Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rules To Break

Way back when all of this started in January, I was very concerned about being Xing Fu's rebound relationship.  In fact, there were quite a few people who warned me about that.  Therefore, it was very gratifying to come across this little snippet from Yahoo & Match.com by Lisa Cericola.  The title of the article is "6 Dating Rules to Ditch".

Rule #2: Rebound relationships never last
Give yourself time, they always say. While it’s healthy to mourn a relationship’s passing, that doesn’t mean you should ignore anyone great you meet while you recoup. “Not all breakups are the same,” explains Brent Atkinson, Ph.D., of The Couples Clinic, adding that some couples have mentally broken up months before things become official. “Instead of focusing on the timing of a new relationship, where you are emotionally after a breakup is a better indicator of whether a rebound relationship will work out.” Case in point: “My rebound relationship has lasted four years!” says Debbie Fraser, 27, from Philadelphia. “My boyfriend Bill and I met while I was in a rocky relationship with my ex. The more we hung out, the more Bill made me realize how bad my current situation was. It wasn’t long before my ex and I broke up. I was a little worried about jumping from one relationship to another, and I’ll admit that things weren’t smooth sailing in the beginning. My previous relationship left me feeling pretty emotionally damaged, and we had lots of issues to work through as a new couple. But with time, we got through our problems and couldn’t be happier now. It really made me realize that you shouldn’t pass up a good thing just because of timing.” 


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice

 Been getting ready for Annapolis Race Week--I am quite excited by this three-day race--kinda the culmination of the summer.  We've had two practice sessions & I must say I've learned a ton from them--great that we want to ramp it up a bit competitively.  It was especially cool yesterday when we had Bary from Quantum sails on board to coach us.  Right back to the basics & flying the kite without the pole through several jibes to get a feel for boat movement.  There is nothing like free-flying the kite--such an exhilarating experience & even though I do it most Wednesdays, I really got a feel for it last night.  I am very thankful for the time to learn.  Also great is that Xing Fu is foredeck for this race so we have an opportunity for a weekend race together.  Actually, much like the Screwpile Regatta--a series of races over three days--windward/leeward.  We will have another practice & I hope Bary can join us again--hopefully with a bit more wind.  We opted out of racing last night & it was a wise decision--there was just no wind at sunset--most of the fleet was still bobbing in the dark as we motored by.  The sunset was beautiful & the full moon rising was just as spectacular--glad I was able to share it with Xing Fu as we stood by the mast watching the reflection on the water.

Practice seems to be the theme--been a week of practicing between us as well--as I've said in the past, "learning each other" and sometimes there are growing pains.  Not traumatic or cause for alarm, just negotiations on time & learning each others' needs.  As I said in the last post, we're getting there & sometimes it's a bit harder to unravel it all.  After an unsettling beginning to the week, we seem to have come to some basic understandings & perhaps this phase is passing--at least I'm feeling better--a bit more optimistic. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

We Will Get There

Today marked the first day back to work for me & of course as much as I do enjoy working for BCPS(S), it is always an adventure when I return--what works & mostly what doesn't work & who to call to get it to work the fastest.  And all the staff training--which bars me from the real work at hand--setting up my office for the new school year.  We will get there.

Adieu to summer & it was a deeply amazing one on many, many levels--much has been chronicled here of course but much has not.  In some ways I wish I could write here about those situations but in the interest of privacy I cannot.  I will say however, that those situations & individuals create a sense of black-out--I am in the shadows & only briefly peep through the curtains.  I know someday that will change but in the meantime it is hugely frustrating, but I feel that if handled correctly the reward will far outweigh my current sense of fringe dwelling & the disappointment that accompanies it.  We will get there. 

This weekend was a deeply emotional one for Xing Fu & I--wasn't necessarily supposed to be, but that's how it turned out.  I think in some ways there was a cosmic shift as it were--this is no longer just a short-term feeling(not that it ever was), but now we've really moved into the LTR.  So there are new feelings to be explored that have popped out for various reasons.  On Saturday morning we hit a real nerve--but, because we've started out talking about how we feel & being honest with one another, we were able to openly explore it--look at all angles & perhaps figure out root causes without allowing the hurt to creep in & muddy things up--I must admit that it was quite difficult to do & it takes a real trust in the other person to be able to navigate those swirling eddies & cat paws.  Even so, we had a boat to catch--practicing for Annapolis Race Week & we needed to get down to Galesville.  On the way we continued our exploration & I think we were able to figure it out although I still felt rather unsettled until about halfway through the day.  As we came to some resolution a very particular song began to play on XM--the one I posted over the weekend (Maybe I'm Amazed)--incredibly appropriate for what we had been discussing--amazing how these things work--and in particular between the two of us. Kinda blows my mind.  Anyhoo, went out on the boat & got very busy with the practice plus I was certainly distracted by the presence of Seamus who is joining us as crew for this race.  This is the first time that Xing Fu & he had really met face to face & had to negotiate their individual relationships with me--and I'm happy to say that it seems to be working out well...I certainly love the attention & it is a lot of fun--Seamus is very funny & quite the character.  Here is an example where the sailing community is a small one.  The day passed & I asked Xing Fu if he was feeling better about things--we both were & as I said--there was that almost tangible shift in my head.  I'm not saying that those feelings won't crop up again, but I think we'll recognize them & be able to tackle them a bit more easily in the future.  We will get there.

