I’m learning a lot from my relationship with Doctor Boy.

Like being honest is key.

Like allowing for a little “room” in my routine.

…but also making sure I don’t get lost in un-routine either.

Yesterday morning, we woke up and I was hell-bent on getting my workout done (and not sleeping in *too* much, as I knew I had a lot to get done at home, like errands, and cleaning and my “usual” Saturday routine that calms me. Yes, cleaning and errands calm me and organize me! It’s part of my type A- nature!) and then going home to get started on said routine.

Doctor Boy asked me to stay for breakfast. And knowing that I had a lot to get done, I thanked him, but opted to go home to get things done.

When I left, I immediately felt a little selfish and too rigid in my “routine” (even though, for the record, I tossed said routine out the window the weekend prior because I had a busy weekend and sometimes it just doesn’t get done, even for me). And I texted him and told him that I felt badly for leaving without breakfast with him first, but that sometimes I just need to get to my routine.

And he said that it’s one thing he’s tried to do…de-routine sometimes.

Which made me feel worse.

But then he proceeded to tell me “not to change a thing” because it’s what makes me “me” and he loves for who I am (even with my sometimes-rigid routine).

So, I’m learning.

To be honest and stick to what I want to do, even if it isn’t always compromise. (because as much as I am all for compromise and meeting in the middle, I also think there is value with sticking to what you want, even if it’s as ‘small’ as simpling going home sans breakfast)

But also that as much as I have my own routine, I also have someone else in my ‘routine’ with me and I need (and want) to allow for that too. I’m still adjusting to maintaining balance and the in-between, and it takes a level of deliberance (is that a word), that I often think about. As natural and as much as I want to spend every waking minute with Doctor Boy, I also still completely enjoy my ‘me’ time (which includes my routine) and I think that’s okay.

I think it’s important to maintain that sense of self and individuality in a relationship. At least it is for me.

And the fact that Doctor Boy loves that about me means a lot. He respects it, and I respect his similar need to spend time with his friends and family too.

It feels as though the making for something special, long term, is really and truly there. I’ve felt it for awhile now, but I’m more sure than ever now. I learn every day, I learn.

I’ve mentioned this magazine before – Whole Living – and one of my favorite features, called “10 thoughts on whole living.” I tear every one of them out and put them up on my fridge (and man, is it getting full!). This month’s issue has an awesome list of some of my favorites and I just had to repost them here.

Don’t mistake predictability for peace: some if life’s most important moments are born of chaos.

This one is hard for me, though I absolutely love it, because I am borne of organization, balance, and well, peace, so chaos and a shaken up routine is hard for me to accept. But this couldn’t be more true – when I was feeling like my routine was completely upside down, some of the most important moments of this year, and my life – meeting, falling in love, and taking care of my niece Isabel. Chaos, I need to embrace you more often.

Strength is defined not by what you can resist, but by how much you can expand.

Amen. It’s about going past your boundaries, out of your comfort zone, and learning. I crave learning. Constantly. More so at this stage in my life than ever before. It makes me feel whole, it gives me a strange sense of balance, and it keeps me on my toes.

While prayer may not change a situation, it may change the way you experience it.

This one again rings so true to me, because sometimes, I have questioned why God has tested me in the ways he has. Why did I have to face divorce? Why did I have to struggle financially and to find love? But prayer and faith and reading has helped me accept what has been given to me to handle and get through it. Hasn’t always been happily so, but it has gotten me through, and I’ve felt peace with it. Not raged against it because I hated the situation. You can’t always change it, but you can change your attitude towards it.

Eating a warm meal nourishes the body: preparing it nourishes the soul.

It’s almost winter here. I think this one speaks true to us New Englanders (and Canadians!!). I’m a huuuuge crockpot fan in the winter. There’s just something about a hot meal that’s been slow cooking all day that makes me happy. Bliss.

Try to see your family for who they are, not who they were.

