Archive for March, 2011

Life as we know it…..

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Some one once said” Life is what happens while your busy planning for it.” Maybe it wasn’t exactly that but close enough.

So how is it that we get so involved in planning our lives that we miss most of it as it jettisons right by us. I have been trying to change the way I live my life for years, and it’s a slow process at best, trying to undo the mess that I have created.

Last year, I went to see “Eat, Pray, Love ” and I walked away from the film with a reinforcement of what I always believed. You can not change your life unless you change where you live your life. Nothing really changes if your environment doesn’t

The main character in the movie came to a crossroad when she realized that she wasn’t living a life by choice but one that she couldn’t relate to because she became lost in all the things that life threw at her on a daily basis. She didn’t know who she was and what truly made her happy, so she embarked on a mission to find her true self.

If you think about it we build our lives in steps which seems to end in retirement. We are born, we grow, we learn, we work, we marry, we have kids, we buy a house, we create massive expenses and responsibilities, and we hope for a comfortable retirement. We are led to believe that this is a way to a happy life. We don’t live life, we work it. Sure we all get little bits and pieces of it but do we ever really live the life we would if we could?

I have spent my life working just to enjoy a few off weeks a year to do things that make me happy while all the time wishing I could work less and live more. I am not talking about traveling the world but just taking the time to “smell the roses”.  I, like most men, are driven to make money with the hope that at some point I can enjoy the rewards of my lifelong efforts. But unless you happen to make a killing very quickly, you will find that basically you work your whole life to live, and not much more.

Maybe we are all just missing life the way it was intended to be. “SIMPLE.” We have all become products of our environment. So caught up in our work that it becomes our life. Think about how upside down we have made our lives. We spend most of our day working and the rest sleeping. When we aren’t sleeping we are on our phones or computers probably either working or wasting time.  I have been told by my parents that some of the best times of their life were before all this technology set in. It seems that living before the 1960’s was great. Could it be because life was much simpler and less cluttered with technology. People actually had conversations in their living rooms with neighbors on Saturday nights. It was called “having company”. Today, we don’t even want to talk to each other so we just text.

If you are young and reading this here’s some advice. Start early and save as much money as possible by avoiding what everyone else is doing with theirs, because later in life you will need it more than earlier. Travel as soon as possible and see how others live in difference to where you were raised. Take a job or jobs that don’t tie you down ( this is the difficult one) but allow you to leave if necessary and start up somewhere else. Remember, its not how much you earn its how much you spend that makes life difficult, and with this in mind, stay debt free. And last, you will  learn later in life that it is shorter than you think so be prepared to say yes now to all the things you truly want to do and not make excuses as to why you can’t. Don’t let your “career” become who you are. Keep your life “simple” because at some point you will look back on it and wonder how it got so complicated and stressful and not know how to fix it. It becomes like the hamster on a wheel. Repetition over and over, the same everyday.

Life as we know it happens because we allow it to. Someday, hopefully sooner than later, I’ll get this life right!

Just one man’s opinion

The Regular Guy

Why skirt the flirting?

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

I had dinner with my friend Sara recently and as we reminisced about years of working together, the conversation turned to relationships. She and her husband had recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. It was her husband’s second marriage, but Sara’s first. I asked her the secret of their success.

She had a twinkle her in eye as she told me about Tom.

“He made me feel comfortable right from the start,” she said. “I knew I could be myself and he would accept me for who I am – both the good and the not-so-good. It seems to work for us. He’s easy-going and I’m a little intense, but he just lets that roll.”

I’ve watched them together. They kid each other often. They laugh and show respect for each other. Sara is somewhat of a caretaker and Tom likes this. Yet he knows how to make her feel loved and cared for, too.

And he’s a big flirt! Though I don’t see them often, a few other mutual friends and I have observed that Tom is generally focused on women and freely expresses his appreciation of their beauty, bodies, sex appeal, etc. Sometimes we think it’s icky. But Sara has never once complained or expressed discomfort with it.

So why do some people become jealous of every tiny bit of attention a partner pays to someone else, while others don’t mind this a bit?

I think it depends on the strength of the intimate relationship — a strong loving relationship, shared mutually, leaves no room for jealousy. If each partner is truly being kind to the other (as the Regular Guy purports) and if they often are doing little things to enrich the relationship, then a little flirting shouldn’t rock their world. It might even enhance it! It’s nice to see that other people appreciate your date/mate.

Self-confidence helps, too. Insecurity breeds disinterest. And trouble can follow.

What happens outside the relationship can only become significant if nothing is happening inside the relationship. (A topic for another post.) It takes a committed pair to turn a budding romance into a 25-year marriage. Cheers to all those who take it seriously and succeed, and especially to Sara and Tom!

She says…

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

While the Regular Guy provides a forum for men to vent and discuss commonalities,  I say gals should also snatch the opportunity to spew forth our feminine perspective! I may not be as witty as Carrie Bradshaw, but I am in the newspaper business and I’ve always had a thing for writing, so my goal is to inspire some discussion here. Think of it as group therapy for the regular gal (and guy)… those of us who constantly ponder love, career, family, health and fitness, beauty, creative expression and how to juggle all at one time and still remain at the top of our game. Not unlike the Regular Guy who might obsess over sex, sports and sitcoms, the Regular Gal is no stranger to obsessions. “She Says” will expose that all of these topics transcend gender. Depending on who starts the discussion, some are just a little more sugar-coated than others.

Join the forum. Join in the freedom of expression. Join the fun.