Tag Archives: love

I’m Having a Celebration

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Princess Adeles Dragon3It’s done and finally gone live on Amazon.  My new ebook Princess Adele’s Dragon. It has taken me a little over a year to get it completed. If you like fantasy and Gothic times you will like this book.

Princess Adele sets out to save her and her brothers Kingdom from a beast that threatens their way of life. What she encounters is totally unexpected and sets her on a new path. If you like gothic times with Kings, Princess’s, Castles and bad guys then you will like this young adult fantasy. You will fall in love, hate the bad guy and fight a war.

There is a read inside option on Amazon. Click on this link and it will take you right to it.

http://amzn.to/25lUOYM    If your Kindle Unlimited you may read it for free. Be sure and leave a review even if you didn’t like it, but I know you will 🙂

Have a totally blessed day and let me know what you think.

Shirley

This Is How You Leave a Legacy

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This Is How You Leave a Legacy_This is another article from Jim Rohn, a life coach and Philosopher, who shares shares nine principles necessary for a successful life and a lasting legacy.

I think all of us humans want to leave a legacy in this world before we leave this world. Jim Rohn left his. He passed away December 5, 2009 and his philosophy about life has stayed in circulation. He made an impact on this world with his life and with this article he tells us how we can leave a legacy. Enjoy Shirley

“You know me, I am a philosopher. I love principles. Yes, actions are great and I talk about them regularly, but the important stuff is what lies underneath—the principles,” Rohn says.
Here are the principles he says we must commit to in order to leave the legacy we desire:

1. Life is best lived in service to others. This doesn’t mean that we do not strive for the best for ourselves. It does mean that in all things we serve other people, including our family, co-workers and friends.

2. Consider others’ interests as important as your own. Much of the world suffers simply because people consider only their own interests. People are looking out for number one, but the way to leave a legacy is to also look out for others.

3. Love your neighbor even if you don’t like him. It is interesting that Jesus told us to love others. But he never tells us to like them. Liking people has to do with emotions. Loving people has to do with actions. And what you will find is that when you love them and do good by them, you will more often than not begin to like them.

4. Maintain integrity at all costs. There are very few things you take to the grave with you. The number one thing is your reputation and good name. When people remember you, you want them to think, “She was the most honest person I knew. What integrity.” There are always going to be temptations to cut corners and break your integrity. Do not do it. Do what is right all of the time, no matter what the cost.

5. You must risk in order to gain. In just about every area of life you must risk in order to gain the reward. In love, you must risk rejection in order to ask that person out for the first time. In investing you must place your capital at risk in the market in order to receive the prize of a growing bank account. When we risk, we gain. And when we gain, we have more to leave for others.

6. You reap what you sow. In fact, you always reap more than you sow—you plant a seed and reap a bushel. What you give you get. What you put into the ground then grows out of the ground. If you give love you will receive love. If you give time, you will gain time. It is one of the truest laws of the universe. Decide what you want out of life and then begin to sow it.

7. Hard work is never a waste. No one will say, “It is too bad he was such a good, hard worker.” But if you aren’t they will surely say, “It’s too bad he was so lazy—he could have been so much more!” Hard work will leave a grand legacy. Give it your all on your trip around the earth. You will do a lot of good and leave a terrific legacy.
8. Don’t give up when you fail. Imagine what legacies would have never existed if someone had given up. How many thriving businesses would have been shut down if they quit at their first failure? Everyone fails. It is a fact of life. But those who succeed are those who do not give up when they fail. They keep going and build a successful life—and a legacy.

9. Don’t ever stop in your pursuit of a legacy. Many people have accomplished tremendous things later on in life. There is never a time to stop in your pursuit of a legacy. Sometimes older people will say, “I am 65. I’ll never change.” That won’t build a great life! No, there is always time to do more and achieve more, to help more and serve more, to teach more and to learn more. Keep going and growing that legacy!
These are core principles to live by if you want to become the kind of person who leaves a lasting legacy.
Your legacy is what remains on earth even after you’ve passed away. Learn more on how to understand, choose, focus and live yours.

