Monday, December 29, 2008


I try not to write about New Phil anymore, but I couldn’t resist. Last night we were talking about what makes each other happy. Well, actually, I was just questioning him. He seems to do a good job of making me happy so I wanted to know what I could do in return. He said he likes talking. Now how lucky am I? I once dated a guy who I must have felt smothered since he suggested I get a hobby. I told him people are my hobby and at the time he was the most interesting person I knew. Okay, maybe he was right, but really I do love people! I think since New Phil and I both love talking we get along pretty well. I call myself pretty lucky. Which reminds me of another story from my past that just cracks me up to this day. It was freshman year at the Y. My roommate was a bit sad that she didn’t date as much as she’d been promised. (Really who made up that stuff? I think I may still be a bit bitter myself!) So her mother advised her to get a hobby, and then suggested origami. I’ve never looked at origami the same. I’d also like to point out that of the six of us she was the first to marry. She never did learn origami either.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Aunt Bridget

I just got back from Christmas in the white wonderland of Salt Lake City, UT. Aunt Bridget was able to be with her nieces and nephew...oh yeah and her Mom and sisters for the holiday. The funnest thing I can think of is to be with my favorite 7 year,4 year, and 2 month old for Christmas,being with them reminds me how soft my heart is and how capable my heart is of completely surrendering to someone. It is a great thing to be reminded of. Painful too, though, when its time to go home. It is in those moments, when my four year old niece says to me, "..but Aunt Bridget, I'm going to MISS you, can't you just stay with US." And i think about it..and it seems like such a nice idea. To play Duck, Duck Goose, and Memory, and lay in bed together all the time. If life could only be this way forever. As I drove away from their house....being encapsulated by emotions....that I was chosen to be an aunt to these kids makes me feel many things, but above all gratitude. I think in many ways my life has become routine, in the emotions I feel, in the thoughts I think, and the thoughts I rethink. I go to work, go to school, go to church, have fun with friends, volunteer,perform my calling at church.. the feelings seem routine and expected. My visits with them save me with simplicity and the tenderness they foundational is the love that I feel for these kids, yet I am surprised and affected eact time I am with them, they remind me how fiercely I can love.....and how fiercely I can miss it when I get on a plane and come home to California.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's All About the Self-Talk (Marnie)

This Christmas season, I decided to visit some older sisters that I used to be in charge of when I was in my old family ward. I really grew to love and care about them. And they always made me feel better when I visited them.

I baked some goodies and made the deliveries on a Sunday early this December. It was fabulous to see them! They really appreciated the visit and goodies. I knew they would ask about my new ward and social life because that was why I left the family ward - to inject my social life with some new possibilities.

Knowing they would ask about my social life, I had my speech ready. It usually went something like this:

Older sister: So how is the singles ward?
Me: Oh, great! I’m meeting some really wonderful people!
Older sister: You dating anyone? (the older folks always get to the point).
Me: Not right now – I dated a guy for a few months but it didn’t work out (I mention that so they know I’m trying and succeeding in some respects).
Older sister: Oh, that’s too bad. [Silence.]

That’s when I give my current mantra. I don’t want them to worry about me and I don’t want their pity, so in 8 different visits I said, “but January is a new year and I feel good about what’s coming up! Lot’s of new opportunities! And I will find me someone new to date! I can feel it!”

Now at first it was just something I made up. But now, after saying it out loud 8 times, even I believe it! All of them each got excited for me when I said it – instead of giving the pity look – and they all reiterated that I could do it! That really felt empowering!

New Years is around that corner. I hate that holiday too – along with my fellow bloggers – but it’s a new opportunity to work on some skills with meeting people. Yep, I’m going to a big singles dance that most likely will have a great assortment of all sorts of men – the good, the bad and the ugly – hopefully more good than bad. And I am bound and determined to meet lots of people, smile big and give my “security guard” stare when I can.

When I first heard about mantras I thought it was silly, but I don’t believe that anymore. You become what you hear yourself say – especially when you are talking about yourself. If it’s negative, it will affect you negatively. If it’s positive, it will affect you positively! And I think that’s why we’ve been told to have faith and hope by the Almighty. Talking about those things helps us keep positive. And I know for a fact when I am trying hard to be positive, I do better. I’m happier and more appreciative of my life. And I smile more. And when I smile more, I tend to be nicer and friendlier. And that helps my life socially as well as spiritually.

