Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Power of Touch

I know it’s been quite some time since I posted. Sometimes it takes a moment of inspiration to come around, and this post’s inspiration came while laying in bed this morning after a sleepless night.Surely I’m not the only single that experiences that problem, right?

There are nights I cannot fall asleep. I lay there alone, in the dark, hearing the breathing of my dog, a strange noise, or my neighbors above me making love in their squeaking bed. I kid you not! I can even hear the ecstasy. Believe me, I usually get up and go into the living room until they are finished.

Last night though, it was just one of those run-of-the mill nights. I was exhausted and went to bed early specifically for the purpose of getting more rest after a stressful day at work. Instead, I lay there for an hour waiting for sleep, and then woke up four times during the night. After I woke up at 4 a.m. and lay there again for another half hour, with no luck of seeing Mr. Sandman again (boy that dates me!). I finally got out of bed and have been up since. Very frustrating! I want and need sleep.

As a single though, I think my times of restlessness honestly stem from not having the touch of another human being or the warmth of a body next to me. There is something comforting and relaxing when there are arms to encircle you during the night, or feet to touch when yours are cold. Emptiness seems to breed emptiness and sleepless nights.

Human touch is such an important part of life. It’s a huge struggle for me as a single, and I am sure it is for you as well. Even though I’m older, it’s even a problem for younger singles. There are nights I lay in bed and wrap my own arms around myself just to feel touch. I thought myself crazy until I mentioned this to a friend at work, who is only 27 years old and single, and she admitted she did the same thing! Even just rubbing my hands down my arms or legs or touching my torso seems odd, but I’m starved – starved for touch.

I might as well lay it all out on the line. It’s been five years since I’ve been kissed and hugged by the opposite sex and nine years since I've had....dare I say what? Why am I being so frank? I'm positive I'm not the only single with the same painful reality. The only touch I do get is from my son, who I see once a month, if I am fortunate. He hugs me for a minute, and honestly the entire situation seems quite strange. I’m to the point now that I cannot imagine what it would be like to be kissed, caressed, or made love to by a man. The thought is foreign to me. Even the simple of act of holding a person's hand would seem odd.

I have no answers to such a dilemma. People tell me I should get massages. It just bugs me I have to pay someone to touch me. I try to hug others when they hurt, but that’s an act of giving, and I rarely seem to receive. Petting my dog just gives me stinky hands and more loose dog hairs to vacuum.

If you have any ideas on how to get more touching out of life as a single, drop me a line. Sending you a few cyberspace hugs anyway. {HUG} For some reason this old tune seems appropriate this post! Enjoy.

Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream.
Make him the cutest that I've ever seen.
Give him two lips like roses and clover.
Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over.
Mr. Sandman, I'm so alone.
Don't have nobody to call my own.
Please turn on your magic beam.
Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream.

Mr. Sandman bring us a dream.
Give him a pair of eyes with a “come-hither” gleam.
Give him a lonely heart like Pagliacci.
And lots of wavy hair like Liberace.
Mr. Sandman, someone to hold.
Would be so peachy before we're too old.
So please turn on your magic beam.
Mr. Sandman, bring us, please, please, please.
Mr. Sandman, bring us a dream.

Lyrics by Pat Ballard, published and recorded in 1954 by The Chordettes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Returning

Dear Readers!

I know it's been a while, and I have been self-absorbed in other projects. However, I am going to try and do my best and return to you and continue to post thoughts about the single life.

Life has been consumed recently by work, MySpace roleplaying, maintaining my blog on the Phantom of the Opera (which has now been read in 52 countries and 42 states -- totally amazes me and is about to reach the 5,000 hit mark). I am also writing my first fiction novel, which is a HUGE step. Over the past few months I've also taken an Advanced Fiction Writing class. So you could say, I've been busy!

After much agonizing, I decided to remove my JustOneSingle.com website. Though I had continual visitors, it was costing me more to maintain than worth it and was too expensive to promote. You have to pay to drive clicks to websites, if you don't know that, or it gets buried in the millions never to be stumbled upon by anyone. Since my focus has changed as well, I thought it time to move on.