This one screams acceptance, to me. As I’ve blogged about my father before, it’s been hard for me, in the past, to let myself get close to him, for all that has happened in the past. But I accept him for who he is now, and what our relationship is. It’s not a “true” father/daughter relationship, and that’s okay.

Find reasons and ways to give. It’ll make you happier than you expect.

I love giving. Gifts, of myself, my time, my friendship. It’s rewarding. Enough said.
The best escape is to let yourself become absorbed from time to time.

Yes. Like on vacation in Playa del Carmen (just kidding, well, sort of). Letting yourself be engulfed completely, is okay, sometimes. Not to lose yourself, but to really come to terms with something in your life, or with a new love (cue Doctor Boy…not that I’d consider myself absorbed, at least not negatively!), or in a new creative venture. I crave that sometimes.

If you feel hungry, ask yourself what you’re really craving.
Damn you, chocolate. And wine. And baked cheetos. 😉

You’ll gain more by facing up to fear than you ever will by running away.

YES. My first inclination when I am scared is to run. To shy away from the challenge. But the more out-of-my-comfort-zone I get, the more I learn and the more I gain. Couldn’t say it any better than this.
Creativity isn’t making something from scratch, but seeing potential in what already exists.

Don’t throw yourself out and start fresh. What’s the point in that? Take the good, fix the not-so-good and polish up the potential that lies within. I love this one. So so true.

I need a little more chaos in my life, a lot of out-of-my-comfort-zone moments and challenges…it’s what drives me and keeps me sane. I never thought in a million years I’d yearn for that, but I do. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

It’s the first morning in awhile that I’ve had a chance to “do” my Saturday routine, which goes something like this: workout, make breakfast, clean my place, do laundry and grocery shop, and then catch up on blogs and DVR, as time permits 😉

It’s been a string of busy – but fun – weekends with Doctor Boy as well as with friends and family, so I am by far not complaining in the least, but it brings me back to a point I’ve blogged about before.

The balance between the “me” and the “us.”

I like to think of where I am right now is the “in-between.”

We aren’t at the point where it’s more “we” than “me” and “him” but we are completely comfortable spending time with each other where we aren’t go-go-go all the time, and there is still a healthy balance of family, friend and “me” time with a healthy dose of “us” time. I am glad we have come to this point together, and I haven’t compromised what I think I would be in danger of doing if I was with someone that I didn’t click so well with, or someone that I didn’t know exactly where I stand in his heart. If I were worried about him “losing interest” or something, I think I would be more tempted to just become the “yes woman” – someone I never want to be.

What else is different now than a few months ago when Doctor Boy and I first started dating?

I’m at the point that I enjoy every last minute with him even more than the last. And I’m at the point where it’s no longer necessary to “entertain” each other every minute we are together. We can co-exist and do our thing but together at the same time. I really dig that. The other night I needed to get some work done, but had planned to go to his place for dinner, and he happily set about making dinner (delicious chickpea soup and a shrimp stir-fry. Yum!) while I got things done. I really dig that too.

We’re entering a phase in our emerging relationship that I am really loving. We’re getting deeper and deeper into figuring out what makes each other tick (such as our inability to make a decision!), how we feel about each other (the love I see in his eyes, and mine in return is quite powerful. Even my dad – who’s not the most touchy-feely emotional guy in the world – said I had a glow about me when he met him last weekend), and goals we both have in our careers, lives, and things we see sharing together in the future (hello, vacation…Playa del Carmen, anyone?).

So, while I am thoroughly enjoying my “me” day today, and feel gloriously caught up on everything I hadn’t been before, it’s not something that throws me off balance as much as I feared, when we first started dating. It’s something I know I can have when I need it, and it’s something I can have with him around, too, which I think is very important, as we continue our relationship.

It’s just so interesting to me to see how things are unfolding so naturally with him. Every day I have a smile on my face. Every day I feel loved and cared for. And every day I feel those emotions growing more and more in me. Where the in-between grows smaller, naturally, and normally.