So my challenge to any that dare, try a POSITIVE mantra for a month! Say it three times every morning for a month. Mine is: "I am open to relationships. Good things are up ahead for me and in January 2009, I will meet many good “potentials” and find a great guy to date and have a relationship with."

I’ll let you know how it goes…

Monday, December 22, 2008

Change of Title (Leah)

Please excuse the title of that last post. Let's call it "How do you spend the holidays?" And really, I think I'd like to know. What's your position? How do you feel this time of year? What have you done to make it more meaningful and memorable?

Holiday Depression (Leah)

With the holidays here a topic that has come up among some of my single friends is how easy it is to get depressed. I guess since it's a family focused holiday those of us without our own spouse and kids can easily get feeling down. I know some people in my peer group go on trips to warmer climates. Some visit nieces and nephews - it's a way of sharing in the excitement and fun that children can bring to the holiday. I did that one year - loved it. My nephew gave me a picture frame from the dollar store to use with a photo of me and my significant other at the time, oh the faith and hope of children! Instead I put a magazine picture of a couple on their wedding day - I replaced the head on the woman with my head and the man's head is just a blank smiley face. It was part of the "visualizing" I read about in "The Secret." Not a bad idea. I like the picture. I look pretty good in my wedding photo I think. And my nephew's thoughtful gift is put to good use. But that's not what I meant to share in this post. What I wanted to say is that I usually don't get down around Christmas, it's New Year's that tends to make me grumpy. I blame the late hour. And the strained awkwardness of what to do on that night. I've attended my share of dances and parties, family and friends, you name it, I've done it. I probably have even gone to bed at a decent hour! Well, maybe not, but it's not a bad idea. Sometimes I do the whole goal setting thing. Usually I use my birthday to do goals, though. Anyway, compared to Valentine's (another couple holiday) New Year's is by far the worst in my opinion. So to all the single people out there - may you have a wonderful holiday! I suggest getting a good night's rest.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You're never gonna be jello...(Bridget)

This conversation with Leah and Lorelai reminds me of the movie "Best Friends Wedding" where Julia Robert's character is talking to Cameron Diaz and explaining a similar food analogy. She was comparing preferences of partners with Creme Brule and Jello, if someone likes Jello,is comfortable with Jello, they're not going to want Creme Brule...Cameron's character is Creme Brule in the scenario, and she says desperately " I want to be jello,I can be Jello..." because she wanted so badly to be with the films hero. Julia's character, although wrong about the fact that the hero didn't want creme brule, was right when she said, "You can't be jello, creme brule will never be're NEVER going to be jello" Have you ever wanted so badly to be jello because that's what a particular guy wants? I have,even though Jello is not my style...i am clearly something spicy,sweet,and creamy..more of a main dish item..such as some sort of a masala..and I have come to realize that at the time's I have wanted to be something anything other than what I am..its because I haven't explored or understood the value and worth of what I am and how vital I am. And perhaps not really sure in my heart that someone is looking for masala and will be overjoyed with masala. Now I love masala...the perfect amounts of cinnamon,ginger,cayenne and cream, thinking about it makes me happy and eating it satiates me...i have to remember that...and when I do..and am sure of how much i love masala..the man who is looking for masala will be enough of comparing myself to food...i perhaps have taken it too far.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Comparing (Leah)

