a more zen like approach, like Scott's over at Attitude of Gratitude. Each day Scott shares 5 things for which he is grateful. He has been doing it for years!! Pretty inspiring! I've decide to do the same this week and see where it leads. I don't intend to share my list here everyday but I would like to make it an ongoing habit. 

Lovely "Grateful" Card by Klooster

I have a few gimmies on the gratitude front. My husband, daughter, family & friends, good health etc. etc. but I don't want to use the obvious, at least not everyday, and sometimes I won't be able help myself! Anyway, what I am intending is distinguishing things previously forgotten or perhaps unnoticed that if I got present to them would add greater depth and happiness to my overall life experience, AKA bliss. An example comes to mind immediately. Two nights ago Jessie called for me in the middle of the night. It reminded me that not too long ago it seemed like she would NEVER sleep on her own and now that the occasions she asks for me are getting further and further apart I am a little sad. Grateful for the snuggles still shared of course, but a little sad. Thinking about this led me to the fact that Jessie asks me to play with her ALL THE TIME! 

Playing with Jessie 24/7 isn't possible of course but if I am to be honest many times I try to avoid it. I work on distracting her with projects so I can get done what I want to get done. Jessie is VERY enrolling, "Come on mommy, play with me. You will like it. It is very fun!" and I do join her often but I can not say her insistence was something I felt grateful about UNTIL I thought about the sleeping on her own situation. Similarly, someday she will be bigger and she won't want to play with me every minute of everyday. I certainly don't want to go down the path as in that old Harry Chapin  song  Cat's in the Cradle and distinguishing this had me suddenly feeling VERY VERY grateful that I haven't squashed Jessie's enthusiasm for having me join her in building "towders" or any of her daily activities. Further, when she asks me to join her I feel all that more inclined to join her. She is growing up fast and I don't want to miss out on a thing!

So what about you? Where can you distinguish being grateful that would have you feeling more happiness? 

Today I am grateful:

  1. Jessie wants me to play with her.
  2. We have time to make cookies.
  3. Rob is bringing supper home.
  4. Cotton Balls, glue and tempra paint are so cheap.
  5. I saved some craft supplies for today's rainy day.

Next Post: Grateful for Technology

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

Monday, February 22, 2010

Grateful beginnings

GRATITUDE - warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; very thankful

I woke up a bit early today, thanks to Jessie's swift kick in my back. She woke up last night and asked for me so I went in to soothe her and, of course, fell asleep beside her. Lately if she calls for me, at some point later she is pushing me out of her bed. She wants all the space to herself. It is so interesting how much of a treat it was to have her snuggled up against me. A year or so ago, I was wondering if she would ever sleep on her own and now I am at the point of wishing she would need me more often! Ah perspective!

The abrupt rousting also enabled me to have a few minutes to enjoy the magic light of dawn and sip some coffee by myself. It isn't yet a morning ritual but I am lately fortunate to have this special time alone at least a few times each week. I love hearing Rob's snores and sighs beside me as I contemplate the coming day. Knowing that today was the start of gratitude week had the time occur as even more special. I am truly grateful for our life together. 

Last gratitude week I finished the week off distinguishing that the fear of losing what I have kept me from feeling fully grateful. I wrote that instead of avoiding this fear I would try instead to use it as a cue to feel gratitude. Afraid Jessie may get sick... feel grateful for how she is so vibrant and healthy. Afraid the planet is dying... feel grateful I have the chance to be here and do something (recycle, invent, encourage activism) about it. Afraid the economy will crush us... be grateful we have enough and each other.  

I also wrote, " I feel like gratitude, once confined can actually breath a bit. I am definitely looking forward to its 13 week simmer here in my game. " and the promptly forgot about the whole thing. Or so I thought! As I sit here this morning I realize the "simmer" I instructed my unconscious to consider has actually opened me up for a larger appreciation. The fears I feel no longer seem to have a grip on me, in the same way, and I am far better able to get in touch with my gratefulness. For this reason I have decided to start where I left off and re-visit the same Bliss Initiatives I came up with last time.  
Image from