Because even though the “we”continues to grow and develop, it still means I can have the “me” and that’s the happy medium I strive for.

Balance. Happiness. Love. It can all co-exist.

Balance is something crystallized for me during the Cathe Road Trip (and is something that runs through my veins, and given I’m a Libra, is no surprise!) this weekend…in a few different areas.

Well, first of all, I crave balance. Not too much, not too little, juuuust right.

It makes me calm.

It makes me feel like life’s right where it should be.

When I don’t have balance, I feel like life’s out of whack and I struggle.

Balance means routine…even though sometimes I need to buck routing and just go with the flow (which means balance, right??)

Balance, to me also means moderation.

In attending this year’s Road Trip, I looked around at the 100+ women (and two men – brave troopers!) and saw some mega-ripped hard bodies, six-pack abs and guns like whoa (which of course, I envy. Good arms are hot!), and almost immediately compared myself.

I’m not *as* ripped. Not nearly.

Yet I work out probably as much as many of them.

I’m not as skinny as some of them.

But I enjoy a glass of wine here and there (okay in moderation, but sometimes quite a bit, though I try to cap it to weekends!) and that’s my choice.

Balance.

But I AM as dedicated – if not more – to my health and happiness. Which also means mental happiness. Which means not depriving myself, but believing in “everything in moderation.”

I think some of these women at the Road Trip could take a page from the book of moderation and balance, because sure, they look ridiculously fit, but isn’t life also about enjoying life, including food and wine? Maybe it’s just me, but I love food (don’t we all?!) and if I tell myself I can “never” have a bagel or “never” have a piece of cake…do I really want to look back at my life when I’m in my 80s and say “wow, I never got to eat cake, did I??” – but for what? To feel like THE best looking, hottest body around? What’s wrong with the way I am now?

I guess I realize that I don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful and love my life. And calling myself beautiful is not something I easily do, because I – like many woman – compare myself to almost everyone I see. On TV. At work. On the street. Among my friends. I can always find some feature in someone else that I want…which I know isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, and a habit I’m trying to break – but the fact that I am writing this out and saying it – is huge (and I hope I now don’t sound egotistical! I think all women are beautiful!!).

So…in going back to balance. It is a choice for me. One I think about every day and sometimes struggle with. I am my own worst enemy, as we know, and I overthink. A lot. All the way down to “did I really need that Skinny Cow ice cream?” <– hello, it’s 140 calories, not 500! See how my mind works?!

And I think balance should be applauded and embraced. Join me, will you? Do you crave balance? Are you really strict in some areas of your life and not in others? What drives your balance factor?

Borrowing a theme from one of INRIS‘ recent blog posts, I feel compelled to “blog out” the soundtrack of my life today, an idea that popped into my head driving home after another long – very, very long – day at work. Hopefully this is relatively amusing for some, and maybe you even relate to some of these songs and lyrics, and at the very least, I can express the utter all-over-the-place day(s) of all days (today and yesterday were doozies…) I had.

Starting the day today, I wanted to beg the question “what do you want from me? a la Adam Lambert….specifically, these lyrics:

Just don’t give up I’m workin it out
Please don’t give in, I won’t let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep coming around
Hey, whataya want from me?

Between about 50 million meetings, where I literally had one hour – ONE – that was NOT scheduled with a meeting between 9-6 today…whataya want from me?! How on earth can I possibly get any work done, or even breathe? Seriously? Yeah. That’s me today. Yesterday, pretty much the same, except meetings didn’t end until 7. Yes, 7.

Next up?

“I’m a bitch” – Meredith Brooks…and specifically, this line: I hate the world today…” because truly, I just couldn’t get out of my own way, my own head, my own WORK, and obviously, all of my meetings. So, what happens? I get bitchy. Real bitchy. Yeah me, ms. rainbows and kittens. I get bitchy too. There, I said it.