Lorelai, your post got me thinking about something I learned awhile ago, but was reminded of again about 4 months ago. I too compare men. There was one back in college who was just plain funny. He was very popular in my student ward. I think he has been my "Sissel." Whenever I date a guy and really like him I notice similarities. He was smart, witty, relaxed, eyes that sparkled, good sized for hugging, and simply kind. My favorite memory ever was when he brought me an ice cube that had slightly melted in his hand, leaving an imprint, because he knew how much I liked ice. It was a perfect moment! But that's what memories are good for. Like a pretty picture you never own. You can appreciate aspects of its beauty in other pictures. But the kind of comparison that IS valuable, is a comparison to your core values. I was encouraged by a friend not too long ago to make a good list of the characteristics that are essential in a mate for me. Those essentials can guide you when you are checking someone out over the course of a few dates. For instance, I discovered that one essential I have is formal education. I have yet to meet someone that I can truly communicate with and get along with who hasn't had a fair degree of education. Maybe it seems shallow of me, maybe I'm missing out on a lot of great guys, but when I've tried to date those without basic college, I haven't been happy. Maybe it's my own pride and weakness, but either way, it's one of those characteristics that I know just makes me happier in a relationship. I've tried to keep it more generally worded, though, like "values education," so that I'm hitting the core aspect. Everyone has to think of their own values - my list isn't for everyone - but I think it's a good activity to do, especially when you're not in the middle of a relationship (otherwise you can get too confused).

Monday, December 15, 2008

In Comparison (Lorelai)

This past weekend I went to a fabulous performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the annual Christmas concert. The set was amazing with brilliantly lit trees, snow covered miniature houses, and dazzling poinsettias covering the stage. I was snuggled down in my seat ready for my heart to pound with joy. And then it was over. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a fabulous performance. My favorite part was the organ solo … I know! If you know me at all (which you don’t) then you know me and organ music do not necessarily get along but it was phenomenal. I might buy the DVD just for that one song. It was amazing.

But here is where it gets tricky. This is not my first MoTab Christmas concert and without even thinking about it I started to compare. Two years ago (I am pretty sure it was two years ago) a wonderful artist Sissel came. It was magical. She would open her mouth and this glorious sound would emerge with seemingly little effort. It was moving and spiritual and rather perfect.

This year’s performance dimmed in comparison. But how unfair is it to compare. The guest artists are in completely different genres and have very different performance styles. Just because Sissel was as near perfection as I can imagine that does not mean that the other performances was not good. So why did my opinion of the performance seem so low?

Now you might be wondering why I am critiquing MoTab here but really I started thinking. Subconsciously how many times do I compare for good or ill the men I date? I discovered that if someone remotely reminds me of Gap (my ex) I turn and run. Fast. Gap had many good qualities. I should not run away from a person because they exhibit certain similarities (there are others that yes I should be running). And then there is of course Charming. They guy I dated in college and was hopelessly, madly, stupidly in love with and still can only remember the good (even though there was a lot of bad). Sometimes I wonder if I do not give a guy a chance because he reminds me of Gap or because he does not remind me of Charming. I should look at him based upon his own merit; not how similar or dissimilar he is to people that I have morphed in my mind to the good guy and the bad guy.

I guess for me it is the subconscious part that is disturbing. Am I running because of legitimate red flags or just because of some small insignificant similarity? It is something I have not thought too much about before. Well nevertheless I still liked Sissel best…

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saving Face(Bridget)

Ok, a couple of things. Firstly,being offline has been great. Very liberating. Rychelle, our faithful reader was right, I already feel happier without the "online obsession" hanging over me. At work the last few days, on one level I was aware of the tendency I had to go online and check things out several times a day,usually when i'm stressed (less calories than a fun size snickers) and because I wasn't checking it anymore, it left a little bit of an itch. Overall, its been liberating and reinforcing. I do not deny that online dating can work, my sister met her husband online as well as others,like Kris from this very blog. I know that it can be a vehicle to bring two people together. However, for me, the timing has been right to take a break. I guess for me, the energy I was spending on it was over the amount that I really should be giving it, and true to form, just like Diet coke and Lay's chips I can't just have one, or look once a week, or even once a day. So,until I can muster up some discipline from somewhere..Bridget is on her own and open to fate stepping in :)whatever that means. As I've had time freed up from the dating website, another phenomenon,called FaceBook has really caught my eye in the last couple of months, friends and acquaintances from elementary school, high school, old Jobs,old sentences served(?) are all coming out of the wood works...It's hard not to notice that EVERYONE, I mean EVERYONE has procreated. Even the guy that used to make fun of me and made my life a living hell is expecting twins with his wife. Is this fair? Am I letting this get me down? Some times, when I think about it too deeply. Does it make me want to eat a whole Digiornio pizza? Maybe.Am I reminding myself that everyone has a unique purpose, and timeline...and that a Digiornio's pizza would easily be 3000 calories? Twelve times a day...Am I so happy that I have an opportunity to blog and receive support,understanding, and strength from singles around the country? I have faith that I have access to the power to overcome and create exactly the life that I want...yes..even if the key is finding the gratitude for the life that I now know that it has almost ALL of the elements that I have asked for from Heavenly Father..just maybe not in the packages I had pictured...although lets be clear,a husband package would be really nice...fed exed...extra special.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trust (Leah)