Girls Need A Fathers Love

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Fathers-and-their-baby-girlsIt’s known that fathers have a special bond with their little girls and they have been given a huge ability to influence the lives of their daughters. Based on the relationship with the daughter, father’s influence can go either way – positively or negatively. Building this bond through girl’s childhood and teenage ages can be crucial to how she shapes her views of herself and what she expects from other men in her life. Besides being loved, every girl needs her father to fulfill these tasks:

1. Love and respect the mommy

Kids learn by watching how their parents treat each other and everybody else. This perspective will be crucial for creating girl’s expectations further in life. Even if the parents are not together anymore, they should treat each other with respect even when the love is gone. Girls need to be shown the kind of love they should search for.

2. Help her be successful

Lack of self esteem is one of the main reasons why girls don’t strive to be more successful in life. Dad should be involved in all main events in girl’s life as she will always want to earn dad’s approval. One of the main factors in building a girl’s self esteem is hearing that her dad is proud of her. If a dad is supportive, she will most likely feel more comfortable to dream big. Praising and encouraging daughter to grab the opportunity will help her overcome the fears. Don’t forget, research shows that the most successful women have generally had fathers who were interested in their intellect and their academics.

3. Make her feel beautiful

Since we live in a world where girls are often insecure about their looks, few compliments from the dad will be enough to make a girl feel pretty. Giving her flowers from time to time, or complimenting her hair will do great things for her confidence. This will also help her define what to expect from her prom date, a boyfriend or a future husband. It’s true, girls will eventually learn that there is more to life than being beautiful, but there’s no harm in feeling pretty.

4. Set up rules and structure

We all know that parents can easily give in and lose control while setting up rules with their kids. This mistake can lead to creating unrealistic expectations and actually be a great obstacle in girl’s life later on. She needs to have a structure and understand that there is a line which dad won’t cross just because he loves her. Even this can be difficult to achieve, one day she will be grateful for the gift of having rules.

5. Love her unconditionally

All of the above can be achieved with a great will and dedication. This will is driven only by one thing – father’s unconditional love. This is a bond for the whole life and if each dad choses to build this relationship, it can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling both for a dad and a daughter.

Domestic Violence: The Deadly Virus

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Isn’t domestic violence like a deadly virus that’s spreading globally?  Why is abuse at home on the rise even in the developed countries/

Domestic abuse has become sort of a disease now, so much so that we need and awareness month to address it just as we do for breast cancer.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the USA.  Even though this is December it is still the perfect time to write on this topic as it really touches my heart and deserves attention by men and women alike.

Why is this sickening behavior getting out of proportion and what stops us from taking control over this man-made cancer?

There might be many reasons for why domestic violence is on the rise, but there’s one personal quality that can act as a deterrent and an antidote- self-control.

What you need is LUCK- love, understanding, compassion, and kindness.  Maybe that’s too easy to say because the situations that lead to violence aren’t that simple. And, self-control isn’t child’s play either.  Love too either ceases to exist or loses its magic with time.

How else can we deal with domestic abuse, which makes one out of three women suffer around the world?  That’s really too much, isn’t it?

You’d be surprised to know that it’s not only women who’re the victims, but even men report being abused by women! However, the number of men as victims is much lower and their cases are mostly not as severe as those of women who’re abused by men.

In either case, there are injuries and causalities, and many more lives including children are greatly affected.  If we call ourselves civilized, we need to put an end to domestic violence.

Let’s understand the what, who, and why of this deadly virus that has severely infected the word.  And, in this post, we’ll only take up the issue of violence against women.

“All marriages are sacred, but not all are safe.” Rob Jackson

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior, which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship.  It can include violence in marriage, courtship, or cohabitation.

An abusive relationship is marked with physical, emotional, mental, verbal, sexual, and even financial forms of abuse as explained in the above writing.

All these abuses also happen in domestic violence against women.  Do you have any idea what abused women go through?  It sends a shiver down my spine even as I write this- women and even young girls are subjected to forced rape, sexual assault and even murder! Women are also burned or killed in the name of a dowry and honor killing in some Asian countries.

They can be brutally attacked with acid.  The acid attack victim suffers with burns and scars on the face and body throughout the rest of her life, if she survives.

battered-woman2Besides these severe physical abuses women are also subject to biting, kicking, hitting, pushing, punching, slapping, and choking.  For that matter, even denying medical aid when needed, and depriving the partner of food and sleep causes physical harm.