I will check back when I have a single thought to post.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dear Readers....

I have decided that I will probably abandon this blog for the moment to focus on my Phantom one, which seems to have an extremely high interest. It is also more time consuming in posting, because of researching behind the story, etc.

I originally started my website JustOneSingle.com and this Just One Single blog hoping that I could use it as a venue to reach out to other singles and provide encouragement and help. But as my earlier posts represent below, most are just focused on getting "out" rather than trying to find the strength to make it through. I've also had a huge education in website development and paying for those little clicks and hosting to drive visitors to my sites. I invested around $700 between October and December of last year to advertise, with no luck, and made no payable commissions on any of my affiliate links.

This is really about priorities for me at the present time, as well. I've started a fiction writing class this week at a community college, which no doubt will swallow much of my time, along with working two jobs, and running after the Phantom during it all.

I hope you understand. I want to thank those of you who have emailed me and said that one of my posts touched your heart. As long as I was successful in touching one person, I'm happy. I will leave the blog up and not delete it, but if I do post again, it may be sometime.

Fondly,
Vicki

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Masks We Wear

Okay, I'll be the first to admit, I like wearing a mask. I've been so wrapped up in Phantom blog I probably think more about the symbolism in that story, than I do about living my life as a single. After all, the ending song is learn to be lonely, right? I've added the lyrics below, so you can sing along. In case you've forgotten the Phantom's plight in life.\

Anyway, I love masks. I found this mask on iStockphoto (paid my $1 right to use it). It's one of the masks someone wore at the Venice Carnival in Italy. If you've never looked at the carnival, you should Google the event and read about it. It's quite a big deal -- people dress up in elaborate costumes with masks pretending to be someone else. Great way to escape for a day, become a character or a person you'd like to look like.

I've been joking on MySpace that this mask is my cheap face lift. At 58, hey, works for me. No pain. I look as good, if not better, than I did at 28! I can continue to hide behind it while I reach out to others, hiding my own pain, fears, failures, and whatever other ghosts I deal with daily. I've yet to find someone I can truly trust to take my mask off for. That, of course, takes intimacy and a bit of courage to do so.

Whatever mask you like to hide behind, I'd be curious to know. You should check out some of the photos of the fair and pick one out. A little fantasy doesn't hurt too much. Especially when living alone can be such a challenge.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Resurrection

Whether or not you're a Christian and celebrate Easter today, resurrection is still a good thought to ponder. Resurrection -- a rising from the dead.

I think most of us divorcees will agree there has been death in our past, and not the kind of the literal mortal sense of the death of a body. The type of death I speak of here is more along the lines of relationships. Marriages that were once alive and breathing, that are now past and buried in the memories of our lives. We can carry grief over broken marriages for quite some time, as well as a feeling of failure and a fear to try again.

However, there comes a time for all of us, that we must resurrect the dead feelings within us to carry on in life and perhaps find new love once again. Maybe it will take a miracle to resurrect your desire to find love once again because of the hurt you have experienced. Sometimes I think it will in my life. We must have hope though that there is life after the death of a marriage. It's a hope that all of us must possess, otherwise we will just continue to live in the graveyards of our past never forever doomed to walk among ghosts of failure and pain.

This Easter day, I pray that if you've been through divorce and the pain associated with it, that the hope that lies dormant inside of you of finding love again will resurrect to new life. May your next relationship be an eternal one. God bless.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dealing with the "Ex's" Last Name

I suppose since most of my readers are divorced, this article may have some relevance to divorced women only. Men, this probably won't apply to you since you get to keep your last name throughout life, unless you're entering into the witness protection program. Since this is going to be on a more personal level, I've changed the names to protect the innocent. (Just kidding...I'm leaving blanks instead.)

So my ex has finally found someone after 8+ years of us being divorced. I've had a variety of feelings regarding this whole situation that I find somewhat puzzling, but I'm not going there in this post.