In my scripture reading this morning I did some reading on “trust.” I wish I’d written down some of the verses and phrases that struck me, but instead you’re just going to get my watered down reaction a few hours after the fact. I’ll just tell you right off that the clear message in the scriptures is that you need to trust God and only God. None of this trusting your spouse stuff. Which I think is good. I know a close friend of mine once voiced her concern about trusting the guy she was dating. I think she meant it was hard to trust him to be reliable and committed to their relationship. She didn’t lack trust in his honesty or morality – just trusting that he’d stick it out and make the relationship work. When she vocalized her concern I remember throwing out, “Well you never totally trust a human being so it’s silly to try – you can only trust God.” I did and do believe that (whether or not I’m able to act on that belief is another issue), but this morning I guess I read it more as a commandment. You know how I was discussing insecurity earlier. Well, this morning I decided that insecurity shouldn’t even be an issue because all of my trust is in God. I have a saying in my room, made by an old Primary teacher that says, “I can follow God’s plan for me.” So true! If I keep believing and acting accordingly then it won’t matter a bit what happens in a relationship because I can (and DO) follow God’s plan for me. Listen to that self talk – I’m a big believer in that too. Kind of like building the house on a rock. If I’m following God’s plan for me then I don’t need to worry about the other person in my relationship – well God’s plan generally includes charity and service and kindness and stuff in relation to our fellow human beings (brothers and sisters) but I don’t need to sweat how I’ll do that as much because my trust is in God. It’s like a post I made way back when (and I was reminded of by my good visiting teachers recently) that when you’re in the midst of a problem – don’t think about the problem, just work on your relationship with God. Focus on truth and the clarity of God’s plan, not on how you’re going to deal with a certain dilemma. Sound good? Hope so. I need to get going.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Making Sense of Feelings (Leah)

I woke up not happy. Does that ever happen to you? I could blame it on staying up late – but that doesn’t always make me unhappy. You know what did it? I’ll tell you. I stayed up late thinking of unhappy things. Then after sleeping on those unhappy thoughts, and likely having unhappy dreams, I woke up unsettled. So what do you do when you wake up all unsettled like? Well, I need to process my feelings. I need to get them out of me so I can face my day. I don’t do well dwelling on unhappy things. So I pulled out the journal and did some scripture reading. It helped. But I noticed my first period suffered a bit because of my mood. They weren’t as engaged – first period rarely is – but today I noticed they were acting the way I felt. I really believe that people go around reflecting each other more often than not. My unsettled mood left them a bit distracted. Anyway, I want some of your input on the topic that left me a bit confused last night. I was trying to understand my emotions in relation to dating. I was trying to figure out why it is people feel fearful and insecure about dating. Why is it that we fear rejection – even before there’s a sign of it? In all my opportunities of dating and breaking up I’ve learned how to get over the feeling of rejection. I’ve learned how to fight it. But still, when I’m in the middle of a good relationship, feelings of fear creep up. Like sitting at the doctor’s, watching the nurse move about, and fearing the impending needle poke. Usually the poke is manageable. Usually I get over it just fine – maybe I’m sore for the day – but I recover. Just like a relationship that doesn’t work. So why do I fear it? I don’t think nurturing fears is good AT ALL. I think fear feeds fear. I think it only muddles things up – so how does a person refuse to hear it? And isn’t fear sometimes a good thing? Isn’t it a good warning sign at times? I fear going Latin dancing – I think that’s a pretty good fear to pay attention to. I know that dating has always led to a degree of heart break, but I don’t regret having done any of it. The pain has probably caused me to build up some fear, but I don’t think it’s the good fear that’s worth listening to. There were other positive results from those many heart breaks.

