Thoughts for the Days in May

May 3 ~ “To be yourself is all that you can do.”

May 4 ~ “When life becomes painful, it means God is saying, ‘I have a better plan for you.'”

May 5 ~ “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

May 6 ~ I am constantly amazed at how quickly things can get sideways.

May 7 ~ “Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness yet become something beautiful.”

May 8 ~ “Your past is just a story. And once you realize this it has not power over you.”

May 9 ~ Sometimes – the silence is deafening

May 11 ~ “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” ~ Matthew 7:7

May 12 ~ ” Your perception of me is a reflection of you. My reaction to you is an awareness of me.”

May 14 ~ “Be yourself, but be your best self.”

May 15 ~ “Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” ~ Linda Wooten

May 16 ~ “I know longer look for the good in people, I search for the real…because while good is often dressed in fake clothing, real is naked and proud no matter the scars.” ~ Chishala Lishomwa

May 17 ~ I don’t hate things in general. However, I do hate politics and indecision.

May 19 ~ “How long can you stand the heat?” ~ lyrics from Another One Bites the Dust by Queen

May 20 ~ Patience. Perseverance. Don’t fail me now.

May 25 ~ “The pen is mightier than the sword.” ~Edward Bulwer-Lytton

May 26 ~ I completely believe that we don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason. The challenge is to know why they are in your life. Enjoy their company while you can because they may soon be gone.

May 27 ~ “Waiting is a sign of true love and patience. Anyone can say I love you, but not everyone can wait and prove it’s true.”

May 29 ~ “At the end of the day, all that matters is love and memories. So make sure you give it and make sure you make them.”

May 30 ~ “Angry people want you to see how powerful they are. Loving people want to see how powerful YOU are.” ~ Chief Red Eagle

May 31 ~ “To light a candle is to cast a shadow.” Light in one place can mean darkness in another.

© 2010-2016 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

 

 

 

The Myth of the Other Woman

Yes. I said it out loud.

It is my belief that the idea of the “other woman” is a true myth.

And yes, I fully expect to get some backlash for that.

But, please, hear me out.

I believe that, like a fence, there are only two sides to the idea of the “other woman”:

  • the side where you get hurt
  • the side where the other woman gets hurt

Buried somewhere in there are different degrees of pain. Some of the pain lasts longer than the rest. This is a matter of perception, as most everything in life is. Other critical factors in the pain that is felt are the true level of commitment in the relationship, and the level of perceived commitment in the relationship of both the guy(s) and the gal(s).

Yes, I just inferred that it might be in your head. I can only say that because I have been there too – both when it is real, and when I manufactured it. As a writer and an analyst, I have a tendency to overthink  A LOT.

In reality, the idea of the “other woman” is not about the other woman at all; it is about you and the guy. It’s that simple.

At this point in our lives, most of us gals should have already seen both sides of this fence; and, depending on your perception, become connected to men who traverse both sides, and the middle. Needless to say, all of us have been damaged by it.

How much you are damaged by this scenario comes down to how you cope with your own identity, your honesty with that identity, and your honesty when communicating to your guy.

You become as damaged as you allow yourself to become.

The good news is that, like most everything in this life, you have a choice. Your choice is determined by the boundaries that you set for yourself, which in turn come from how you work through past relationships in conjunction with your own inner woman.

I, like many women my age, have seen my share of both sides. I have been hurt terribly. I have scars.

I have had to turn my back on a really good man because I chose not to be a part of jeopardizing his existing relationship after I found out that he and I were going down a dark path together. I have had to turn my back on two really good men because each of them overstepped the boundaries that I set for myself. The thing about that is I didn’t have a solid knowledge of those boundaries until I was already immersed in the situation.

In these cases, I was the other woman, just on different sides of the fence. They  were really good men who were struggling with their own issues and were straddling the fence in the middle.

But, I gave of myself to the best of my ability because it was the right thing to do. I didn’t point fingers, I didn’t get angry (well, maybe not too angry).

When I emerged, I was a stronger woman for all of it and continue to gain strength, wisdom, and can still love completely.

No matter what side of the “other woman” fence you are currently on, here are some pointers that I have tried and found to work well, if you have the strength to employ them consistently:

  • Be honest with yourself and your guy about exactly what type of relationship you both think you are in.
  • This involves a strong level of open communication.
  • Clearly identify – for yourself – what you will and will not put up with; then set the standard.
  • Be patient; sometimes it takes some time for an unfamiliar standard to become the norm.
  • When the norm is established, do not waver (too much).
  • Hold yourself, and him, accountable.
  • Be flexible; we are all people with our own demons and challenges.
  • When you get to the point of love, love completely and unconditionally, regardless of the outcome.
  • Protect your heart.
  • Remember that this is not all about you; there are two other people involved along with you.

This situation is not an easy one to navigate, particularly when there is so much bad and ill-informed literature out there. If you allow the bad advice in, it can result in empowering you to point fingers, label, control, and establish a selfish point of view in order to move through it. This type of advice will only complicate your situation.

Good luck being the other woman! If you’re lucky, you will learn to relax and enjoy the ride.