I truly have no feelings for him any longer. He's the father of my son. We had kept somewhat of a friendship over the years, and I somewhat depended on him as well. However, I have talked to him very little since this new woman has come into his life. He dropped the bomb on me during our Thanksgiving dinner last November that he had met someone, which was pretty rotten timing I thought. I had a fairly good cry over it when I came home. Frankly, I don't know why. Perhaps because I felt like I was losing a friend through this all and some sense of security was leaving as well.

Now that he remarried, I'm having an identity crisis. I still have my married name. After the divorce, I didn't revert to my maiden name because it's Ukraine and nobody can spell it, let alone pronounce it. I have a very strange feeling, however, that I suddenly need to change my name either back to my maiden name or something else. Why? I guess because another woman is going to be Mrs. ______ and I'm officially losing my my position and title. Sort of a finality in it. I guess there's lot to be said what's in a name. I just feel like since the title and position is being given to another, I can't and don't want to keep this name! I'm not the Mrs. anymore, and frankly, I don't know who I am.

I guess you could say I'm going through an identity crisis by all this. Since I'm still living in solitude and not dating, what's the point of keeping a married name that no longer means anything? Maybe I need a new start and changing my name will help. I don't really look forward to changing my credit cards, my bills, my bank, my paychecks, my lease, my driver's license, my registration, my insurance, and my whatever. It will be a pain in the neck for sure. But I suddenly don't want to be associated by a name that is not mine. It was bestowed upon me as a result of marriage. I didn't take it by choice. I kept it by choice because we still had somewhat of a relationship. Now that's it's being given to another, I no longer need that name.

Am I crazy? I don't know. All I know is I have to find who I am. I'm not Mrs. Whatever any longer. I'm Ms. or Miss Whatever. I had thought of taking my mother's maiden name, which is very English, very easy to pronounce, and it has the same initials as what I have now! That would save a few pen strokes.

So what's your vote? Got any good names I should consider? Should I go back to my Ukraine difficult identity, or pick something else. Maybe when I do, I will finally be able to let go completely of the memories and the pain associated with a broken marriage. Maybe with my new name, things will look up!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Why Can't I Find Love?

Why can't I find love? Boy, that's a question that haunts me every day. It's such a basic human need, yet it seems so hard to attain; and then once you attain it, it seems so hard to hang onto. There are days I'm at a total loss as to why I've been single since November 1999. It's a question that baffles me.

As far as I'm concerned, the ability to live totally happily and totally fulfilled as a single individual is a gift. Unfortunately, it's not a gift I possess, and to tell you the truth, it's not a gift I want either. I'm a people person. I'm the type that likes to support someone, love someone, care about someone, and be loved in return. I'm the type that hums the songs like, "Love is a Many Splendid Thing."

"Love is a many splendid thing. It's the April rose, that only grows in the early Spring. Love is natures way of giving, a reason to be living. The golden crown that makes a man a king. Once on a high and windy hill. In the morning mist, two lovers kissed, and the world stood still. Then your fingers touched my silent heart, and taught it how to sing. Yes, true love is a many splendid thing!"

If love is such a splendid thing, then why is it so hard to find? Why are we so picky in our choices with one another? The majority of us come from broken homes, broken marriages, and broken lives. You think we'd do anything to attain love and keep love, but unfortunately we don't. We forget to cherish it, take care of it, water it, and hang onto it when we have it.

I don't know what the answer is. I don't know what single site to search or what single group to attend. My son thinks I try too hard and I should give up. His philosophy is then it will happen. I'm to the point I've lost all hope of ever finding it again. Maybe when the hope dies, then it will happen. What do you think? Is love a many splendid thing for you or are you a happy satisfied single?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The "D" Word

The "D" Word -- no I'm not talking about divorce today. I'm talking about a depressing subject -- depression. I'd be a liar if I didn't confess that I've struggled with it myself as a single. It comes and goes in my life since my divorce nine years ago, and it seems to be knocking on my door again.

