Monthly Archives: March 2013

New Love: A Short Shelf Life

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Newlove

If you fell in love, you know what a driving force “new love” can be. I was one of those people who only wanted the “new love”, and it took me a long time to figure out it was never meant to stay.  Needless to say, long-term relationships were not my strong point at that time in my life. This article tells you why you have that need to hear his or her voice, spend every waking minute thinking about them and what could be. Now that I’m much older and can’t even start to fathom how I wanted “new love”. I’m smarter now (I think), and I don’t want that insanity any more.

New Love: A Short Shelf Life

  IN fairy tales, marriages last happily ever after. Science, however, tells us that wedded bliss has but a limited shelf life.

American and European researchers tracked 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over the course of 15 years. The findings were clear: newlyweds enjoy a big happiness boost that lasts, on average, for just two years. Then the special joy wears off and they are back where they started, at least in terms of happiness. The findings, from a 2003 study, were confirmed by several recent studies.

The good news for the holiday season when families gather in various configurations is that if couples get past that two-year slump and hang on — for another couple of decades — they may well recover the excitement of the honeymoon period 18 to 20 years later, when children are gone. Then, in the freedom of the so-called empty nest, partners are left to discover one another — and often their early bliss — once again.

When love is new, we have the rare capacity to experience great happiness while being stuck in traffic or getting our teeth cleaned. We are in the throes of what researchers call passionate love, a state of intense longing, desire and attraction. In time, this love generally morphs into compassionate love, a less impassioned blend of deep affection and connection. The reason is that human beings are, as more than a hundred studies show, prone to hedonistic adaptation, a measurable and innate capacity to become habituated or inured to most life changes.

With all due respect to poets and pop radio songwriters, new love seems nearly as vulnerable to hedonistic adaptation as a new job, a new home, a new coat and other novel sources of pleasure and well-being. (Though the thrill of a new material acquisition generally fades faster.)

Hedonistic adaptation is most likely when positive experiences are involved. It’s cruel but true: We’re inclined — psychologically and physiologically — to take positive experiences for granted. We move into a beautiful loft. Marry a wonderful partner. Earn our way to the top of our profession. How thrilling! For a time. Then, as if propelled by autonomic forces, our expectations change, multiply or expand and, as they do, we begin to take the new, improved circumstances for granted.

Sexual passion and arousal are particularly prone to hedonistic adaptation. Laboratory studies in places as far-flung as Melbourne, Australia, and Stony Brook, N.Y., are persuasive: both men and women are less aroused after they have repeatedly viewed the same erotic pictures or engaged in similar sexual fantasies. Familiarity may or may not breed contempt; but research suggests that it breeds indifference. Or, as Raymond Chandler wrote: “The first kiss is magic. The second is intimate. The third is routine.”

There are evolutionary, physiological and practical reasons passionate love is unlikely to endure for long. If we obsessed, endlessly, about our partners and had sex with them multiple times a day — every day — we would not be very productive at work or attentive to our children, our friends or our health. (To quote a line from the 2004 film “Before Sunset,” about two former lovers who chance to meet again after a decade, if passion did not fade, “we would end up doing nothing at all with our lives.” ) Indeed, the condition of being in love has a lot in common with the state of addiction and narcissism; if unabated, it will eventually exact a toll.

WHY, then, is the natural shift from passionate to compassionate love often such a letdown? Because, although we may not realize it, we are biologically hard-wired to crave variety. Variety and novelty affect the brain in much the same way that drugs do — that is, they trigger activity that involves the neurotransmitter dopamine, as do pharmacological highs.

Evolutionary biologists believe that sexual variety is adaptive, and that it evolved to prevent incest and inbreeding in ancestral environments. The idea is that when our spouse becomes as familiar to us as a sibling — when we’ve become family — we cease to be sexually attracted to each other.

It doesn’t take a scientist to observe that because the se# in a long-term committed monogamous relationship involves the same partner day after day after day, no one who is truly human (or mammalian) can maintain the same level of lust and ardor that he or she experienced when that love was uncharted and new.

We may love our partners deeply, idolize them, and even be willing to die for them, but these feelings rarely translate into long-term passion. And studies show that in long-term relationships, women are more likely than men to lose interest in sex, and to lose it sooner. Why? Because women’s idea of passionate sex depends far more centrally on novelty than does men’s.

When married couples reach the two-year mark, many mistake the natural shift from passionate love to compassionate love for incompatibility and unhappiness. For many, the possibility that things might be different — more exciting, more satisfying — with someone else proves difficult to resist. Injecting variety and surprise into even the most stable, seasoned relationship is a good hedge against such temptation. Key parties — remember “The Ice Storm”? — aren’t necessarily what the doctor ordered; simpler changes in routine, departures from the expected, go a long way.