Domestic abuse is not limited to physical abuse.  Some other forms of domestic violence are dominance, forced isolation, humiliation, harassment, intimidation, blaming, endangerment, stalking, and kidnapping.

Domestic violence also includes dating violence.  It’s sad to see how the dating valentines transform their loving relationships to domestic violence.

Remember that domestic violence can happen to anyone, but not everyone is an abuser.

Who is a Domestic Abuser?

A domestic abuser is no stranger.  The domestic act of violence are always committed by either the spouse, boyfriend, family member, or any know person having intimate relations.

Mostly the abusers are:

.  Youth in the age group of 18 to 30 years

.  Persons from low-income socioeconomic groups

.Unemployed and frustrated

. Uneducated or having lower levels of education

. Employees with low job satisfaction

. Abusers of alcohol and other substances

.Persons with a past history of violence

.  Those who grew up in an abused and violent family

.  People with antisocial personality disorders

.  People with attitudes and beliefs that accept gender inequality

However, exceptions are always there.

The abuser can also be an adult or senior, a person with high-income background- one who’s well placed in career, and even the one who’s not a substance abuser in any form.

One aspect that may surprise many is that most abusers are often charming and loveable in their other relationships. This, people might never suspect them of being aggressive and violent.  Yet, just like the Jekyll and Hyde personality, these charming abusers unleash hell when at home or in privacy.  Further, the domestic abusers are equally prevalent in all types of caste, creed, and race.  They all probably have the same types of reasons for domestic violence.

Why Does Domestic Violence Happen?

Arguments, differences, and disputes do occur occasionally in relationships.  An intimate relationship is no different in this respect.  But when things go to extremes, where one or both partners try to establish supremacy- the fair playground gets muddier.

Here are some basic reasons why partners abuse or are abused.

.  Domestic violence is a learned behavior.  Mostly you do what you see and experience.  You’re most likely to use violence in intimate relationships if you encounter it in your family and around yourself.

.  The kind of parenting you experience I a big factor in your becoming an abuser or victim.  You subconsciously start to imitate your parents and reinforce your observations.

.  Some even consider the effect of genetics, brain development, and biochemistry on the personality and nature of the abuser, and the acts of violence committed in close relationships.

.  Domestic violence occurs because one partner tries to gain power and control over another intimate partner.

. The abuse hurts the victim to induce fear by intimidation and inflicting pain so that the fear of leaving become greater than the fear of staying.

. A lot also depends on the socio-cultural status of the place where the abuser and the abused live.  Some countries or cultures fin the behaviors as normal, while other countries or cultures treat the same as domestic violence.

.  The public depiction of women as objects through videos, movies, songs, books, computer games, and especially pornographic material make women unworthy of respect.  This creates a negative impact in the young tender minds of children and teenagers, who later become abusers.

. Boys or male children are brought up in a way that they think they’re not responsible for their actions.  They think they can do what they want, and always have things their way, including mistreating their partners.

.  People who experience abuse in childhood are more likely to become abusers in their intimate relationships when they grow up.

.  Many religions have beliefs that teach and instruct women to accept male domination, and men to control women.

.  As a rule of nature, a submissive person is generally suppressed, pressurized, controlled and tortured even more by the dominant partner; this is what happens in domestic violence.

.  Acts of violence against women are planned and purposely done.  Men do it either because of a clash of egos, feeling of insecurity, intense dislike, or because they can’t tolerate her as an equal.

.  Domestic violence happens because the abuser is not happy with himself.  One who’s not happy with one’s own self can never be good and happy with others.

Can you think of more reasons?  Mention them in the comments.  Whatever be the reason, abuse of any kind is neither justified nor rational, whether it is against women or men.

Effects of Domestic Violence

The victim of domestic violence is battered and shattered.  The person begins to lose self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence.  But this is not all.

.  Talking about the United States, women who’re the victim of domestic violence are more likely to become homeless.

.  Many women lose their jobs being victims of intimate partner violence.

.Domestic abusers are likely to abuse even their children, besides abusing their wives.

.  Children, who witness or experience domestic abuse, are more likely to do the same when they grow up.  They might even become juvenile delinquents and engage in unsocial activities.

Many young children end up in jail for murdering their battered mother’s abuser.

.  Victims of domestic violence are likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosomatic problems, eating disorders, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, and even sexual dysfunction.