© 2010-2016 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Tales From The Dating Scene: Replay

Until recently, I would have told you that – based on my own past experience – it is impossible to get back together with an ex and sustain it.

The behavior patterns are still there. The same things that broke your relationship up the first time are likely still lingering and will cause distress and pain again.

I would also have told you that getting back together with your ex probably is not psychologically or emotionally healthy. As you put yourself out on that limb again, with the same person and the same behaviors that were toxic before, you again expose yourself to risk that you have already lived through and moved past (or hopefully moved past). Pain you already experienced.

Like sticking yourself with a needle over and over or banging your head against a wall, getting back with an ex is like a distorted type of masochism.ex image

That is what I would have told you.

Until recently.

Let me share with you some things that I have learned during this new journey:

  1. Be extremely honest with yourself and with each other – where you are at now, and what you learned – both good and not so good – the first time around.
  2. Discuss the above from the beginning of this new journey – DO NOT DELAY. If you delay too long, you risk falling back into the same patterns.
  3. Recognize the great things about yourself and your ex. Now that you both have absorbed the bad behaviors, it is the perfect time to focus on the positive and good.
  4. Identify specific behaviors that you want to change this time – and share with each other. It is important to regain trust in each other. This is a fresh opportunity to grow and mature – together.
  5. Trust is not built in a vacuum. Take those small steps together to build that trust again, slowly.
  6. Relax, slow down, and let go. Enjoy the time together without clenching on too tightly.
  7. Try to reduce, if not eliminate, frivolous expectations.
  8. Maintain separate interests, friends, and goals. Do NOT lose yourself in the other.
  9. Do new things together and foster new experiences and new memories.

By no means am I suggesting that getting back with an ex is for everyone.

positive

But, one of the advantages of getting back with your ex is that you already know what you are getting into. Sure, some of that is irritating. But, on the other hand, there are sure to also be some enjoyable things that you honestly missed. Short of your ex being a murderer or being just plain extreme, it is that much less that you have to struggle to learn over again than if you were to get into a relationship with someone new.

You already know whether the other snores, how they take their coffee, how punctual they are, or how long they spend in the shower. What makes them laugh, what them smile, what makes them happy. Instead of re-learning that about someone new, you can take that same amount of time investigating the awesome things about your ex – just in case you both did not have time to do that the first time around.

In this way, you forge a new, stronger relationship. Who knows, it might be the second chance that you’ve both been waiting for.

ex-boyfriend-300x239

© 2010-2016 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Thoughts For The Days in April

April 6 ~ Purging quickly and moving on. A new tool for the toolset.

April 10 ~ Shin splints. The price tag of getting active again. Ugh!

April 13 ~ “Some things will never change. They stand there looking backwards, half unconscious from the pain. They may seem rearranged. In the backwater swirling, there is something that will never change.” ~  lyrics from Backwater by Meat Puppets

April 14 ~ It’s teamwork, man. Why would you constantly be looking for ways and reasons to throw me under the bus?

April 24 ~ “Never water yourself down because someone else can’t handle you at 100 proof.” ~ unknown meme

April 25 ~ “Some things are better left unsaid, which I generally realize right after I have said them.” ~ unknown meme

April 26 ~ Appreciate what you have. Don’t lament or be angry over what you think you are owed or what you think you should have. Still trying to figure out if it is a nature thing…or a nurture thing. Probably both….

April 28 ~ “It’s not always rainbows and butterflies. It’s compromise that moves us along.” ~ lyrics from She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5.

© 2010-2016 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Thoughts for the Days in March

March 2 ~ Consistency matters.

March 16 ~ Your work ethic is a reflection of you.

March 19 ~ I don’t care who you are voting for in this upcoming election, nor what party you affiliate with. Frankly, I don’t think there are any viable candidates available. But, please do not debase the political process nor the opinions and beliefs of others by defaulting to name calling. Name calling is a dirty schoolyard tactic that we all should have left on the schoolyard decades ago. It is merely a nasty way of bringing another person (or party) down to an emotional level to either avoid or dilute the facts. Use your words, research the topics, and be able to speak intelligently and like an adult, with other adults, like-minded or not. If you can’t say something intelligent and constructive, don’t say anything at all. To use name calling as a debate tactic is juvenile, fruitless, and only serves to further divide people.

© 2010-2016 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

 

Tales From The Dating Scene: The 90-Day Shelf Life

What I am about to write might sound crass, or jaded. But it is the truth.

What you are about to read started several years ago when I began wondering why every relationship I decided to get into seemed to not be able to last longer than 90 days.

I think I have finally figured it out. It all comes down to shopping habits.

Think about how you shop. Whether you are shopping for food, or clothes, or towels, the process is usually the same. You pick up an item that interests you, you look at it, maybe view it from several angles, and then put it down. You scan down the shelf for other similar items. You pick up one or two. Put them down. Read a few labels, look at prices. You think about how that item will fit into your house and your life. Eventually, you come to a decision and buy it. Or put it down in the interest of something else.

This is the life of a commodity in the eyes of a consumer.

From within the dating scene, the men you meet and date  are the same, only a commodity. And you are only a commodity to them.

