When You Least Expect It (2) ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Continuing on from last night’s post ~

Surprised With Joy –
(apologies or thank you to C. S. Lewis)-continued-

Last night I wrote about how I asked Toby after several meetings if we were dating. As I said, I was horrified as soon as the question came out of me. I didn’t need to worry. He looked at me and without hesitation said: “We keep making arrangements to meet and neither of us cancel or skip them, so yes – I’d say we are dating.” Of course, the fact that he winked at me and slightly stuck out his tongue – only underscored the seriousness of the conversation.

But The Luggage Tag Says (5)

On the 27th I wrote about ~ “Fantasy travel: A very weak color, which leads away from the bright color of reality.”

I’ve written before about my non-relationship relationship with ZZ. This is probably the most personal of the false expectations trap. Not only did I have false expectations,. . . ” but I was convinced that I could turn everything into reality – by sheer force of will if necessary.

I was so sure that everything was going to turn out as I expected and desired, I literally decorated my luggage of life with various tags – the one of fantasy travel being quite prominent. And for an incredible number of years, I clung tightly to that tag – believing that ZZ would change, that our entire lives would change. And it never happened. But, of course, I had invested to much into the false itinerary, I became overwhelmed by the idea of making it a reality and making the journey fit what I felt it should be. And long the journey, I lost myself. I fell into several major traps because my expectations were not grounded for flight school as they should have been.

In the book “The Wizard of Oz” – the citizens wore glasses that created the delightful colors of the city. The emerald color was a fantasy. Without the glasses that everyone entering the city was required to wear it was a dull gray almost lifeless set of buildings.

Which is in a sense looking at the world through rose-colored-glasses.

Some unfortunate people never take their rose-colored glasses off, but everyone wears these spectacles occasionally. This attitude of cheerful optimism, of seeing everything in an attractive, pleasant light, has always been with us, while the expression itself goes back to at least 1861, when it is first recorded in ‘Tom Brown at Oxford’: ‘Oxford was a sort of Utopia to the Captain.He continued to behold towers, and quadrangles, and chapels, through rose-colored glasses.
–From the “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins”
by Robert Hendrickson
(Facts on File, New York, 1997)

Some of those around me have expressed concern about Toby which is more an expression of concern about me. And I can accept that. After all, I’ve written about things in the luggage cars behind me where I’ve been wearing colored glasses or decided that what wasn’t going to be – would be. And believe me, there are other stories that I will share as time goes on. However:

Little Did I Know –

That there would such interesting differences this time around. I seem to have misplaced most of the emerald/rose colored glasses. Perhaps I’ve misplaced them somewhere around – but it’s giving me quite a different outlook on what’s going on around me. Toby seems to have some faults. (as if I don’t?) And there are a couple of them that are quite serious. One of the most major faults he is overcoming, and as long as he’s willing to work on it – I am going to be able to help. I can not change anyone, but I can help support someone in the process of changing. And how do I know he wants to make that change?

Shortly after the dating discussion, he said that he wanted to “mark” me as being part of his life. I will admit that the first image that flashed through my mind was from the movie from several years ago where someone lived near wolves and just as they did – he “marked” his territory. (So never going to happen!) Thankfully, Toby doesn’t take long pauses when he talks, so the image didn’t have long to stay around. He handed me something to wear. Something simple – but with meaning to him. I thought for a bit, and agreed. It was not a couple of days later that he had a serious setback with something he was overcoming.

Several things (once I seriously thought about it) impressed me. The first thing that impressed me was the honesty to tell me. The second one – he wanted to meet to talk about what had happened. There was no attempt to cover-up, and he wanted a discussion to openly share. I agreed, but was not wearing what he’d given me. I explained to him, that wearing it was a commitment to where we were in the dating situation and the commitment had to go both ways. After two very serious talks, I started wearing it again. And he put together support options.

I seem to have misplaced my “fixer” mentality. I didn’t immediately try and make everything right, proper and lose any “oil” in the process. I also made a decision that I was going to “wait and see” how this played out before either getting back into what was going on or dropping the entire package with little or no chance of redelivery.

I’m basically relaxed in what’s going on with “us.” (I have a little trouble typing that word right now – but that no doubt will change.) I’m not looking at picket fences nor am I waiting for the “other-shoe-to-drop.” Things are very much in the “now” and not “what could/would be.” Which for this traveler could be considered quite a feat. (I think a few of the baggage cars have been removed from my train.)