Remember, the "Bliss Initiatives" are color coded in purple for quick identification. They are specific things that you too can try, if you want to play along with me. However, because as Earl Nightingale says, "you become what you think about," even if you only follow along, and never take on any of the bliss initiatives, I expect some positive results. I will be exploring and encouraging GRATITUDE this way:

  • Practice Gratitude - There is a ton of information about the "practice" of Gratitude out there. It has become positively mainstream in the spirituality and self development world. What I mean this week when I say I will practice Gratitude is that I will be keeping a Gratitude Journal. When I am near my computer I will also post the things I am Grateful for over on, a pretty fun community that calls itself "The Happiest Place on the Internet." It is a little bit like Twitter except people only share things for which they are Grateful. I linked it to my TouristMom Twitter account too (I am TouristMom in both places) so if you follow me there you will get my Grateful tweets. As I mentioned in an earlier postso far I've resisted the urge to compound my internet affliction with a hand held device, so I will not be able to update on the go which could be fun... perhaps by the next time Gratitude week rolls around! [Note: I still have not upgraded my phone so I will not be updating when I am out and about.] Ultimately I think it will be fun to see how much gratitude I can generate by keeping my journal. 
  • Gratitude Rock- In this Bliss Initative I will revisit something I did during my Joy Week, which is to carry a pocket charm. Over at Think Simple Now they called the same practice carrying a Gratitude Rock, with these instructions:Find a rock that feels good in your hand. Name it your ‘gratitude rock’, carry it with you along with your keys and wallet. The idea is to remember and say “Thank You” for something in your life, each time you touch or see the rock. For example, when you empty your pocket at night; when you pack up your things in the morning; when you reach for your keys. An actual rock is not necessary; you can use anything small as a figurative representation.   
  • Gratitude Boost - each day I will listen to at least one grateful song. Terrific Gratitude Playlist provided by FIQL PLaylist. [For some reason, I can't get the player to post here this time out, so please refer to this post for access to the player.]
  • Spread Gratitude - This week I am going to make a point of thanking people who have helped me, provide a service or otherwise make living a little bit better for me. It is something I think about but rarely do... send a note to the boss of that particularly helpful employee, tell my gardener I think he is doing a great job, tell that new neighbor she has been welcoming and nice. I'm getting out the thank you cards and I'm writing some!!!  Susie Michelle Cortright writes in her article Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude  Say "Thank You." Whom in your life do you appreciate? Let them know, whether it's your mom your kids, your friends, your husband, your child's daycare provider or the helpful woman behind the cosmetics counter. A heartfelt "thank you" often does the trick. Make it a habit and your attention will suddenly turn to all the things people do for you.
Next Post: Grateful musings

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Romantic conclusions

ROMANCE - To court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness; a strong fascination or enthusiasm for something.  [Romance week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

Image from Funky6Stringer's interesting post

Sunday is the day I tally up how I did for the week.  Generally I take a sort of gut check and decide on my ten point scale where I landed. Doing that this week, I will give myself a 5. I didn't complete my initiatives and distinguished more about what what wasn't working, rather then injecting more romance into our lives. Recently I began calculating how much BLISS was actually added to my daily life and I did this with "Bliss Boosts."  Once again this is very subjective and for this week I would give myself 1 Bliss Boost.  I definitely felt some added bliss but I certainly did not have the same experience as last time out.  I wasn't counting bliss boosts back then but with an 8 out of 10 romance was certainly on the rise!

When I started this project I assumed that it would change over time. Part of the fun is seeing where things are going. When I first began, when I was focusing on each week's bliss virtue and while I found it interesting and enjoyable I realized that I wasn't actually increasing my experience of everyday bliss. Now I can see that the first cycle through each of the virtues was much like the prerequisites for a college course, the information provided a good base but soon the requirements were more intensive. This is when I decided I didn't just want my experiment to be about studying the virtues and it was important to consider how much overall bliss I was experiencing. This is when I added the Bliss Boost measurement.

Now I am noticing yet another change! For the past two weeks it has shown up as missing for me that while I increase the particular virtue's bliss quotient during a given week there has been absolutely no carry over into the subsequent weeks. Yesterday I declared it Day One for not having that happen for romance but what I'd really like to see is each virtue getting regular play in EVERY week!  Which means I finally understand Ben Franklin's method of looking at every virtue each day.  Hmmm I think it is time to look at new kind of scoring system... I'm not up to doing that today (read my Family would like to spend some time with me!) so I'll look at doing that by the time my next cycle begins.