. The abused always fears the abuser, and this fear makes the victim dependent on the abuser.  They fear that leaving the abuser may bring more harm to them.

There may be many effects of domestic violence, so break the silence and come forward to share what you’ve experience, heard, or seen.  Remember, you might be able to help a domestic violence victim through your act.

To avoid the ugly effects of domestic violence, you should be able to recognize the early signs of domestic abuse.

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Are you suffering from domestic abuse?  If you’re not sure then you should know these signs of abuse and treat them as warnings before they take the ugly form of domestic violence.

I’ve presented them in question form so you can answer them in “yes” or “no”.

If you come up with having many “Yes’s” then you probably need to talk to someone close to you, who can be a family member, friend, or you can even consult a counselor.

.  Has your partner ever destroyed anything that is special to you like any objects, books, and clothes?

.  Have you ever been forced to have sex against your wish or in ways that you don’t approve of?

.  Do you fear your partner in any form or for any reason?  Do you fear going home?

.  Do you blame yourself for the violence?

.  Are you subject to frequent criticism and blame from you partner including being called names?

.  Have you ever been threatened verbally or by using a weapon?

.  Are you denied education and restricted access to sources of information like books and the internet?

.Does your partner or spouse often touch you in intimidating ways?

.  Are you often humiliated or insulted in public, besides in private?

.  Does your partner often criticize your family or friends?

.  Does your partner make you feel too lowly or unworthy or even makes you feel that you’re crazy?

.  Are you treated like a servant?

.  Are you often made to feel guilty of things directly or indirectly related to you, whether you’ve done them or not?

.  Are you never allowed to make big decisions about the family or even yourself?

.  Have you been denied to lead a life of your own and take a job?

.  Is your dignity being questioned?  Are you suspected of infidelity to the extent that all you moves and talks are monitored, even if you remain faithful?

.  Are you totally under control of your partner and can’t do anything without your partner’s permission?

.  Are your children being used against you, or are you threatened that they’ll be taken away from you?

.  Is your pet being abused just to create a scare in you so that you obey your partner?

.  Does your partner make you do illegal thins, blackmail you or even threaten to leave you or commit suicide?

.  Are you deprived of access to family income and not allowed to have your say in important financial matters?

.  Have you been troubled by your partner to arrange for money?

.  Does your partner take away all your money to make you dependent on him financially?

Many of you might feel that some of these questions don’t quite relate to domestic violence.  However, you need to remember that domestic abuse is not only physical, but also psychological, emotional, and mental.  Even violation of your basic human rights is an act of violence.

I’m sorry to say that if you have any of these signs, then it’s an indication that your partner doesn’t truly love you.

Why?  That’s because somebody who really loves you will give you all the freedom and never restrict you from being and developing yourself.

If you’re not given your place in the family and society, then you’re being deprived of your rights, and that’s a violation.  If you feel that many of these warning signs are part of your life, then you may be in an abusive relationship or in any of the states of domestic abuse.

Abuse is not about a single isolated incident or behavior, but frequently acting behaviors that form a pattern that becomes severe with time.  Never ignore these behaviors or patterns.  These may be the signs that you’ve a controlling partner.  You need to raise a strong voice against it.

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”  Mark Caine

 

 

What Should You Do in Domestic Abuse

 

It’s only you who can and who should do something about your condition and situation.  What you should do depends on the type and level of domestic abuse that you are suffering. I could write a full- fledged post about how to deal with domestic violence but I will give some general suggestions since this post is already very long.

 

First:  Take the initiative and courage to break the silence.  Talk to someone close to you.  If you can’t then try any online help resources for women suffering from domestic abuse, or call their toll free helpline numbers.

Second:  If you think communication with your partner makes sense, then convey your thoughts and feelings.  You will be surprised to see the things that can be resolved when you talk?  Only you know if you can do that.

Third: If mutual dialogue doesn’t help or isn’t possible and things turn pretty bad, then don’t hesitate to seek professional help and visit a certified counselor, or even call the police if need be.

Fourth:  if nothing works- walk out?  Don’t stay with a domestic abuser, nor try to make-do with a person when there is nothing left between both of you.  Your partner can even to the extent of crying and begging for forgiveness, but then you must realize that the apologies made are condition, and he indirectly holds you responsible for the abuse.

