Body for Life, the Universe, and Everything

Being a description of the author's thoughts on the experience of participating in the "Body for Life" Challenge, questions of great philosophical import, and randomly selected topics of no significance whatsoever

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Location: Missouri, United States

In no particular order, I'm a professional lettering artist, a yoga practitioner, a cat lover, a vegetarian, a reader of everything from books to cereal boxes, married to a very attractive guy named Tom (nope, no kids), an exercise enthusiast, and a lot of other things I don't care to admit in a public forum. I have a BS in applied math that I haven't used in over 10 years, and I can put both feet behind my head. What else would you like to know?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Website progress, and Rules of Relationships

My website text is finished! I had been slogging through the read-through/revision process, spending a fair amount of time on it over the last week, and then yesterday I sat down at the computer before I even took a shower or got dressed or anything, "just for a minute," and ended up sitting in the chair in my bathrobe, working on my website text, for six hours straight. I didn't even leave the room for a drink of water. I finished it just after midnight last night and immediately sent it on its merry way to my tech dude. He e-mailed back today that he's in Florida for work right now, and he'll contact me next week, but at least he has it and I'll stop fussing with it for now. And maybe Tom will have a chance to read it and make suggestions. It ended up being 90 pages in Word, although a few of those pages are instructions for my tech guy. Now I'm going to start working on getting the pictures together, some of which I have to create stuff for before photographing rather than just collecting it. Fortunately I do have a decent start on the photographs, although there's still quite a lot to do.

I'm starting to think I need to set up some way to send samples and price list information electronically, because I'm starting to get quite a few e-mail inquiries. It would be a lot faster than paper samples, once I got the initial setup done, and cheaper too. But on the other hand, I probably won't need to do that once I have my website set up, because it will pretty much all be on there. Maybe it would be best to just concentrate on getting the website up and not get sidetracked on the other thing.

I have been thinking about Tom's friends and their outlandish relationship situations lately, and I've been a bit horrified at the things these people have been doing to themselves and each other. In light of that, I've come up with:

Cheryl's Rules of Relationships

1. If you are dating someone and the two of you split up, regardless of which one initiated it, DO NOT try to get back together romantically. Friends, fine, if you like, but do not try to rekindle a romantic relationship. Once it's finished, give it up, because whatever caused you to split up the first time is not going to go away. If it were only temporary, you wouldn't have split up over it in the first place.

2. Don't sleep with anyone to whom you're not married. I know no one will listen to me on this, but it really is possible (although difficult) to control your raging hormones long enough to establish a relationship based on other factors, and if you can do that, you get lots and lots of benefits, with no negative side effects. No, I'm not dreaming. It can be done, and I am not aware of anyone who waited for marriage who regretted it, and I know a lot of people who are unhappy with at least some of the consequences of having slept around.

3. If you are thinking about getting married (or engaged to be married), take a good hard look at your significant other. Are you sure you will be able to deal with the things you don't like about this person for the rest of your life? 'Cause they're probably not going to improve. Don't get married unless you're completely and totally convinced that you can live with those things.

4. Once you're married, STOP looking for stuff like that--stuff you don't like about the other person. Now you need to concentrate on finding the good in your spouse. It will probably get pretty tough sometimes, but keep looking. It was there before, and it probably hasn't gone away, despite how it might seem sometimes.

4. Once you get married, recognize that relationships (and people, for that matter) go in cycles, in both the long-term and the short-term. If you're convinced your spouse has turned into an ogre, be patient, and also try to figure out what you might be doing to contribute to the problem, and more importantly, what you can do to make things better. Maybe, just maybe, you don't realize how difficult you're being. Maybe your spouse is just under some temporary stress that you don't really understand.

5. If you've gotten to the point of considering divorce, get help. Go to a pastor, or a therapist, or a counselor. Take a class, or go on a retreat, or read some books about marriage renewal. Maybe one or both of you could use some help individually, or maybe together. Don't just give up on your marriage unless you have absolutely no other options left. Why did you marry your spouse in the first place? Is this person you're now married to really that different from the one you married? Do you really want to throw the years you've spent together into the trash? Take some time to think this through and try to work it out. A marriage is not like a Kleenex!

6. Even if you are sure you are getting divorced--or are to the point of actually being legally in the process of doing so--as long as you are still officially married, don't date anyone else, and most definitely do NOT sleep with anyone else. You deserve whatever consequences you get if you do that.

7. At no point should you ever, EVER sleep with anyone who is legally married to someone else, no matter what they tell you about how horrible a person their spouse is, or how difficult or prolonged the divorce process is. If you are really meant to be together, it can wait until there are no legal entanglements.

8. Finally, if you do get divorced, don't just jump right back into the dating scene immediately. If you don't take the time to figure out what you contributed to the failure of your marriage, you'll probably do it again. Do you really want to keep making the same mistakes?

And that is the wisdom from my mountaintop. I've seen every one of these violated, mostly recently, and in many cases multiple violations by the same person. This is not about moralizing, it's about treating people (including oneself) with the respect they deserve, and avoiding negative consequences. I mean really, don't people believe they deserve better than, for example, to have to sneak around behind someone's back? Wouldn't it be a better world if people focused their romantic attention on the person they were officially partnered with?

Sigh. If everyone would just follow my advice...


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