When I fell into the first pit, I found it a humbling experience to head to the doctor to find help. Dealing with depression can be an extremely defeating aspect of life. For me, I felt more of a failure having to admit I couldn't handle life without a pill. At the time, I had a great doctor who gave me the "medical" reasons why our brains short circuit occasionally. For me, I had gone through the following life challenges within a period of a few years:

*My marriage ended.
*I went through divorce.
*I moved seven times in three years, two of them major moves between states.
*My mother died and I had to bury her alone with no help.
*My son left home for college.
*I went through another relationship that ended in horrible heartbreak.
*I was unemployed for 18 months because nobody would hire a woman in their 50's.
*I went through half my retirement money to survive during this time.

When I told the doctor the stress I had been experiencing, she looked at me in astonishment and wrote out the prescription. In medical terms, stress in our lives depletes our brains of important chemicals. Depression isn't necessarily a psychological problem, it's also a physical problem. When I understood that concept, I more readily accepted the little white pill to help me pull myself out of the pit I was in.

Since that time, I've been on them and off them. But I'm finding that when I go through extreme stress again, I'm being pulled back into a darker existence and faced with the need for help once more. This past year has been a stressed filled one with disappointments, money problems, and horrible stress at work. I feel like I'm being swallowed up into another dark hole, and I'm helpless to do anything about it.

I found an interesting article on the Internet while building my website regarding singles about depression you might find interesting. "People who benefit the most from getting married are people who suffered depression when they were single, say researchers from Ohio State University, USA. Most previous studies on marriage looked at the benefits for the whole population in general, rather than trying to find out whether certain types of people are helped more than others." You can read the entire article at: Depressed Singles Benefit From Marriage. Without someone to share life with, a shoulder to cry on, the caring of another soul in your life, being single can be a real challenge. I wasn't wired to live alone - hence my dilemma.

If you're dealing with the big "D" I encourage you to get help. Don't be too proud about it like I was and suffer needlessly too long. You have the company of millions going through the same struggles. Hang in there, and accept this cyber "hug." I relate. Been there and done that too.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Life Reflections

"You make his beauty melt away like a moth;
Surely every man is vapor. Selah" (Psalm 39:11 - KJV)

Lately I've been in a very reflective mood regarding life. I try to get my inspiration for my posts from things that affect me in my daily walk. Today while in the grocery store at the self-serve checkout, I needed the attendant to okay my purchase of my Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot. (Yes, I occasionally have a sip of wine.) She asked me if I was 21. Very funny, seeing I'm 58, though my daughter-in-law (bless her heart) says I don't look a day over 48. The attendant said, "Yeah, I just turned 21. I wish I could be 18 again." I looked at her in astonishment -- 18 again! God, if I could take 40 years off my life and be 18 again and know what I know now, how sweet it would be. God, I envy youth and miss it myself.

I guess the older I get, the stranger life becomes to me. It reminds me of the Bible verse above. That we are but a vapor on earth - a momentary blip in the universe of the cycle of life. I feel like my own beauty is melting away like the moth in the verse. I hate growing older! But let's face it, we're all walking the same path of birth, life, and death as the multitudes that have travelled before us throughout history. It's the circle of life thingy they sang about in the Lion King.

In retrospect, I guess each of us must make our lives count for something while walking this earth. Life is short. It is fleeting. It's but a moment in time. However, as a single I feel like so much of my life, my creativity, my hopes, and my dreams, and the things I had wanted to accomplish in life are consumed by work, my daily chores, and the things I have to do alone to take care of myself. Even Solomon laments in his prose:

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up. (Ec. 4:9-10)

It's true, life is easier when you're in a good relationship. That's what I miss the most. Someone's shoulder to lay my head upon and feel safe with, a warm hand to hold, someone there to help carry my load, a companion to scratch my back or, better yet, rub my feet. I miss intimacy, someone to talk to, someone to care about, someone to share my life with. Two are better than one.

I guess my only alternative, if I never marry again, is to buy a Life Alert button. Perhaps that will take care of the "woe" if I fall alone thing and there's no one there to pick me up. Just push that button. My preference? Frankly, I prefer a human soul to help me rather than depending on an electronic device. What about you?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Acceptance and Intimacy

Today while cruising one of the online dating sites I’m on, I came across a familiar face of someone I had met last year. We had a brief meeting, a few phone calls and emails, but he had decided he wasn’t ready to pursue a relationship (probably a nice way of saying I wasn’t the one). He went his way -- I went mine, and I noticed his profile disappeared off the net. Today I came upon him again, and wrote a quick email just to say hi. He wrote back a very heartfelt note that touched me, because I think it speaks volumes to what probably most of us feel as singles.