On a just because I find it fun note I thought I would introduce you to something another new blogging friend Lemony Renee' posted on her blog today. It is called Saturday 9 and each saturday "Crazy Sam" comes up with 9 questions and she invites other people to play along. If you are playing you provide a link to your blog and you can click on the links to see how other's answer. It is totally random and totally fun. Hopefully I will have time to play along sometime. Stop on by Renee's post to see a very fun example of the whole thing.

Thank you friends, fans and followers (None of the groups are mutually exclusive!) for a fun Romance week!

Next post: Gratitude week gets underway

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A hint of Romance or my DAY ONE project!

ROMANCE - To court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness; a strong fascination or enthusiasm for something.  [Romance week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

Yesterday I attributed some of my romantic failings to child hood brainwashing but likely the biggest reason has to do with time. We all know that we need to make time and focus on the things that are important to us. My new blogging friend, Kathy over at Kathy's Funny Farm just declared today Day One in her personal quest to become more fit.  Declarations are great ways to support a new focus. The design of this Everyday Bliss game is an ongoing declaration to add more bliss to my life. At least four times a year it also gives me the impetus to make time for romance. I would love to say that romance is innately a part of my life but is just isn't the case.  I often daydream about fun romantic activities for Rob and I to share but in between his work schedule, keeping the house livable and all of Jessie's activities both in and out of the house romance doesn't seem to find much breathable space. 

Perhaps I've been thinking about it all wrong. Rather then grand time consuming gestures what I need are quick and easy, potentially high impact hints of romance that can keep the spirit alive as Rob and I navigate our daily lives! 

The ezine article 101 Romantic Gestures offers some simple ideas easily integrated into daily life.  These romantic gestures are quick and easy ways to show your love. Often times the most romantic gestures are the small acts we choose to do every day. This extensive list of 101 romantic gestures will help you be more creative in how you show your love... You may be really good at doing some of these romantic gestures. Use this list to pick up a few more romantic gestures and apply them to your relationship. Put your own twist on some of the ideas for a personal and unique romantic gesture!

Here is one from on how to write a Mini Love Letter. This is a good one for some one like me who likes to muse about things and the final product can be as elaborate or simple as time permits!

And here's a Reader's Digest sample from  from Greg Godek's 1001 Ways to be Romantic -- aptly titled 50 Ways to WOO your lover! I particularly like "hold hands" as a suggestion. Simple quick and easy. 

Not to mention holding hands also reminds me of that old standby The 30 Second Kiss which I have brought up multiple times (in these posts ) since starting my Everyday Bliss project.  In my first mention I said,

I read somewhere once that if we just took thirty seconds longer with each hello and goodbye kiss it could transform a relationship. Thirty seconds! Why the heck haven't I been taking that time for that? Are our lives that busy that I can't spend thirty seconds more kissing the man I love? Ridiculous! I'm starting today! How about you? What ritual could you add to amp up the passion in your relationship?
and then I shared this photo to give us all some inspiration:
Image from eHow post on How to Kiss Passionately

And here I am today STILL unable to maintain a hint of romance on a daily basis! Just like my friend Kathy, I am declaring today my DAY ONE! Romance is going to be present even when it isn't Romance week! 

How about you? Any DAY ONE you would like to declare? Consider this a challenge to play along!  Do let me know, playing together is a lot more fun. If it is fitness related stop on by Kathy's Funny Farm and let her know you are playing. I'm sure she would love the company!

Please excuse me now,  I have some kissing to do!

Next post: Romance week comes to a close.

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

Friday, February 19, 2010

A reason for ridiculous mutation or possibly why romance is so abstruse

ROMANCE - To court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness; a strong fascination or enthusiasm for something.  [Romance week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

Image from Disney's Sleeping Beauty

My romance enculturation began, like most American girls, with fairy tales, Barbie dolls, and magazines. I was taught that the boy has the answers AND he always saves the girl. Disney and Pixar have done their best to inject a different aphorism today, girls are as capable as boys and can save the day, but when I was growing up Prince Charming was always coming to save me. I dreamt about the day when I would be whisked off my feet and transported to a new and wondrous realm that only the perfect man could provide.  I even remember placing a pillow under my knees while I slept to give myself the feeling that someone was sweeping me up in their arms. It was powerful and very consuming. 