Sunday was another milestone of a sort(we seem to mark these quite a lot),  we spent the day in a rather domestic shade--shopping for the week, fixing some stuff in my house, mundane stuff--could be considered rather boring but as always we both enjoyed the simplicity.  Bodes well for the future & in the true sense of moving forward & thinking about the future--We are getting there.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Maybe I'm Amazed

Maybe I'm amazed at the way you love me all the time
Maybe I'm afraid of the way I love you
Maybe I'm amazed at the way you pulled me out of time
And hung me on a line
Maybe I'm amazed at the way I really need you

Maybe I'm a man and maybe I'm a lonely man
Who's in the middle of something
That he doesn't really understand
Maybe I'm a man
and maybe you're the only woman who could ever help me
Baby won't you help me understand

Maybe I'm a man and maybe I'm a lonely man
Who's in the middle of something
That he doesn't really understand
Maybe I'm a man
and maybe you're the only woman who could ever help me
Baby won't you help me understand

Maybe I'm amazed at the way you're with me all the time
Maybe I'm afraid of the way I leave you
Maybe I'm amazed at the way you help me sing my song
You right me when I'm wrong
Maybe I'm amazed at the way I really need you

Maybe I'm a man and maybe I'm a lonely man
Who's in the middle of something
That he doesn't really understand
Maybe I'm a man
and maybe you're the only woman who could ever help me
Baby won't you help me understand 

Paul McCartney & Wings

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Weight

I'm not usually the type to hold a grudge--in fact if I have a disagreement with someone, I don't wait around to confront an issue--I like to resolve it & move on.  I find it far more stressful to avoid conflict than to face it immediately so the fact that right now I'm not dealing directly with something that happened about a month ago is somewhat surprising.  But I'm still upset & frankly not ready to confront that person.  So instead, I'm writing about it & hoping that it will help me get to a point where I will discuss what happened with the individual & bring it to closure.

I wrote earlier about the week where I felt adrift & without focus & how that affected me.  And interestingly I revisited my Meyers-Briggs test (ENFJ--The Teacher) & it clearly states that ENFJs dislike intensely being alone--yup, me!  That week was all about being alone--bleck!  So I really needed a lot of support--comments like, "Oh, Grow Up!"  just do not help.  That was the first transgression--not that I wanted people to drop everything & come to my rescue, but a little compassion & soothing noises would have been nice.  OK, so I let that one go more or less.  (And even if most folk reading this think I'm being a big baby, so what?  All of us have issues like this & this is just mine.)  

Anyway, a few days later we were all gathered for a political information meeting & the presentation was over & guests were talking & milling around the host's house.  I received a phone call from Xing Fu (away that week) & I excused myself to talk to him.  We had a nice, long conversation & then I rejoined the group.  The next day my friend called me to talk about what she observed & what she had discussed.  She said that it was rude to have taken the call during the gathering & that according to another individual there (actually, the hostess) I shouldn't always be so available to Xing Fu.  When she (the hostess, not my friend) isn't always available to her husband, he's all over her.  I became hugely upset by that whole discussion.  Number one, was the betrayal of my trust to a woman who doesn't even know me that well & has no business giving me relationship advice having only been married a few short years herself.  Not only am I at least 10 years older than she is but I've been in a marriage before myself--additionally, if anyone knows me, I dislike intensely game-playing in relationships.  Marriages are built on honesty--playing hard-to-get games smacks of high school, frankly.  And even more, anyone who's observed my relationship with Xing Fu (and my friend has), & has heard me talk about it (again, she has), knows that WE DON'T PLAY GAMES!!!  So that little piece of "helpful advice" is incredibly insulting on so many levels.  

Secondly, I was not rude.  The main event was long over & I excused myself from the gathering & went outside on the deck to have a private chat.  If the hostess thought I was rude, then she offends too easily.  People were "excusing" themselves by leaving--was she offended that they left?  I don't think so.  No one was waiting for me to rejoin--they were all having conversations inside so I felt no pressure to be a part of that at the time. After my friend finished telling me all of this, I became very irate & abruptly ended our conversation--I haven't spoken to her since.