I’ll tell you what I came up with this morning. After spewing a bit in the journal I opened up the scriptures and read about healing. It was the section of the index that came open and it seemed mostly relevant. I turned to a passage in the D&C. It talked about how healing requires tenderness and love. Can’t argue there. Then a couple verses later it said something about weeping for those who die. Having experienced this sort of loss I could relate to it. I could see that it is more than okay to weep for someone who has died. Then it said something like how much sadder it is when someone dies without the hope of the resurrection. I know that when I’ve had to process the grief related to death I’ve been extremely grateful for the hope of the resurrection. I wondered to myself then, how a breakup is like death. It’s the death of a relationship you shared with another person (I like to believe it’s like a third person – there’s you, him, and then the “us”) – the “us” has died. Usually in terms of breakups we lack the hope of resurrection. I always force the hope of friendship – I think that’s my way of having a resurrection of sorts, and after all, there’s the hope of a new “us” with another “him.” But the scriptures said it is okay to weep for death. We all fear the time we will be sad, but since death is inevitable wouldn’t it be better to just accept it and give yourself permission to weep? Just have to be sure you have a hope of the resurrection. Now don’t get me wrong out there in blog land – I’m not going through any breakup – I was just wondering about the fears that creep up in relationships and how to distinguish between those feelings to find truth.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Swimming 101 (Bridget)

Ok, for the last few days have been thinking of getting offline...for a rest...truth is I have gotten a bit obsessive lately about the checking of the email..and have crossed the line from hoping that I find a juicy morsel on line to..Dammit,I must find a guy if the intensity and frequency I logged on with would account for something...all it accounted for is that many times a day I am shamed by my overzealous behavior I deleted my profile...i know it won't be for good, but my goal is to be offline for 6 months. I've had this goal before, mind you, and the most i have made it is a couple, but this time, I'm really thinking it will do me good to take a break. The decision to go offline came immediately after chatting online with some guy that said he was a model as a youth...i was suspect...because he didn't really look like he would be picked for that profession...I asked him what kind of modeling he did..and he proceeded to ask me to keep in mind he was a convert to the LDS church when he was 21...(uh this guy going to be weird...well I was already getting the vibe, that in fact he was,most of the time you can tell, or I definitely can,at least thats one thing online has taught me to trust that innervoice that is screaming at you to stop and turn away, anyway I digress) So he says that he modeled jockey underwear,briefs etc. etc..) but then he proceeds to tell me that he in fact developed early at 9...HUH? what kind of uninformed male thinks that this is appropriate fodder for online discussions...i told him quickly and politely(cuz that's how I roll) thank you and good night. I then swiftly deleted my profile. Deleting is more final...can't just go back and was just what i needed to get me over the proverbial hump, climb over the proverbial fence of whether I should stay online or not. I want to focus on life right now..without the daily reminder (albeit illusionary) that I am lacking..and forever obsessingly searching for this man that i am to meet... There's so many other things to obsess about...and I'm going to find them... My bloggings may be about my obsessing about these other things...i'll let you know when I find them. I made a deal with Heavenly Father that this next 6 months is going to be about living life...not searching for something that I don't have...but cultivating the great relationships I do have..especially the one with myself..because to be quite frank it can be quite lacking..i'm not really my own best friend, I can be quite nasty and derogatory in regards to this is going to be my focus...for the next 6 months and I told Him that he would need to do the rest..if it be His will..cuz i'm tired..of searching and the feeling that i'm treading water..i want to swim...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Message in a bottle (Bridget)

I think you're right about blockage, Leah. We all have it...even marrieds...i guess personally i get really frustrated knowing that the blockage is there...because in my mind its "blocking" me from my life i'm supposed to have...supposed to have? well I guess not,because in reality I don't have it. A lesson i am currently learning. I am living the life that i'm supposed to have...because it is. And gosh isn't that a more peaceful feeling, I am living the life I am supposed to have, as opposed to what I have told myself on so many levels, I am not living the life I was meant to have. I do believe that self reflection helps us to process.. and what a true and beautiful concept that we're able to see ourselves through others. I am a great believer that the people we are closest to are our mirrors..the more we know them the more potential we have to perhaps reflect off them. I was talking with my roommate yesterday about fear, and how it causes us to freeze and perhaps put off the stuff that can sandblast through the blockage. Its easier to hang on to illusions about how we are, who we're with...illusions that by nature skew reality...and therefore keep us safe and I dream of Jeannie's bottle...(I would've loved to live there..all those lush pillows...lots of silky softness ...very safe and cozy...but not reality..just stuck in a bottle. The safety and coziness, so tempting..just like the illusion.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Blockage (Leah)