Thinking back to my early dating I can see how difficult it was for my mere mortal suitors to have a chance. I was trained to believe that true love was all knowing and could conquer and provide everything. So when a high school crush didn't instantly know exactly how I liked to be kissed or what love token should be sent (school colored maroon and white carnations for homecoming!) or when my first lover knew less about sex then I did, it was all very frustrating and disappointing. Of course, like many girls, I figured this meant something was wrong with me because a man could never be that inept, could he?

In time I was willing to take responsibility for my own happiness but the indoctrination ran deep. I voraciously dated but was still expecting "the one" to somehow reveal themselves in some magical way. I dated people much longer then I ever should have just because I met them in some fabulous way.  

Example: While participating in Tony Robbins' Date with Destiny Seminar in my early thirties, I found Colin "cute English guy's" name tag on the ground. The name tags were the entry ticket to the very expensive seminar so I went looking for Colin because I knew he would be looking for it. As I was conducting my search some other participant said, "Oh I know Colin, I'll give it to him." and she took the tag. For the rest of the event I scanned the name tags of everyone hoping to say hello, but we never met. After Date with Destiny was over, a bunch of participants went to a club to celebrate. At some point in the evening this cute guy and I saw each other and suddenly it was as if the 200 other people in the room just melted away. He walked over and said, " Hi, I am Colin!" The same Colin who's name tag I had found! What are the chances??!

I dated that guy for more then a year because of that meeting. He lived in another country, his fundamental Christian beliefs were at odds with what I believe in my heart, I spent thousands trying to help him get his multilevel marketing business off the ground (it never happened) and let him stay in my home for months after he told me he was no longer interested in me. I was convinced that people who met so dramatically MUST be able to find their way to each other. 

I am an extremely happy person. I make lemonade from lemons and bounce back from adversity very well.  I really didn't NEED a man to sweep me off my feet to love my life but I still continued to hope one would. Yes I could, and did, take responsibility for my own happiness but my childhood brainwashing was still afoot. No matter how much I took charge of my destiny I would allow the men I dated to bend me. I won't write because YOU are the writer. YOU hate Disney, I don't need to go again. I won't take that new job because YOU want us to be free to travel. 

It never felt like a sacrifice to make these concessions. For "true love" I was willing and because I could make lemon aid from the lemons, if it didn't work out I was off to the next adventure. When I placed an ad on Craig's list saying that I was looking to be "wooed and wowed forever," I said I did it as a conversation starter but in reality I wanted it to be true. I no longer expected or needed saving but my conditioning still cried out for magic.

Rob answered that Craig's list ad and in time even signed up to woo and wow, for life! Fast forward to today and it is clear to me why my romantic endeavors, no matter how pure of heart, are so routinely farcical. I keep hoping fantasy maneuvers will elicit the perfect response. Rob, however, is not a puppet. He is not a one note prince come to save me. He is a real man. He has thoughts, desires and whims that change, just as mine do. We are uniquely compatible and quirky and the standard fairy tale play book will never be enough.

However, when he holds me in his arms as we go to sleep I will let myself feel swept away!

Next post: More romantic musings

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Romantic escapades? Not really, more like romantic thoughts...

ROMANCE - To court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness; a strong fascination or enthusiasm for something.  [Romance week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

Lovelorn comic image found at 

As soon as I wrote "romantic escapades"  I knew I was going to have a problem. You see, my Rob is a shy guy. Not afraid to meet people kind of shy but an "I don't want all of my business broadcasted to the world" kind of shy. Compounded by the fact that he is an engineer at G*o-o*g*l*e (have I said too much??--- I typed it that way to make it less searchable by all the web crawlers that circulate through the internet) and understands, make that knows firsthand all the foibles and dangers of cyberspace, and you can see I walk a fine line when I post. Most probably, if I were a better writer I would be able to ease my way around this land mine with nary a care. As it is, I find I am drawn to the simple path of talking about the most private of matters and not quite sure what to do about it.