He might say that if you hadn’t said this or acted like that, then the abuse might never have happened.  Or, maybe his apology is genuine, you’ve to decide on that based on the past record of your partner.  Remember that the abuser is always in control, and his aim is to train the partner to be what and how he wants.

 

Call to Action

 

Abusers are people who like to abuse, and there’s no other cause to it.  Don’t fall for sweet talks if you’re in a serious abusive relationship.

You need to avoid this trap and cycle of abuse.

Never allow yourself to be abused or mistreated.  The choice always lies in your hands.

 

Before your abuser attempts to break down your sense of self-worth and make you feel helpless, you need to seek help and take important decisions of your life.  Always rememberthat if your partner loves you, he or she will never be abusive or violent. This should be an indication whether you want to move away or stay in a relationship.

Only an abuser will adopt the strategy and tactics of control and domination, and such behaviors are the root cause of abusive and violet behavior.  On the other hand, remember that since domestic violence is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned too.

You need to decide if you want to make amends and give your partner a second chance, but if nothing seems to be working, you should walk away as fast as you can.  Don’t think twice because your life is precious!

I know of my family and friends who are leading very happy lives after leaving their partners due to domestic violence. Some of them remarried to people who truly love them and are very happy now.

It’s your life and you have all the right to live it the way you want to. Go live your life, and break free if you have to because you live only once.

 

 

 

 

 

Tips For A Spring Wedding

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Tips for a Spring Wedding

 

Spring is one of the most popular seasons to get married. Everything is in bloom and just waking up form a long winter’s rest. It is very easy to a beautiful spring wedding on a small budget. All you need to do is set a budget, plan early and shop until you drop with all the cheap resources you can find. Some of the best resources that one can take advantage of when it comes to good cheap spring weddings are, the wedding gown, invitations, the cake, favors for the guests and bridal party, rings and even the photography.

Planning a wedding with a spring theme is very simple. When you start planning consider having the wedding on a beach. You really do not have to pay to have the wedding on the beach so that saves money for other things. Plan a spring wedding buy using certain themes such as a butterfly theme or even a tropical theme. Whatever theme you decide to go with, make sure the wedding invitations, favors, cake and even the wedding gown all match the theme accordingly.

If you really want to plan a spring wedding on the cheap side, skip using a wedding planner, they can cost an arm and leg. You can tons of things for a wedding online such as the photographers, rings, the place to have the wedding, the gown, flowers, caterers, and the invitations. In order to get the perfect spring wedding planned exactly the way you want it, start planning the wedding as early as possible like maybe December or January.

Wedding favors are great little trinkets to let your friends and family know you thank them for coming to your wedding. If you want to find the best selection of favor ideas, go online and search the many different vendors there. You can find some amazing little items for just a dollar or less. How cool is that?

Spring wedding can be gorgeous when it comes to decorating with flowers. Spring flowers are vibrant and colorful when it comes to decorating for a Spring wedding. You should choose flowers such as tulips, daffodils, chrysanthemums, daisies or even carnations. You can make flower arrangements using the same flowers you chose for your wedding bouquet so the entire theme matches.

Buying your wedding dress is probably what takes the most time of any wedding planning. Start looking for the perfect spring wedding dress months in advance, so the alterations are done in time. You should also do the same when it comes to the wedding parties’ attire. When you choose the colors for a spring wedding, use ones such as yellows, peaches, white, yellow and even pink.

A spring wedding really is one of the most beautiful weddings that a person could choose. Getting to use all the pastel colors to decorate and choose a beautiful sleeveless flowing gown are just a couple of perks. Anyone can plan a spring wedding quickly or even on a budget. Remember have fun and plan accordingly.

Here are nine wedding dresses for spring of 2013 fashioned created by todays wedding dress designers. Maybe you will find your style or one of these could give you an idea of what you want your dress to look like.

 

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I hope you enjoyed your wedding dress looking. It’s so much fun to dream and to plan that perfect day that only belongs to you and your man.

Top 10 Wedding Songs

This will make you smile. Click Here:Tiny Love Stories

http://posts.fanbox.com/hftw4 Here is another blog showing beautiful dresses.

 

Want Love to Last?

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If you want love to last you might think about marrying your best friend.
 