This is what is bothering me:  she didn't seem to get that her "relationship advice"  was uncalled for, & inappropriate and at that particular time when Xing Fu was away, completely missed the mark in the kind of support I needed & seemed almost mean-spirited since she knows that I don't play like that.  That she betrayed my trust when she injected an opinion of someone that I have no respect for when it comes for long-term relationship advice, and furthermore, even discussed my relationship with her in that kind of detail.  And that now, she hasn't reached out to even discuss what's wrong, she knows that the last time we talked, I was upset--she hasn't bothered to call me to see how things are--so that angers me to this day--as if I had a friend that I hadn't heard from, I would want to know if something was wrong.  It questions her friendship with me that she isn't remotely concerned.  So this is my weight & so far I don't feel that I should be the one to call her.  It is still unresolved.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Listen To Your Usher

When you kissed my lips with my mouth so full of questions
My worried mind that you quiet
Place your hands on my face
Close my eyes and say
That love is a poor man's food
Don't prophesize
I could hold you in my arms
I could hold you forever
And I could hold you in my arms
I could hold you forever

From: Hold You In My Arms by Ray LaMontagne 
Merriweather Post Pavilion

Last night we went to see Ray LaMontagne & David Gray at Merriweather.  This was the last of the summer concert tickets that we had.  I guess now it's time to plan the fall series--I think it will include a few symphony performances as well--been ages since I went to the symphony--I used to go a ton when I lived in St. Louis--partially because of my job at the time & also because I do love classical music even if I don't listen to it that often anymore.  Anyway, last night's concert was a very different vibe from most of the others we've attended--Arcade Fire & Spoon being the last--currently Arcade Fire is at the top of the Indie chart & most folk already know how I feel about Spoon.  But these guys are more singer/songwriter types so a much mellower & even older crowd--no standing up in front of your seats & grooving to the music--everyone just sitting back & chilling.  But no less enjoyable--certainly both artists' songs speak to me--but this one just hit me last night more than hearing it on the radio on wtmd.  Xing Fu told me he wasn't quite sure which he enjoyed better but I think he preferred Ray LaMontagne over David Gray--just the type of instrumentation & arrangements is what I think may have appealed to him more.   I'm glad I've been able to expose him to new music--of course he always falls back on his old favorites but I hope he sees that there are many new artists out there who have great sounds to offer now as well.  Even so, the fact that we share a love of music is another reason why we work so well--I've always said that when I meet a man who I'd potentially date, I'd want to make sure that he was a sailor (or willing to learn) but also that he enjoyed listening to music of all types--needless to say, I'm not complaining now.

But it was an encounter with the usher nearby our seats that really got me to thinking--always a bad idea...  Xing Fu had told me that he's changed quite a bit--he said that he's much more open to talking to strangers when in the past he would never appear eager to do so.  I certainly noticed how he engaged with the usher--she was absolutely willing to have a lively convo--and then she told me to make sure that I spoiled him that evening.  It does seem that he's lightened up significantly since we first started & that he is happier--I'm glad that he is able to engage more fully with people--jumping in--it makes me happy to see that much more positive outlook on the world.  It is my understanding that being with the right person can make you a better person--I think I see that in myself as well. My friend, the Zen Cyclist told me that there is an edge off of me now--that I'm calmer & seem internally quieter--if there's less of an intensity about me then that is a good thing because sometimes I can be very over-the-top--if Xing Fu has helped me achieve this so much the better.   And perhaps I've influenced him in looking at life as half full--he seems to be exhibiting that more now & I did spoil him just as he always spoils me--as it ought to be but never expected & always appreciated.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Half Full

Maude: Vice, Virtue.  It's best not to be too moral.  You cheat yourself out of   too much life.  Aim above morality.  If you apply that to life, then you're 
bound to live life more fully.

Harold:  I haven't lived.  I've died a few times.

Maude: A lot of people enjoy being dead.  But they are not dead, really.
They're just backing away from life.  Reach out. Take a chance.
Get hurt even.  But play as well as you can.