Actually, I know EXACTLY what to do about it. It is EXACTLY what I have been doing. Spilling all my thoughts out on my page and then evaluating whether or not Rob would be embarrassed or otherwise concerned. If so, then I just omit it. I bring this up because the whole thing, this injecting romance into our relationship, is an incredibly comical thing. (perhaps you got a glimpse in yesterday's post.) I have been reduced to laughing fits on multiple occasions. Sadly most of the things that make me laugh so hard fall into my "must be omitted" category. So sorry loyal fans. Many of the chuckles I am enjoying will have to remain my own!

For some reason, the romantic visions culturally inculcated in my psyche just fall flat or land as goofy and/or are über sappy. My intention is always to have Rob feel love and be delighted with my demonstration of it. How is it that my intention can mutate so ridiculously? Take tonight. Once again my day seemed to get away from me and planning my promised romantic gesture came down to working with what ever I already have in the house. 

Suddenly I am inspired. I haven't given Rob a good foot massage since we moved into our house. Which means it has been more then six months and much too long for a guy who enjoys them so much. So with minutes to spare before he arrives home, I start dashing around the house looking for massage oil, epsom salts, the perfect foot sized basin that has to be here somewhere... The massage oil is found leaking in a box of other miscellaneous items which need to be saved before I can move on to the epson salt search... in the old house it was under the sink. Didn't I see a box of under the sink stuff in the garage? Much digging ensues, epsom salt is no where to be found... but I did find those damn ducky bath beads I promised NOT TO MOVE to the new house. Boxes piling, Jessie compounding the mess as toddlers will... 

Tick tock. I almost burn dinner. 

Rob arrives home to a disastrous mess. Always super romantic don't you think?

Jessie cooperates with my plan and actually falls asleep early. Romance is not yet lost! Another thirty minutes of rummaging through the mayhem and the foot basin is discovered! 

I enter the family room wearing my cheshire grin to announce the surprise I have planned! Hooray! I did it! ....   Not so fast...

"Oh sweetie, that sounds so wonderful but could I take a rain check?" Turns out Rob had to get up early in the morning and wanted to spend our limited time together in other ways...

(Oh, yeah, and that sound you hear is me chuckling loudly!)

Next post: A possible reason for ridiculous mutation

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Romantic Tips and Other Fun Stuff

ROMANCE - To court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness; a strong fascination or enthusiasm for something.  [Romance week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

Photo Credit :linh.ngân
Found in Dumb Little Man's post 7 ways to Inject Romance in your Relationship (Find 7 tips for almost everything at this site!)

Yesterday I told you that I would do something romantic each day and report back here and tell you about it. So I began the day poking around on some romantic web sites looking for the thing I wanted to do. I never really settled on anything and suddenly my day was underway. Jessie had her gym class and we spent the afternoon up to our elbows in craft projects, lemonade fixings (lemon tree in yard requires regular fix of lemonade!) and pillow forts. Next thing I knew Rob was on his way home and I hadn't prepared anything! Lamely, the best I came up with is wearing a particularly see through shirt, that I would never wear out of the house. It wasn't the most inspired but at least it was something!

Poor Rob arrives home, after a particularly busy day, to his wife expecting an immediate response to her scantly clad look and he really doesn't know what to make of it! Jessie is still up and demanding attention and I am trotting around barely dressed. It was comical at best! I have to give Rob high marks for playing along and making some nice comments about his "sexy wife" but if the truth be told the whole thing was very forced and not really all that romantic! Part of my dilema stemmed from the fact that we have just come back from an overtly romantic and passionate weekend and now a more nuanced and sweet type of romance was calling. I was using a high velocity wind tunnel when a gentle breeze was required!

Ah well, live and learn! Today is a new day and after I get finished looking at all these romantic resources I'm sure I'll find something suitably marvelous!

Hot spot number one for building anyone's romance tool kit is Loving This site is great for all sorts of tips and just plain inspirational reading on the relationship front.  Here is their Romantic tip of the week: "Take your loved one to a place away from the hustle and bustle of town life. Take a blanket and place it under the trees lie and cuddle the entire afternoon and then watch the moon rise from behind a mountain, and remember how special the person you are with is!" 