In a classic experiment conducted by Arthur Aron and his colleagues, researchers gave upper-middle-class middle-aged couples a list of activities that both parties agreed were “pleasant” (like creative cooking, visiting friends or seeing a movie) or “exciting” (skiing, dancing or attending concerts) but that they had enjoyed only infrequently. Researchers instructed each couple to select one of these activities each week and spend 90 minutes doing it together. At the end of 10 weeks, the couples who engaged in the “exciting” activities reported greater satisfaction in their marriage than those who engaged in “pleasant” or enjoyable activities together.

Although variety and surprise seem similar, they are in fact quite distinct. It’s easy to vary a sequence of events — like choosing a restaurant for a weekly date night — without offering a lot of surprise. In the beginning, relationships are endlessly surprising: Does he like to cook? What is his family like? What embarrasses or delights him? As we come to know our partners better and better, they surprise us less.

Surprise is a potent force. When something novel occurs, we tend to pay attention, to appreciate the experience or circumstance, and to remember it. We are less likely to take our marriage for granted when it continues to deliver strong emotional reactions in us. Also, uncertainty sometimes enhances the pleasure of positive events. For example, a series of studies at the University of Virginia and at Harvard showed that people experienced longer bursts of happiness when they were at the receiving end of an unexpected act of kindness and remained uncertain about where and why it had originated.

Such reactions may have neuroscientific origins. In one experiment, scientists offered drinks to thirsty subjects; those who were not told what kind of drink they would get (i.e., water or a more appealing beverage) showed more activity in the portion of the brain that registers positive emotions. Surprise is apparently more satisfying than stability.

The realization that your marriage no longer supplies the charge it formerly did is then an invitation: eschew predictability in favor of discovery, novelty and opportunities for unpredictable pleasure. “A relationship,” Woody Allen proclaimed in his film “Annie Hall,” “is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” A marriage is likely to change shape multiple times over the course of its lifetime; rebuilding it is a must, so it can thrive.

The good news is that taking the long view on marriage and putting in the hard work has calculable benefits. Research shows that marital happiness reaches one of its highest peaks during the period after offspring have moved out of the family home.

The nest may be empty, but it’s also full of possibility for partners to rediscover — and surprise — each other again. In other words, an empty nest offers the possibility of novelty and unpredictability. Whether this phase of belated marital joy lasts, like the initial period of connubial bliss, for longer than two years is anybody’s guess.

Sonja Lyubomirsky is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of the forthcoming book “The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does.”

  • Article by SONJA LYUBOMIRSKY

 

The Best Of Times

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televisionWhen I watched this video I knew I had to share it. It is so full of memories for those of us raised in the 50’s and 60’s and will show the younger folks some of what they missed. Whoever put this video together did a great job. The music is great and it reminds me of how much I miss that time. It also reminds me that what goes around comes around. Parents didn’t like the music then and I sure more than a few don’t like today’s music. Isn’t it wonderful to know that Rock N Roll didn’t pull us all down to the pits of hell as everyone thought.

The old TV shows brought a smile to my face. Remembering my Saturday mornings with Rin Tin Tin, The Micky Mouse Club and so many more. I still like to watch Roy Rogers and the Cisco Kid on cable.

I do hope you enjoy this video as much as I did, so you can go back to those days, if only for a few minutes.

The Best Of Times Part Two.

The Broken Zipper

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  Click Here:  The Zipperzipper2

The Broken Zipper – Funny Baptist

Since this is Sunday morning, I thought I would share a video with you that will get your day off to a good start. There’s nothing like laughter to get you on the better side of your day.

This video was made by a Baptist preacher with the story being told to his congregation. Enjoy.

The Big One

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The striped bass is the main piscivore of the LSZ

The striped bass is the main piscivore of the LSZ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do we have any fishermen on FanBox?  In case you missed it on line, the state striped bass record has been broke in Alabama and could possibly be a world record but that will take a while to find out.

James Bramlett went fishing at the request of his wife because she was going to be keeping him busy for a few days.  He went to the Black Warrior River on February 28,2013 and came home with this 70 pound fish. The previous state record was 15 pounds lighter. You can do the math.  What is the largest fish you have caught?