“Here’s something else to think about: calling when you say you’re going to is the very first brick in the house you are building of love and trust. If he can’t lay this one stupid brick down, you ain’t never gonna have a house baby, and it’s cold outside.” ~ Greg Behrendt, He’s Just Not That Into You: The No Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys. 

Similar to the shopping scene and process, you go online and view their images, you read their bios, you decide if they would be something you like, you weigh their qualities against those of other men, maybe you try them on by going on a date or two, and then you take the plunge…or not.

Straightforward. Simple. Man or woman, we are all doing it the same way.

With some items, like food, or even clothes, you get them home and maybe use them or put them away somewhere.

No matter what, every commodity has a shelf life. A shelf life is defined as a period of time during which the product is considered most usable. For food, this could mean that eventually the food will expire and have to be thrown away because it is no longer safely edible. For clothes, this could mean that after so many washings it will begin to look faded or even fall apart.

Same applies to relationships on the dating scene. They all have a shelf life.

“Never rearrange your life in order to meet Mr. Darcy half way. If he couldn’t see your worth at the moment you met then he won’t two years later.” ~ Shannon L. Adler

There are articles out there that suggest that the shelf life of a new relationship is biologically and scientifically proven. The shelf life of a new relationship in the dating scene is roughly 90 days.

The explanation for the 90-day shelf life on new relationships is compelling. Basically, it states that within the first 90 days of meeting someone that we are attracted to, our hormones and instincts make it virtually impossible for us to see the things about that person that we should be. We are wired to look past the personality quirks and the idiosyncrasies in order to facilitate procreation. We are wired to not focus on the red flags unless they are life-threatening. To read more, go to Your Tango.

So, yes, the honeymoon phase that we all go through is not a myth and is biologically based. Only after the hormones and instinctual nature have simmered down do our brains then have the capacity to analyze what we are up against.

“One of the best times for figuring out who you are & what you really want out of life? Right after a break-up.” ~ Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass. 

Recently, during a forensic analysis with a group of friends over my most recent failed relationship, I was told about the concept of a 90-day rule. My first reaction was that it had to do with not having sex in a relationship for 90 days. Personally, I don’t think sex has a lot to do with whether or not a relationship succeeds.

It was explained to me that the 90-day rule is more about just having fun and using the period of 90 days to determine whether or not you really want to continue with this person. That after 90 days, either one of you can decide that it’s not going to work or you can decide that hey this is kind of good and let’s keep going.

What a new fresh approach. You mean, I can look at these guys as a “thing”, a commodity? I don’t have to jump in and try to make it work at all costs? I can enjoy myself and look past their oddities, and in 90 days just say no to the continuing ordeal?

“You picked a lemon, throw it away. Lemonade is overrated. Freaks should remain at the circus, not in your apartment. You already have one asshole. You don’t need another. Make a space in your life for the glorious things you deserve. Have faith.” ~ Greg Behrendt

It was a completely different perspective. And, it is completely out of line with my whole process of shopping. When I shop, and then buy something, I tend not to return things quickly. I make them work. But, I am also highly selective and put a lot of time into the initial selection. I am not an impulse shopper by any means.

On the flipside, I now understand that the men I have dated are exactly that, impulse shoppers. And I was their commodity, along with all the other women whom they had previously used and then discarded.

I buy value and in small quantities, with the intent to nurture and grow it. They bought quantity with the intent of going out and buying something else the minute they became bored or dissatisfied. And, like returning it to the store because it doesn’t do what you thought it would, I became their commodity.

Interesting – the things we learn when we look under the rocks and into the dark crevices.

I am so excited for the next “relationship”. I have done the analysis, learned something new, and have a new toolset to play with next time.

Watch out guys – your time is up.

© 2010-2016 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Image of Austin Live: SXSW

SXSW (aka South by Southwest) is a huge annual festival  that occurs in Austin.

It is a defining element of the flavor of Austin – a blend of film, music, and technology – in an atmosphere of defined comaraderie and exploration by thousands of like-minded travelers from all over – including Austinites!

While the event showcases much more than music, it is the music that I am most passionate about. So, when I go, that is what I focus on. That, and the flair that accompanies it – the people, the places, the things. One more reason I love Austin!

© 2010-2016 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Trailer food park 2

Just one of the trailer food parks in Austin – this one is specifically for SXSW. When you go, make sure to try the Chocolate Truffles, and other tasty treats, at Boteca!

Cantina lunch

For a unique blend of Tex-Mex cuisine, try Licha’s Cantina. The Ceviche and the Pastor-Bacon-Chorizo Quesadillas were fabulous. Don’t forget to get a margarita – powerful and tasty!

Cantina lunch 2

The front porch at Licha’s Cantina

Oxymoron in a chop shop

A new quintessential Austin experience – a true garage band. This was the band Oxymoron. Check them out at www.facebook.com/oxymoronband

Cool in the chop shop

Colorful and creative Austin

Trailer food park

The other half of the trailer food park. When in Austin, you must try trailer food!

Rapping rock on Rainey

I didn’t get the name of this band, but they skillfully combined rap with pretty decent rock – Eminem-style. Impressive.

Hyatt atrium

The atrium in the Hyatt Regency