Bridgett - thank you for posting! I've been wanting to post this weekend, but last night it was late and I really like my bed. Then this evening, as I was thinking of how to say some of the things I wanted to say, I decided to read everything I've posted. Um, hind sight is an amazing thing. It's a bit odd going back over your past thoughts. Not that my core beliefs have changed much, but perspective works some wonders.

Bridgett, as I was reading your post I thought of the word "blockage." I was discussing dating with a guy in his 20's - like he knows anything - and he said singles these days have blockage. He was actually talking about his own peer group. Hmm, maybe he does know something. Maybe we're all alike in the end. I do think those married ward people have a lot of the same issues (blockage) that we do. But anyway, back to the thoughts I had in response to Bridgett's post. I participate in a wonderful discussion group with a few women - we call it "vision group" - we work on achieving visions. We've discovered that part of the good we gain from meeting is that we have safe honest friends with whom we can address some of our blockage. Life is a process and requires much self reflection. If you can get it out of online dating, carry on. I get a lot of it out of teaching. I read a passage from Julius Caesar this week where one guy is trying to be a "mirror" to another guy. In truth, he's being manipulative and is not a true mirror - but he says one true statement - about how you can never really see yourself for what you really are. You need to trust friends to show you what you're like - to be your mirror. I think blockage is processed and removed through some good self reflection. Maybe reading old posts will count.

I hereby vow to practice what I preach. Ha! No really, I intend to love freely and focus more on my relationship with God. Today's testimony meeting was really good. I'm inspired to do more to build my personal relationship and get to know my Savior as a friend that can be trusted - as He really is that. The atonement is good for the remission of sins, healing hearts, and removing blockage. If some behavior you have is not drawing you closer to the Savior (i.e. leaves you discouraged and hopeless) then I say quit it.

And Bridgett - about the "when it's right it's right" thing - I agree. Trouble is, you won't always know until there's some hind sight. Keep processing, keep reflecting, keep believing.

You've Got Mail(Bridget)

So, when I was on my mission in England long time of the most exciting times of day was the time the post man came to drop off the mail. Then, the mail we received was representative of love and support from home, from family and friends, and perhaps even a connection to ourselves,our self we left back at home. Now, fifteen years later,I find myself going to my laptop to see what kind of emails I have received, with the same hope. Every morning and evening, wondering if perhaps my one and only has sent me an email, he noticed my profile, he thinks I'm beautiful, he relates to a lot of things I've said, and he lives within twenty miles away and would like to meet and get to know eachother...the rest is history, we marry, we have a baby or two ( at least one at this point would be so welcome)and we become best friends and lovers,our bond growing stronger and more magical every year. Not too much to ask for? I don't think so, and I'm willing to wait for the relationship that can foster this kind of bond. Do I think that this will come from online dating sites? I don't know. Many times I find myself wondering if the logging onto the computer,hoping for this life changing email is more of a hindrance than a help? Because, along with the hope, comes a little sting of disappointment when there is no email, or there is an email,but its absolutely positively not the man that is going to be my one and only. (Thanks for the interest though,i'm flattered) Sometimes I think it would be a lot healthier for me if I erased my profile and stopped the antics, which sometimes feel to me like little more than trying to control something that just isn't controllable...the timing of when I will be ready to welcome the love I want into my life. And when the man that is going to give it is ready to give it. I'm on the fence right now...I am almost ready to just stop the online madness and perhaps live my life with hope, but eliminate the stings of disappointment,because maybe the online stuff is more of an illusion that I'm doing something, at least i'm out there in some sort of way...i don't know, I'm not sure...whether i'm online or not, I ultimately believe that when its right,its right...and it will manifest..any opinions?