 
In much of American culture we have this image of love developing from eyes meeting across a crowded room, your socks roll up and down, and then BANG…love ignites! Love seems to happen that way if you watch a lot of Hollywood movies or read a lot of novels. Sadly, too often people make lifelong marital decisions about who to partner with using this template for finding love. More often than not, this method for finding love seems to be a recipe for disaster.

 

Additionally, where do people try and find love and a partner (especially after they complete their education when they are with so many single people of similar age and education)? Online? Bars? Health clubs? Do any of these locations really make much sense in terms of finding your soulmate? After all, who can believe what people post about themselves on the internet? Do you really want to meet your soulmate boozing it up at some bar? Do you really want to meet the life partner of your dreams watching themselves in a mirror while working out? Isn’t there a better way to find love that is more t

 

Want Love To Last

Since the 1970s just about half of all first marriages end in divorce(with the risks of second and third marriages ending in divorce increasing to 60 percent and more). Does anyone ever walk down the aisle on that special marital day saying to oneself, “Gee I have a 50 percent chance of this relationship working out”? The remaining half of marriages who stay together are not always examples of eternal marital bliss either are they? So what can be done to improve your odds of finding lasting love?

 

 

Want Love To Last

Well, some people are pretty negative on this front and argue that fidelity is a concept born of a shorter lifespan. If the average age of marriage is mid to late 20s and the average life span is approaching 80 then that is a lot of time to spend with one person who you thought was pretty hot when they were in their 20s. Some argue that life long partnering is a thing of movies and tradition but not realistic. I beg to differ.  

 

 

Want Love To Last

Of course there are many important factors that contribute to the odds of being happy in love including sexual attraction but one often overlooked element is the notion that you should think seriously about connecting with your pal rather than depending upon who turns you on the most. The day-to-day life of marital partners is so much more about shared interests, values, and perspectives on life and the world rather than who you enjoy looking at and having a fling with for a few hours in your week or month. While this notion seems obvious it is remarkable how few people follow the wisdom on this principle.

 

 

Want Love To Last

So, if you are looking for lifelong love you might want to put the brakes on your impulse to connect with who you think is the hottest and accelerate your relationship with those who you just really enjoy being around. Think about it….which strategy is likely to result in a relationship that lasts a life time?

 

So, when that stimulating attraction is great you don’t want to put all of your eggs in that basket if you want lasting love. What do you think? 

  • This article was written by Dr. Thomas Plante PhD

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 Time is Here…..

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I’m so excited and can’t keep my old heart from jumping up and down. I finally have my book of short stories on Amazon. It’s called, “Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes”. You can read just about any genre you want with these stories. I started working on them a couple of years ago.

One thing I’m very pleased about is using Afaheem Solutions to do the drawings before every chapter. Those pictures set the story off and give you little hints what it’s about. It was fun to see what concepts he would come up with in a short period of time. If I wanted something changed he would do it immediately.

I think my favorite of the stories is Forever Love based on a true event from my life. If you like paranormal, love and tragedy all wrapped up in a neat package, you will like this story.

Take a look at it and let me know what you think about the book.  Blessings to all.        Shirley

Sally’s Warning Chapter 3

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Background
Sally is a senior in high school, dealing with an alcoholic father and a young man who once was married to her best friend. The story takes place in the late 1960’s.

 

It was 7:00 p.m. and Sally’s father still wasn’t home. She knows what it means and so does Mona. “Sally, put the dishes on the table. Your father can eat when he gets home.”

“Mama, when I get done eating, I’m going to take my shower and go to bed. I’m reading a really good book. It’s called, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”

“I’ve heard of that book. Aren’t they making a movie from it, or something?”

“Yeah, I think so. Oh, speaking of movies, that reminds me. Linda and me want to go to the show Saturday afternoon. Is that all right? There’s a good movie on with Bette Davis.”

“Yes, you can go, but you have to get your ironing done first.”

“Okay, I’ll iron Saturday morning while it’s cool. I might even do some on Friday night.”

Sally and her mom talk while they eat their supper. Then Sally gets her shower and crawls up on the top bunk to read. Her room is in the middle of the house without any windows. She keeps a box fan blowing on her all the time. That’s the only way she can stand the oppressive heat.

Her dad comes in about 8:00. She can tell by his speech he’s been drinking. Mona finishes the dishes and sits down. She looks at her husband and asks if he wants something to eat.