He stated that everyone he’s met since then has wanted to change him, and secondly he misses physical intimacy. Well, he’s not alone. Two basic needs we all have -- acceptance for who we are and intimacy with another human being.

My encouragement to him was not to settle for anything less. When we are in relationships where we have the expectation of changing someone into what we want, we do a great disservice to that person. Each of us needs to be accepted and loved for who we truly are. Why? Because it brings us the greatest freedom and intimacy we can possibly experience with another human being. When there’s always expectations, you’re never really at ease or at peace in a relationship. You never feel truly loved and accepted for who you are.

I think we try to change people out of desperation, because we haven’t been patient enough to find the one we’re meant to be with. So we figure we’ll take what’s there, mold it to our liking, and then love it. But that’s not unconditional love -- it’s conditional. Do you wonder why there are so many divorces? Our mates just don’t meet up to our expectations, so we move on. We don’t love them as they are -- yet we expect them to love us as we are. It’s all out of whack -- I don’t know how else to express it.

Of course, as a single, I too miss terribly intimacy with a mate, which is another basic need -- to be touched. Unfortunately, we can go down some pretty destructive paths in our lives if we look for intimacy in the wrong places. So for me, I wait, rather than crash and burn.

Next time you’re in a relationship, I hope you find someone to love you “as is.” If you do, your greatest intimacy with that person will be born out of being accepted and loved for who you truly are.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Valentine's Day - Ugh!

Every year we're faced with holidays. We have Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, then Valentine's Day, which I attribute about as much fun as tax day on April 15th.

Here we are. Another year. No flowers. No candy. No card. No dinner out. No kiss. No proposal. No one whispering in our ear, "I love you." Shall I say it? It sucks. Okay, I've got that out of my system.

How did this holiday come about anyway? If you're dying to know the real story, it wasn't Hallmark cards or 1-800-Flowers who came up with the idea. Here's a link to educate yourself on the origin of Valentine's Day. Seems like the pagans came up with it first, then Christianity took it from there. The Europeans believed it was the day the birds started to mate!

So what do you do with Valentine's day when you have no one? My advice, don't be anxious about it or feel left out. Show someone in your life you care about them instead. Remember, it's better to give than to receive. Turn it around and shed love to another lonely person. Doesn't always mean you have to focus on romantic love on Valentine's Day. Love comes in many forms. Love of family, love of friends, etc.

Ladies, stop at the store on the way home from work and buy yourself a big bunch of flowers. You're worth it! You don't need to have a man in your life to enjoy the fragrance of fresh flowers around you. I buy myself flowers often, just because I like to. Guys? Gosh, I have no idea what to tell you. Have a beer with the boys maybe?

Whatever your situation, don't worry about. Learn to love yourself and then love others. Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bloom Where You're Planted

You've heard the saying, "Bloom where you're planted." As a single, what does that mean for you?

Being alone has taught me valuable lessons. It's also opened my eyes to the possibilities that await before me as a human being and gives me the opportunities to explore the gifts I was born with without hindrance or distraction.

I believe every one has gifts and special talents. You do too! You may not think so, because they lie dormant under the soil of your life. However, with a little watering, those gifts can bloom and you'll realize what they are. Some of you know your gifts, but you've done nothing with them. You're hiding them in the soil, because you're afraid to step out in faith and see where they will take you.

For me, I've always wanted to write. When I was a little girl, I wrote stories with my best girlfriend about the Beatles (yes, this statement ages me). We use to fantasize on paper about being part of their lives. As I grew up, I sporadically wrote stories in school and did well. Teachers featured what I wrote. Once I wrote a poem in a grade school contest that won an award and was published. Back in the 70's, I mailed a letter to an editor of a magazine, and they published it. So I've always dabbled in writing, but because of my life, being married, and not having the full support to pursue that career, I always stuck it on a shelf. Played with it here and there. Wrote some articles and tried to start a book. However, my dreams were somewhat crushed due to personal reasons, so I took the material, put it in a box, taped it up, and stuck it in storage. I've carried that box with me every where from state to state over the last 15 years.