As for myself, I was deep sea fishing off the coast of the Big Island, Hawaii and caught a 130 pound yellow fin tuna.  That little fish took over an hour to get in the boat and that was with someone helping me. That was my first and last deep sea fishing expedition.  I’d go back in a flash but so far it hasn’t happened. I’ll be content catching my bass and catfish out of my pond and think about the big one I caught.Bass Record catch bass oklahoma record bass world record bass4 Bass5

English: Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) Franç...

English: Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) Français : Bar rayé (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slowly Swallowing Us

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English: A sinkhole in Oman Deutsch: Eine Doli...

English: A sinkhole in Oman Deutsch: Eine Doline im Oman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not going to write about the mechanism by which we ingest food. I want to spend a little bit of time writing about the earth opening up and swallowing us mere mortals. I feel so bad for the family that lost their son and brother down a sinkhole in Florida.

Sinkholes are one of the biggest fears my home town of McAlester Oklahoma has due to all of the mining that went on during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The majority of the area has mine shafts running underneath. If one has occurred, I am not aware of it at this point in time.

I remember as a child seeing pictures of a house in Alaska in which the ground opened up and the entire house went down into a very big hole. You could at least see the roof. That was due to an earthquake. I think it was the late 1950,s when it happened. Growing up in California I was not surprised when the side of the road fell off due to the ground giving way because of so much rain.

The Bible even tells us in Numbers 16:32 KJV: “And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] unto Korah, and all [their] goods.” From that verse it sounds like the earth was opening up and swallowing people and things back then. Science tells us that sinkholes are very common when the foundation underneath the dirt is limestone and it washes away over time. That’s a very non scientific interpretation of an action that can take thousands of years.

Some sinkholes are caused by nature, but many more are caused by man’s activity.

Decline of water levels –

drought, groundwater pumping (wells, quarries, mines)

Disturbance of the soil – digging through soil layers, soil removal, drilling

Point-source of water – leaking water/sewer pipes, injection of water

Concentration of water flow – storm water drains, swales, etc.

Water impoundments – basins, ponds, dams

Heavy loads on the surface – structures, equipment

Vibration – traffic, blasting

So as with most of our other problems we are contributing to them in a major way. Is there anything we can do to help ourselves? The obvious would be not to build houses over limestone, and stop doing everything I’ve listed above. Somehow I just don’t see that happening. I think most of us will stay oblivious to what is going on underground. I know I don’t think about the ground dropping out from underneath me, do you?

sinkhole2 sinkhole4 sinkhole5images sinkholes-picture-3

Are You Thankful?

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bigstock-Man-holding-arms-up-in-praise--14031791“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey. From the online dictionary thank·ful

Adjective
  1. Pleased and relieved: “they were thankful that the war was finally over”; “I was very thankful to be alive”.
  2. Expressing gratitude and relief: “a thankful prayer”.
Synonyms
grateful – appreciative – beholden
Most of us are now working to achieve our desires. Jim Rohn, inspirational speaker said his key phrase is “Learn to be Thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.” We must learn the lesson of being thankful for what we have if we are to be a success in our life.  Without being thankful no doors or windows will open for you. I am a beleiver in God and without thankfullness, I truely beleive that no blessings can come our way.
Think about what you have to be grateful for, your parents, your spouse, your children, your job, your car ect. ect. Even those that think they have very little can find something to feel grateful about. Do you have good health? Are you thankful for your health? What would it be like if you didn’t have it. Maybe you are very ill, you can be thankful you have another day with your family and friends.
The Bible says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
This is an article by Jim Rohn that sums up thankfulness for him. If nothing else it should give us all something to think about.

To appreciate the uniqueness of our own experiences that has brought us all here, together. For the countries we represent; we have freedom and liberty. These are extraordinary times, about eleven years ago the walls came tumbling down, in Germany, and it started a wave of democracy and freedom like the world has never seen before. We as a country and as a world have so much to be thankful for. Always start with thanksgiving; be thankful for what you already have and see the miracles that come from this one simple act.

Now thankfulness is just the beginning; next, you’ve got to challenge yourself to produce. Produce more ideas than you need for yourself so you can share and give your ideas away. That is called fruitfulness and abundance. Here’s what I think fruitfulness and abundance mean – to go to work on producing more than you need for yourself so you can begin blessing others, blessing your nation and blessing your enterprise. Once abundance starts to come, once someone becomes incredibly productive, it’s amazing what the numbers turn out to be. But to begin this incredible process of blessing, it often starts with the act of thanksgiving and gratitude, being thankful for what you already have and for what you’ve already done. Begin the act of thanksgiving today and watch the miracles flow your way.

The video is Where are you Christmas? with some tough pictures to look at, but it is a reminder of how thankful we should be for the life we have.