“No I don’t want anything to eat. I’m not hungry. Besides, you know I don’t eat when I’m drinking. Me and a couple of the guys went to the Hilltop when I got off work.”

“I figured as much.”

“Where’s Sally? It’s too early to go to bed.”

“She’s in bed, reading.”

It isn’t but a couple of minutes after her dad arrives in the house she hears him yell her name.

“Sally, come out here. Sally, come out and see your ol’ dad.”

She jumps down from the bunk and walks into the living room. “Hi, Dad, you wanted to see me.”

“I sure did, do you want to drive my truck tomorrow?”

“Sure, I’d like to.” What’s going on? He never lets me drive his truck. He even has a hard time with mama driving it sometimes.

“If I drive your truck to school tomorrow, what will you drive to work”?

“I didn’t say a damn thing about you driving my truck to school. You won’t set foot in my truck tomorrow.”

“Oh, ok. I thought that’s what you meant, that I can drive it to school.”

“No, I didn’t mean that. You have your own damn car to drive. Get out of here, I don’t want to look at you anymore.” Her dad says in a sarcastic tone. Sally tucks her head and leaves the room. I wonder what that was all about. I can’t win with that man.

Sally climbs up to her bunk and tries to get back into her book wanting to forget about her father. She can hear his voice getting louder and louder as he talks. She turns out her bedroom light so her father will think she is asleep. Maybe he won’t wake her. It’s not going to be easy to go to sleep with his yelling, and it’s so hot in here.

Sally is suddenly woke by her father’s turning the room light on. “What did you just say to me? I told you, you are not driving my truck.”

“Daddy, I’ve not said anything. I was asleep until you woke me.”

“Yeah right. I heard you, so don’t bother lying.”

“Please, Daddy. I won’t drive the truck tomorrow. I want to go back to sleep.”

“You’re damn right you won’t drive the truck. Ungrateful kid.”

He walks away from her door, and Sally has to crawl to the foot of her bunk to turn out the light. She has a difficult time getting back to sleep, but she finally drifts off.

Friday finally arrives. Sally has it all planned to get the ironing done this evening so she can sleep in in the morning. Mona is in the kitchen preparing to start their supper. Some of the family is coming over, so it will be a good dinner. Sally calls out to her mom, “Mama, I’m going out front and sit for a little while and let it cool down more before I start my ironing”.

“Okay,” Mona says as she stands at the sink peeling potatoes.

Sally wasn’t outside ten minutes when Bill pulls up. She groans inwardly and waits for him to walk up to the bench. “Hi, Bill, what are you up to?”

“I stopped by to see if you want to go to the drive-in with me tonight.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Mama won’t let me. I have to do my ironing.”

“Where is your mom?”

“She’s in the house starting supper. Why?”

Bill didn’t answer her because he was already through the screen door. He’s inside about five minutes. Sally can’t stand the suspense of wondering what he is up to, so she went inside. Bill is standing in the kitchen talking to Mona.

Bill gets a big smile on his face, “Your mom says you can do your ironing in the morning and go to the show with me. Isn’t that great?”

Sally’s eye’s cut to her mama’s and Mona’s head is bobbing up and down. Oh, god, I’m done for. Now what am I going to do? “Oh, that’s wonderful.”

“I’ll pick you up at 7:00. You should’ve eaten by then. The movie called Adam and Eve is on at the drive in. Your mom told me you’d wanted to see it.”

“Yeah, I wanted to see it, but I was going to wait until it was inside at the Okla.”

“Well, now you don’t have to wait. I’ll see you later.” He walks from the kitchen and out of the house.

“Mama, why did you do that?”

“I got tired of him asking me to take you out. So now, he can take you out and leave me alone. Now little girl you either shit or get off the pot”.

“Mama, what a thing to say.”

“You know exactly what I’m saying. You haven’t ever told him no. You keep making excuses. Now you can’t make any more excuses.”

Oh, my life is ruined.

***

Sally’s date shows at straight up 7:00. Her mom answers the door when he knocks. He comes into the living room and waits for Sally to finish getting ready. He and Mona have a nice conversation. Finally, Sally comes out. Bill’s eyes brighten when he sees her. “Wow, you look nice.”