Being alone, however, forced me to look at myself. It's brought me to place where I've taken that box off the shelf, opened it back up, and considered perhaps the possibilities of pursuing a dream I've always had. I have no one in my life to discourage me, but only friends that have encouraged me. I'm watering whatever gift may be there in hopes that some day it will bloom into the dream I've always carried. Hence, I love blogging. I get such a kick out of it, because it helps me bloom. My newest blog on the Phantom of the Opera is such fun. Takes me to another fantasy world and tickles my imagination.

I encourage each of you to take this single time in your life and bloom! Stop stressing about finding someone or about being alone. You have such possibilities embodied in who you are now. You have gifts. You have dreams. What have you always wanted to do? Learn to dance? Take an acting class? Write? Paint? The possibilities are endless. Take your passion in life and make it your passion to pursue. Bloom where you're planted. When you do, you might find your life is more fragrant than you thought.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Message of the Rose

The rose is a beautiful flower. It's been adored throughout history. A flower of romance and symbolism. We write songs and poems about it. We hold tournaments and parades in its honor. We crush its fragrant petals to make perfume. It's the flower of choice to give to someone you love.

As beautiful as the rose is, however, it holds a hidden dark side. If it's not handled carefully in its beauty, it can cause great pain. How interesting that nature has designed a flower so beautiful to look at, but so painful to the touch. Has nature (or God) left a message in creation that as beautiful as romantic love can be, it can contain a thorn to pierce our hearts as well?

I'm reminded of the scene in the Phantom of the Opera where Christine carries the red rose he's given her to the rooftop. After she declares her love for Raoul, she drops the rose that the Phantom had given her in the cold snow. As he picks up the discarded symbol of his love, he feels the thorn of rejection once again in the beauty of the rose. Rejection doesn't always drive us to madness as it did the Phantom, but it can drive us to heartbreak that is nearly unbearable.

Rejection from someone we love is no doubt the most powerful human hurt any individual may feel. Many of my readers are divorced and have felt the thorn of rejection in their own lives. Perhaps you live with the thorn of rejection daily because you cannot find love and acceptance from someone. I speak from my heart that I've felt the power of the thorn in my own life and the rejection from one I loved deeply.

So what can we say about love? Do you handle it carefully, overwhelmed by its beauty and aroma, but always cautious that we never use its hidden thorn to pierce another person's heart? If we have already been the victim of its pierce, how do we overcome the hurt and pain? There is really no right answer or counsel for a broken heart or rejection from the one we love. Does time heal all wounds? Perhaps. Do we need to carry the hurt forever? Not necessarily. Does the pain eventually subside? It does.

Perhaps we should learn another lesson from the rose. That even after the rose fades, its petals fall, it's been pruned and remains dormant throughout the winter of our lives, eventually it will bloom again in spring more beautiful than before. The next time a rose blooms in your life, I hope it brings you only beauty and no pain.

Visit: Lessons From The Phantom of the Opera

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rescue Me

It's been an interesting journey having a website for singles at JustOneSingle.com. I've accomplished the Google challenge of coming up in the top 15 in the keyword search "Single Help," but traffic to my site has been fairly low. I'm observing an interesting trend in the single world that most people would rather be rescued from single life than strengthened in single life. My web poll stats tell the story.

*83% are divorcees
*17% never married
*33% are surviving single life
*67% are trying to change it
*0% are loving it

Pretty much tells it all. The majority of us are looking to be rescued from single life, which makes me wonder if I missed the mark and should have started a dating site instead. The votes are in, we all want out. Looks like we want rescuing instead of help.

Hang in their, friends! Rescue is on the way.