Romance has a fun "Random Romantic Tip" scroll on their home page. Go there and just watch until something fun strikes your fancy. I think I'll do this tomorrow morning! Write "you're beautiful" or "you're handsome" on a post it note and leave it on the bathroom mirror.  I think I'm going with "I love my sweetie!" however!

Pick up some Love Coupons or other Valentine's day leftovers for some future romantic surprise. Since Valentines day has just passed you can get some really good deals on heart shaped items, romance books and a bunch of other fun treats. Looking over the good deals may inspire you on your own but imagine the fun of having your own private valentines day some time in the future! I'm headed to the bookstore this afternoon!!!

Write out your own list of 101 reasons why you love your sweetie. I did this for Rob last romance week and he still references it regularly. It was really fun to do and really helped me to get present to all the wonderful things Rob is and does.  I think I'll go back and review that list now!

Next post: More romantic escapades...

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise  

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Romance week is WELL UNDERWAY!

ROMANCE - To court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness; a strong fascination or enthusiasm for something.

Greetings! As many of you know,  I just got back from my surprise getaway weekend with Rob and Jessie. I was right about the Lake Tahoe destination and we had a total blast! Rob actually signed us up for the "romance package" at our hotel which included rose petals on the bed, in the shape of a heart of course, and champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries delivered upon check in. 
Photo from Misstropolis post about Love Hotels

It should be noted that Jessie enjoyed playing with the flower petals and was delighted with the chocolate strawberries even if she didn't quite understand why we were having them. "This is a great house!" she declared and asked if it was our new house! I guess after moving a few months ago she considers it an ongoing possibility to happen again! LOL, anyway lest you all think it was only family fun on this trip, it was a suite hotel so Rob and I actually got some time alone to ourselves once we exhausted Jessie with sledding, pool hopping and general high altitude snow frolic.  Not quite the same type of romantic weekend we might have had before Jessie's arrival but I wouldn't change a thing!

SO how great is it that our fun trip would roll right into Romance week! Once again, I am amazed at how perfect the very random order of my game's bliss virtues are as they land in my calendar.   Last romance week I scored myself an 8 out of 10 for the week and I didn't even pull off the big romantic surprise I had been planning so I think I have my work cut out for me this time around! Rob has a particularly busy work week so our evenings may end up short changed and after last weekend I don't think a gigantic surprise is the way to go... but then again, let's just see how the week unfolds!

This week's "Bliss Initiatives" are color coded in purple for quick identification. They are specific things that you too can try, if you want to play along with me. However, because as Earl Nightingale says, "you become what you think about," even if you only follow along, and never take on any of the bliss initiatives, I expect some positive results. I will be exploring and encouraging ROMANCE this way:

  • Romance study - Since it was so successful last time,  I am making study one of my Bliss Initiatives. There are a ton of interesting romance ideas out there and just thinking about romance will help put me in the mood for a romantic day! If you are playing along do consider your own romance search on the internet. Top 10 romantic ideas searched in google netted a list that could keep someone busy for an entire year, let alone one week!
  • Field Work - Last time out I didn't follow through on this and still managed to pull off an 8 out of 10 score so I'd be crazy not to try again! This week I pledge to do at least one romantic thing each day and report back here about it. Want to play along? What fun surprising thing can you do for your loved one this week? If you aren't in a romantic relationship surprising other friends or family members with fun gestures can be equally exciting. I love surprising my Aunt with fun treats she would never buy for herself!
  • Find my romance hero - I thought it would be fun to find a romantic guru. I've mentioned Gregory Godek of 1001 ways to be Romantic and Bring Food. Arrive Naked. fame before and it is possible he may still be it for me but I think it will be fun to see who else is out there. How about you? Any romance idols you care to share? 

Next Post: Romantic tips and other fun stuff

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

Start Building YOUR Empire Today!

Empire Building Kit

Legal Stuff

Bottom Line: Don't steal. Stealing isn't nice and it is also illegal.

© Kathy Sprinkle and Everyday Kathy, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Everyday Kathy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


Related Posts with Thumbnails