Monthly Archives: August 2012

Stand

Stand up and be counted.  Stand for the weak.  Stand hand in hand with her in public.  Stand still in the dark until your eyes adjust. Stand when you hear the National Anthem.  Set your moral compass and stand fast in the right direction.  Stand up and be counted.  Don’t get caught without a leg to stand on.  Ask others to stand with you.  When your opponent falls, stand down.  Stand for what is right and ask others to stand with you.  In a world plagued with conformity, stand out.  Teach them to stand on their own two feet.  Stand on your tip-toes to get a better view.  When fear strikes, stand fast.  When being measured, stand tall.  Stand on the edge and look down.  Stand up in a boat.  When they say you can’t do it, dig your heels in and stand firm.  Stand side by side and feel your strength.  Don’t stand in her way.  When everyone else is gone, have the courage to stand alone.

Superman stood for truth, justice and the American way.  The Ironed Jawed Angels of 1918 stood up for the rights of women in America.  Ben Cohen stands up against bullying.  Gandhi stood for civil rights and freedom for all citizens of the world. The Stand; we’ve all taken it for one reason or another, and regardless of our motivation, we all stand for something at some time.

All too often, we wander through our days without giving notice to the many stands we take.  Whether we are defending others, promoting a cause, proving a point or showing our strength; we all stand.  I’ve seen it in action, been witness to the results, and even participated.  I’ve felt the fear, the power, the joy, and the helplessness that taking a stand can create; and still I stand.

It’s important for me, living in a world where the actions of others, whether reckless or calculated, directly impact my life and possibly the lives of others, that I continue to stand, both for myself and for those who can’t.  I’m not a hero or a savior, I don’t have endless wisdom or insurmountable strength, and I don’t want power or fame.  I’m just an ordinary person looking for other ordinary people who want to do extraordinary things.

It doesn’t take much to make good things happen; all you have to do is stand.

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Enough?

In the grand scheme of relationship break-ups, when is enough actually enough?  What is the limit of aggravation and frustration one has to endure before walking away completely?

Think it through a bit.  You break up with someone you have spent several years with, and in the beginning you both try to keep things civil.  You talk about dividing the household, dealing with debt, pets, kids, joint accounts; all the things you need to resolve before you can move forward in life.  This so-called civil period can last for years or it can tank coming out of the gate.  For me, it ceased to exist as soon as I made it clear that I am going to take care of myself and stop taking care of her.

My biggest source of confusion about this whole break-up process stems from my ex’s inability to understand that I am not interested in listening to, dealing with, solving or even discussing her problems anymore.  I acknowledge that I have played a role in her inability to figure out the little things in everyday life; possessing a caregiver’s personality, I generally took care of the everyday things that life would throw our way.  Perhaps if I had demanded more input or action on her part, we could have prolonged our post break-up civil period, and I could have avoided being financially and emotionally drained.  Sadly, I realized my error much too late and now I am still paying.

Over the past year, I have been threatened with law suits, stolen from, lied to repeatedly, cussed out, told I need therapy, told I am no longer a parent, and basically had my character dragged through the mud; all because I said …”I don’t want to be with you anymore.”  I didn’t take legal action, I didn’t steal from her or speak badly about her to others; I have continually tried to be a decent person throughout the whole process.  What I didn’t realize in the beginning is that she really wasn’t interested in being civil, she just wanted me to be civil. I can’t anymore.  I won’t continue to offer the olive branch only to turn around and get slapped in the face with it each time.

Here is my point.  When you break-up, whether you have been together 12 months or 12 years, it’s going to suck.  Separating yourself from another person’s life is a gruelling task, but in order to continue on with your journey, you have to cut ties and seal doors that were once open to that person.  You can’t continue to act as though you are a couple while you are breaking-up; it doesn’t work.  When you finally start acting like exes, closing the door is a little bit easier; at least it is for me.