"Rescue me. Oh take me in your arms. Rescue me. I want your tender charms. 'Coz I'm lonely and I'm blue. I need you and your love too. Come on and rescue me. " Rescue Me." (written by R. Miner/C. Smith. )

Friday, January 11, 2008

Loneliness - No Respector of Persons

Have you read the latest? Tyra Banks in an issue of Essence magazine is quoted as saying, "I'd go to work [on 'The Tyra Banks Show'], and women would be crying in my arms. But then I'd go home and put my key in my door and nothing. No friends, no husband, no children. I feel so full when I'm at work, but so empty when I come home." Reminds me of Whitney Houston singing the song, Run to You, with the words, "I play the role of someone always in control. But at night I come home and turn the key there's nobody there, no one cares for me. What's the sense of trying hard to find your dreams without someone to share it with? Tell me what does it mean?"

Interesting isn't it? Loneliness seems to have no respect for anyone. Doesn't matter if you're a famous gorgeous model, singer, TV or movie star, 18 to 80, or just a 57 year old woman like myself. We all have the same experience, that when we turn the key and enter our homes, loneliness is there waiting for us.

At work I have people who say to me how much they envy the alone time I have and how they wish they could just have some time to themselves. They tell me how lucky I am, but I look at them and think how lucky they are that they have someone waiting for them when they come home. It's easy to dream about some alone time for yourself, such as a day to do what you want, maybe a week away from family and friends to recoup. However, for them it's only a temporary state. They have the knowledge all the time they are alone and away, that when they're done with it and they return home, put the key in the door, there will be somebody there waiting for them. What they don't understand is that for millions of singles who live entirely alone, it's not a temporary existence. It's a daily experience and the stark cold reality that when we get home, put the key in the door, there will be no one waiting for us on the other side. There is a vast difference between being alone and being lonely.

Loneliness has a profound effect on us as humans. UCLA has actually identified through research that loneliness reaches down into some of our most basic internal processes of our body and effects the activity of our genes, that ultimately effects our well being. Yet we live in a strange society where we have rampant divorce, broken relationships, over 96 million singles in the United States, and more lonely people than ever walking around.

After I read about Tyra Banks, I feel somewhat astonished that someone so beautiful that has so much money and fame can be struck with such loneliness herself. Yet it goes to show that even money, beauty, and fame can't buy the most basic need that we all possess as human beings, and that is to be loved.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Contentment vs. Complacency

I was thinking the other day how I’ve changed. There was a time I use to be so anxious about finding a husband, that it pretty much consumed my daily life. However, now I have a strange feeling of "I really don’t care." I’m trying to determine after being alone for so many years whether I’m bordering on contentment or complacency.

Being content means that you are satisfied with what you have and don’t need anything more to be happy. It’s a state you finally reach or finally learn to live in. You stop striving and being anxious for what you don’t have and learn the secret of contentment in what you do have. You’re at rest about your situation, and at peace in the stage of life you find yourself. In the long run learning to be content in whatever situation you live is the safest place to be. It brings peace, but also keeps the door open for a potential mate. You don’t close the door to the possibility of finding someone, but you have found some contentment while you’re waiting. You’ve done away with the anxiousness of it all and have stopped being miserable.

Complacency on the other hand is a little different. You have a feeling of quiet pleasure or security in the state you’re in, but you’re really unaware of the potential dangers that may surround you. You’ve become smug or self-satisfied thinking you’re at rest and ease. A complacent heart puts you in a dangerous spot because in reality you’re hardening yourself towards the possibility of finding a mate. It’s easy after a rash of bad relationships and broken hearts to eventually cop an attitude that you don’t need anyone. You tend to put up a wall, do nothing to change your attitude, and end up thinking you’re satisfied in the state you’re in but you're not. In reality you’ve unconsciously closed the door toward the possibilities that may await you. You’ve let your complacency make you feel satisfied, but all along you’re killing your opportunities for love by not changing.

Where am I? Sometimes I’m walking in the yard of contentment and other days in the yard of complacency. I guess you could say I’m sitting on the fence between the two depending on my mood. As I was contemplating the other day my mental state and my "I really don’t care" attitude, I was thinking I really need to decide which yard I’m going to live in. How about you? Are you sitting on a fence too or living in the yard of contentment or in the yard of complacency? Maybe I'll meet you in one.