And as I began “falling to pieces“, and wanting to run away and hide, even though…

They say that things happen for a reason
But no wise word’s gonna stop the bleeding
I’m falling to pieces…

Things started to come to a crescendo in my mind…when I get to the level of stress and overworked-ness that I began feeling, I get that fight or flight panic feeling and what do I want to do? Run away…but I knew I couldn’t, and I know I can’t, and I know that everything is coming to a head, will soon come back down again, and soon things will feel more even-keeled, but right now, I just feel stressed, I feel pulled in 15 directions, and I don’t have that sense of work/life balance that I try so hard for. I know it happens, and it’s usually short-lived, but it’s just been an intense few days and I know it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.

The light at the end of the tunnel, however, is this..I’m going to be “waking up in Vegas” in just about one week…let’s enjoy these lyrics, shall we?

Don’t be a baby
Remember what you told me
Shut up and put your money where your mouth is
That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas
Get up and shake the glitter off your clothes, now
That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas

Hell yes. Now that‘s what I’m talking about…am I right, Mel and Shannon? I know, I know, the light is there, I can almost touch it, but until then, I am feeling the squeeze, and I just need to hunker down, focus, and get ‘er done. Are you with me? I need all the  “woohoos” I can get right now, so bring it friends, please, I need it!! XO

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Okay, there were a few more I totally tried to weave in here, but I couldn’t make them fit, but they are some that I can relate to – in other parts of my life that are not work-related…

such as, Superman Tonight” by Bon Jovi…I want my Superman, and I hope I find him soon (patience, patience!!). It’s one of those days when I just desperately want to come home to someone, snuggle up with a big ole hug and just decompress. I know I’ll capture that, and until then, my kitties will suffice, right?

Who’s going to save you
When the stars fall from your sky
And who’s going to pull you in
When the tide gets too high
Who’s going to hold you
When you turn out the lights
I won’t lie I wish that I
Could be your superman tonight

Who’s going to fix you
The next time you break down
Stranded alone by the side of the road
It’s your baggage that’s dragging you down
Don’t look back
Let it go

And finally, probably most surprisingly, the lyrics I can completely relate to right now, in part, is from Eminem, yes, Eminem. I’m really digging his new stuff, and love some of what he says in “Not Afraid.”

I’m not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just let you know that, you’re not alone

I know, I’m not alone, and I’m not afraid to stand up and go after what I want…so yeah, I can relate to this. And some of all of these lyrics – the soundtrack to my life today – makes me see that light at the end of the tunnel, in all aspects of life – in the next week (VEGAS!), longer-term (love…) and overall (happiness, work/life balance).

Yea, I’m going to be okay.

It’s been one of those days (and weeks, really), where I feel like I have had this “hurry up and wait” mentality – mostly, at work, but partially on the dating front too (which, I realize, is going to be a reoccuring theme!!), so I had to chuckle at my horoscope today (I’m a Libra – we like balance!!):

You may seem a bit flighty today, making it tough for anyone to pin you down about important matters. But your desire to remain independent now is not about your inability to make a commitment. To the contrary, you are fully resolved to express yourself the very best you can. Your creative process is extremely valuable to you. Don’t say yes to anything that can get in the way of achieving your personal goals.

I hate the feeling of my thoughts being all over the place and nothing really feeling complete, or closed out on, and that’s exactly how I read into this horoscope, with committment = completness of thoughts and/or actions (work – all over the place, dating – all over the place), but thankfully, I feel like the one thing that IS working, is my ability to capture some of my personal goals, such as becoming a Group Kick instructor. Adding that as my “creative outlet” will give me a bit of balance, I think, to a hectic job, and an inconsistent dating life (but again, when is dating ever *really* consistent?!). As a Libra, I need that balance and equality and I’m feeling like I’m teetering onto the edge of that, and want it back.

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…little teaser for tomorrow’s post – perchance an update on the dating progress (or lack thereof?!)…for fear of jinxing myself, still contemplating that post 😉

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