I seem to have lost my expectation “maps” of territories that haven’t been explored yet. Certainly I’m not stating that I’ve turned off my mind and am simply floating down the river of whatever is happening. However, I’m much more willing to allow things to happen in their own natural rhythm instead of becoming a Koyto Drummer and demanding my expectations to be met on my timetable.

And little did I know, I agree even more with the quote Nodrin King (from A Flat With A View) shared with me:

Happiness is not something that someone else, like a lover, can give to us. We have to achieve it for ourselves. And the only way to do so is by developing our character and capacity as human beings; by fully maximizing our potential … What is important now is to work hard at developing yourselves into truly wonderful human beings. Ultimately, the relationships you form are a reflection of your own state of life.

And lastly – the poem I posted the other night, will perhaps make even more sense now …

I will stand where I have not stood before.
I will live in a way I have not lived before.

The way may not be always clear,
direct or
completely visible –

However –
I will stand where I have not stood before.
I will live in a way I have not lived before.

It will always amaze me how things happen when I least expect them.

–dating carrots by Martha Mickles
http://www.usm.maine.edu/art/alumni/alumnishow/pages/Martha Mickels, Dating.htm

Early Morning Thoughts ~ Amore (part 2)

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and being the terminal romantic that I am, (the symptom of terminal romanticism: we pat the sandwiches after we make them) I’ve been thinking about love. A number of years ago Art Linkletter had a section of his TV program called “Kids Say The Darndest Things.” Of course, the joy of that program was his ability to get children to admit to things their parents were usually horrified to hear. One little girl I remember announced her Mother’s pregnancy on national television – something her Mother had not told ANYONE, including the Father!

However, children have insights that we adults (who have lost our childlike enthusiasm for life) tend to miss.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, “What does love mean?”
The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.

What do you think?

“When my grandmother got arthritis,
she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time,
even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”
–Rebecca- age 8

“When someone loves you, the way
they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is
safe in their mouth.”
–Billy – age 4

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume
and a boy puts on shaving cologne
and they go out and smell each other.”
–Karl – age 5

“Love is when you go out to eat
and give somebody most of your
French fries without making them
give you any of theirs.”
–Chrissy – age 6

“Love is what makes you smile
when you’re tired.”
–Terri – age 4

“Love is when my mommy makes
coffee for my daddy and she takes
a sip before giving it to him, to
make sure the taste is OK.”
–Danny – age 7

“Love is when you kiss all the time.
Then when you get tired of kissing,
you still want to be together and
you talk more.
My Mommy and Daddy are like that.
They look gross when they kiss”
–Emily – age 8

“Love is what’s in the room
with you
at Christmas
if you stop opening
presents and listen.”
–Bobby – age 7 (Wow!)

“If you want to learn to love better,
you should start with a friend
who you hate,”
–Nikka – age 6
(we need a few million more
Nikka’s on this planet)

“Love is when you tell a guy you
like his shirt,
then he wears it everyday.”
–Noelle – age 7

“Love is like a little old woman and
a little old man who are still friends
even after they know each other so well.”
–Tommy – age 6

“During my piano recital, I was on
a stage and I was scared. I looked
at all the people watching me and
saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that.
I wasn’t scared anymore.”
–Cindy – age 8

“My mommy loves me more
than anybody .
You don’t see anyone else kissing
me to sleep at night.”
–Clare – age 6

“Love is when Mommy gives Daddy
the best piece of chicken.”
–Elaine-age 5

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy
smelly and sweaty and still says
he is handsomer than Brad Pitt.”
–Chris – age 7

“Love is when your puppy licks
your face even after you left him
alone all day.”
–Mary Ann – age 4

“When you love somebody, your
eyelashes go up and down and
little stars come out of you.”
(what an image)
–Karen – age 7

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’
unless you mean it.
But if you mean it, you should say it a lot.
People forget.”
–Jessica – age 8

And the final one —
Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia
supposedly talked about a contest
he was asked to judge –
The purpose of the contest was to
find the most caring child.

The winner was a four year old child
whose next door neighbor was
an elderly gentleman who had
recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little
boy went into the old gentleman’s yard,
climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had
said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
“Nothing, I just helped him cry”

more on amore later