“Thank you,” Sally says as Bill stands and they walk to the door together. He opens the door for her and she steps through. She walks down the walkway towards his car. He hurries and gets to the car door just as she reaches for it. “Here, I got that.” He opens the door and she slides in. Since this is a date, I guess I shouldn’t hug the door like I did last time. She consciously tries to relax.

Bill walks to his side of the car and gets in. He’s all smiles as he takes them to the drive-in in McAlester. He’s talking the entire time he’s driving. Sally smiles and nods her head a lot. She’ll answer his question if he asks one, but never starts talking.

Once he gets to the Drive-In and parks, he looks at Sally and asks. “Would you like to go to the concession stand and get a Coke and some popcorn?”

“Sure, can we sit on the swings until time for the movie to start.”

“You like to swing, do you?”

“Yes, I do. I like to go up high and let the wind blow my hair. It’s fun.”

“Okay, I haven’t been on a swing in a very long time.”

The two of them sit on the swings and drink their Coke. They decide not to get popcorn until the movie starts. Bill pushes Sally on the swing and she laughs.

“That’s a nice sound to hear. I haven’t heard you laugh since me, you and Jackie were running around together. I’ve missed your laugh.”

“Bill, isn’t it time for the show to start? We’d best get our popcorn and another drink and head for the car.”
Braking herself with her feet, Sally gets off the swing. They walk to the concession stand and then back to his car. He opens the door on his side of the car and Sally slides over. Bill gets in beside her and puts the speaker in the window.
***

Sally wasn’t enjoying the movie at all. “I thought this would be a good movie, but it isn’t. It’s really overrated.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty bad. Do you want to go get something else to drink?”

“No thanks, let’s just go home. I’ve got to get up early in the morning to get my ironing done while it’s cool.”

“Oh, all right, home it is.” Bill removes the speaker and leaves the drive-in.

Pulling up in front of Sally’s home, Bill kills the engine on his car. He turns to Sally and takes hold of her right hand. Looking directly in her eyes, he says, ”Sally, I love you.”

Sally felt as if her lungs lost their air. She sputters “what!”

“I said I love you.”

“No you don’t!” Sally starts scooting to the passenger door and grabs the handle, opens the door and begins to get out of the car.

“Sally, don’t tell me how I feel. I love you and I have for a long time. Just think about it for a few days. You don’t have to say anything now.”

“Goodnight, Bill.”

“Night, Sally. Think about what I said.”

He starts the car and pulls away. Sally is speechless and doesn’t know what to think. This event is a total shock. Now what am I going to do?

Pets

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The Dogs of Babel

Image via Wikipedia

I received this from a friend of mine this morning and I had not read it before so I thought I would share it with my blog friends.  I’m a dog lover from start to finish but it has caused me to experience rolled eyes from some of my family and friends.  I have four dogs, Andy is a thirty-five# Cocker, Booker, four  pounds of pure energy, Eddy is 15 pounds of laid back love and then there is Angel who is a five-pound poodle princess and knows it.  They have trained me well. I sometimes feel as if I have a houseful of three-year olds.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I receive much more from them than I can give.

How do you feel about your pets?  Does it bother you if someone won’t come to your house because you have dogs?  Let me know.  I’m interested to know your thoughts on the subject.

The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door: Dear Dogs and Cats:  The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food.  The other dishes are mine and contain my food.  Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest. The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.  Racing me to the bottom is not the object.  Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run. I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed.  I am very sorry about this.  Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however.  Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep.  It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible.  I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm. For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door.  I must exit through the same door I entered.  Also, I have been using the bathroom for years – canine/feline attendance is not required. The proper order for kissing is:  Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog’s or cat’s butt.  I cannot stress this enough. Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:

TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS: (1)  They live here.  You don’t. 

(2)  If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.  That’s why they call it ‘fur’-niture. 

(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people. 

(4)  To you, they are animals..  To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don’t speak clearly. Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

(1) eat less,

(2) don’t ask for money all the time,

(3) are easier to train,

(4) normally come when called,

(5) never ask to drive the car,

(6) don’t hang out with drug-using people;

(7) don’t smoke or drink,

(8) don’t want to wear your clothes,

(9) don’t have to buy the latest fashions,

(10) don’t need a gazillion dollars for college and

(11) if they get pregnant, you can sell their c