From: Harold and Maude, 1971

I have loved Harold & Maude since high school.  The theme of living life with all its roller coasters & not sitting back & watching life just pass you by is very important to me--I reference that idea quite a bit & similarly it is the theme of another one of my favorite movies, Garden State where Andrew Largeman awakes to live his life.  I often thought that before my divorce I lived half empty & was watching my life pass me by--I woke up when I decided that living in my marriage was not me--I didn't like who I was & I knew I needed to become the real me--to find happiness.  I write about this movie because a couple of days ago, I shared it with Xing Fu.  I've also shared Garden State as well.  I have wanted him to see how these movies & themes have motivated me to live my life in a half full mode--even when things look bleak & the roller coaster is at the bottom, I know that there is so much out there to experience--the good & the bad--embrace it all because life is short & you're only given one (unless you believe in reincarnation).  Yeah, I know, hackneyed phrases abound here, but truly, I believe strongly in being in the thick of it.  Anyhow, after a week of being apart, we spent an entire week together--another couple of tests & reaching out for a half full mindset.  

We spent the weekend after a great Arcade Fire & Spoon concert at Merriweather, at my folks' beach house with my family (my kid is home!!)--always a potential for a pitfall.  While kayaking on Saturday, we saw, & possibly hit with our paddles, a 3' wide skate--freaked us a bit as it was just as startled as we were & it flipped away rather frenetically. Very cool.  But I think the highlight of the weekend was when Xing Fu grabbed me as I was helping my mom & stepsister prepare dinner for the masses & began dancing with me around the dining room--spinning around--my mom asked where the music was & I replied that Xing Fu made his own--I liked that my mom experienced our happiness together.  She's certainly heard about it from me, but seeing it first hand was important. 

After leaving the beach on Sunday, we took a detour (my dad's suggestion) to Chestertown for lunch.  We remarked that yet again, we have seen many bodies of water during our various travels.  It was quite beautiful sitting on the deck with my dog at our feet, having a nice lunch & watching the boats-a skipjack was at the marina--the Elsworth built in 1902.  We discussed the rest of the day & I thought that perhaps Xing Fu would suggest that we part ways that evening as we hadn't been apart the entire week, & he did say that he thought that he'd want to go home to his place & spend the evening alone, but instead he didn't want to do that--he'd rather be with me--it was nice to hear that.  We hadn't tired of one another--we just have so much fun together--even the quiet times.  He is very good to me--I say that to him a lot--it is important because I think both of us have hidden ourselves from the pain of past relationships & being able to trust each other & be vulnerable shows that we are building a deep bond.  I'm glad we're there for one another that way.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Checking The Horizon

Yup, I'm a very impatient person.  I am no good at waiting so last week was terrifically difficult.  Of course thanks to everyone who lent a hand in helping keep my sanity--or not.  But this post isn't about the trials of last week as I think I've written just about enough about that.  Instead I am writing about another book I just finished.  Seems to me that I get handed these books on relationships & dating & I feel the need to comment on them as they apply to my own life these days.  

Anyway, this book is on the bestseller list at B & N--The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Actually my BFF(A) introduced it to me last week & I read it during my exile.  It was an easy read & it spoke to me quite a bit--I think it's directed more toward married folk but it still holds true for any long-term relationship.  He states that each person has a way that they would like their significant other to make them feel loved.  They fit into about 5 categories: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, & Physical Touch. So someone may need to hear that they're doing a good job as a parent or in their profession, etc. for words of affirmation.  Or a person needs significant time spent with the other person engaging in conversations or activities, etc.   Acts of Service could be stuff done around the house--I suspect that my BFF(J)'s hubby is all about that.  And the Physical Touch isn't just the obvious--it can be a good back rub or just a quick hug.  It makes a lot of sense to me that couples can sometimes lose that component of their relationship after they've been together for a while--& newly dating people usually seem to hit all the highlights because it is so new.  I'm glad that I read it--brings insight into what I seem to need from my significant other--and it helped me to realize one of the major parts that was missing from my own failed marriage--we just never recognized what the other person needed although I'm still unsure what my ex's "love language" was.  It certainly wasn't mine.  Chapman also states that a lot of couples have far different ones--someone may be thrilled by his or her spouse bringing gifts but the other may like when chores get done around the house as an expression of love.  So learning which is important is key.  There is a survey in the back for the man & woman to take to learn what their styles are.  

So I took my half earlier this week & wasn't surprised by my results--too much--I was spread just about dead even across three: Words, Quality Time & Physical Touch--& the touch was the highest (by one point) which surprised me a bit--but as I thought about it I then decided that it made sense--I had often complained to my ex about the lack of physical interaction (not just sex) and how much that used to upset me.  So I figured y'all are wondering if Xing Fu took his half or just made light of it as some guys might....

One thing that I really appreciate about him is that he doesn't make light of these things I read or talk about regarding relationships & feelings, etc.  He doesn't shrink away from them either--it really helps us to get to know each other better & grow our relationship closer.  So in answer, yes, he did take it & wouldn't you know--our scores are pretty much exactly the same--needless to say we weren't too surprised by that.