Say no to online dating…

I have tried online dating on and off for two years.  Not because I had trouble meeting anyone, but because the people I were meeting were not necessarily what I was looking for.  At first I was full of excitement….receiving messages left, right and centre…it gave me something to concentrate on after my separation and I liked the attention, if I am honest with myself.  I even met a couple of the guys I had been chatting with online.  Well….I met three actually.  

One was a lovely guy and we met a couple of times, despite messaging for a while before meeting up, it was still a nerve wrecking experience! But we got on fine, though the distance between us made things difficult.  We still send the odd message now and again but there was not a strong enough connection to make either of us feel strongly enough about making a concerted effort to keep things moving in the dating direction.  So I guess this one could be classed as a partial success. 

The other two dates turned out to be strange….and that is putting it lightly.  To be honest….I wish I had never gone.  These were the type of people that had put pictures on the site which must have been photoshopped in some way or another….or taking in a light which was more favourable to their feature 😉 They both we much shorter than they had stated in their stats, and me being 5 ft 10 myself, find nothing less attractive than a man being shorter than me.  I want a man to protect me and look after me, not the other way around!  One suffered from a nervous twitch and despite me giving off signals I was not interested still tried to go in for a kiss which I have to say was quite possibly one of the most embarrassing situations I have been in….having to pull a scarf over my face whilst trying to duck out of the way!!!  The other just kept talking about getting pissed and how he is usually at home by 10pm.  WOW! I thought….I am a night owl.  When I go out with friends….I am lucky to be in by 3am 😉 He had a nervous stutter which made it difficult to understand what he was saying most of the time and I did not find him stimulating in any ways shape or form…so much so I made my excuses and left after half an hour later! 

The problem I have found with online dating is this…..in order to fancy someone you need the whole package.  When you first see someone…you decide within seconds whether or not you are attracted to them.  Its just nature, that is just the way it is.  You dont just look at their face, you take in the whole of them….their height, their body frame, their face and other features, and more importantly their stance…the way they show how confident they are…or not! If you manage to muster up enough confidence to approach them and speak to them, then you listen to their voice.  This is important, you need to find their voice attractive, light it flows through your body as they speak.   You can feel the persons energy (some may call it an aura).  There is no way you can do this through a computer/laptop/tablet/phone.  It is like when on occasion you meet someone and you either really like them or do not for whatever reason, you just cant put your finger on it. 

It does not matter how many photographs they put on the site, they are not a true representation in most cases.  They are always the best of the best and they are not 3d, you cannot get a true representation from a flat photograph!

Maybe it is just the case that I am too much of a ‘feeler’ I am an ENFP (Myers Briggs Test) but I think intuition is a great thing to go by.  If your body is telling you something listen to it, because it is usually right…in my experience anyway. 

My advice would be to get out there, look at people, feel their energy, watch their gestures and movements.  This tells you a lot about a person, more so than what they are selectively telling you at the other end of the internet.  

I’m sure there are successful relationships which have arisen from online dating but on the whole, it is not for most people. They are probably the lucky small percentage who just fell lucky.  I on the whole found internet dating rather soul destroying on one level…thinking christ is this what I am attracting.  Another point about internet dating sites is…it is a complete minefield.  It really is a place for lots of strange folk to hang out…..

My final point is this….the time I saved checking my account and speaking to people that it was never going to go anywhere with….because suddenly they dropped off the face of the Earth or told me they used to be a woman or are looking for someone to become an escort…(yes this happened)…I used the time to focus on things I actually wanted to do.  Like going out with friends and having a good time…walking my lovely dog and doing other things I really enjoy…like writing this blog 😉 

Good luck with your dating, there will be someone for you just around the corner.  I waited two years to find what I was looking for, but I am so glad I waited….so glad I did nt compromise what I was looking for as now I am the happiest I have ever been. 

 

Chris Martin & Gwyneth Paltrow: Consciously Uncoupled

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/gwyneth-paltrow-and-chris-martin-to-split-after-more-than-10-years-of-marriage-9215633.html

After ten years of marriage, Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow have announced they are to bring their marriage to an end.  They have stated that over the past year they have been working hard to live some of it together and some of it apart.  They have now worked out that they are not to be together as a couple but they will remain as a family.  They go on to say that they still love each other and in some respects are closer than ever.

What do you think of this statement? I personally think if they do manage to get along and still spend time as a family with their children then this is admirable.  Many people may argue that if this arrangement was for the sake of their children then maybe they should have stayed together for the sake of them.  I disagree with this stance.  Children know when their parents are happy.  Children benefit much more from two happy parents than spending time in one miserable and unhappy home.

I hope this arrangement works out for them.  I would have given anything for things to have been amicable between my ex (father to my children) and I.  It was never a possibility for me as my ex did not even wish to communicate with me for the sake of my children, never mind spend time as a family.

Good luck to them, I say!  And for those that say ‘what a shame’ and ‘no one seems to last long these days’ I would respond with this: Ten years of marriage is admirable, it is a long time in anyone’s life, around one eighth or so.  To commit to a person for this amount of time is in itself an achievement.  Not much lasts forever, it is not the way of life, everything changes and evolves.  People also change, we are not immune to this.  If one changes and becomes so different to the other, it is unusual for them to break away and find a place they feel they fit, with another or others they feel at home with and where they belong.   Life is too short to be unhappy.  To be happy is not a selfish act.  To remain in a unhealthy relationship or situation is a tragedy and a waste of the life you have been given.

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Blogizing: Signs of Emotional Abuse “It will never happen to me”


Emotional Abuse is not something which is easy to recognise.  I was involved in an emotionally abusive relationship for five years in total, I was married to him and had two children with him.  I did not realise at the time that the relationship was abusive.  I thought we just had a ‘roller coaster’ of a relationship and there was so many ups and downs because we were passionate about the relationship an really loved each other.  That is what he told me anyway………

Many people think someone in an abusive relationship is in denial, but in actual fact most do not realise there is a problem.  They are not burying their head in the sand or covering up for them…..they just DO NOT relate themselves to being in an abusive relationship. Full Stop. 

Abuse is usually something which is thought to be physical….something which can be seen….marks on the body for example.  It is also important to remember that abuse of any type is not limited to a male abusing a female.  Abuse happens in same sex relationships and some females abuse males. We need to learn to pick up signs of emotional abuse, whether this is for yourself or someone else.  Emotional abuse is something which is more difficult to pin point as there are often no signs.  At first things are great and then one day something happens but because you are hoping that this person is ‘THE ONE’ you are looking at them with rose tinted spectacles!  You will justify their behaviour in your own mind with things like ‘they ve just had a bad day’ or ‘they are nice to me all the other times, they do not mean it.’ Every time you smooth over a situation and let your partner get away with the unacceptable behaviour the next time it is likely to be worse, it is a steady decline.  The power they feel makes them want more and more.  They will no doubt apologise, they may buy you gifts, take you somewhere nice to make up for their behaviour.  Some will cry telling you how bad they feel… (this means that they are sorry….does n’t it?) HELL NO!!! You could not be further from the truth.  They are simply manipulating you into feeling sorry for them, transferring the guilt on to you, and over time ‘chipping away’ at you, slowly unpicking your personality, stripping you of your charisma self-esteem and independence, simply so they can control you and you will be totally dependent upon them.  They will suck out your ambition, crush your spirit and stamp on your feelings.  They will rule you with an iron fist.

“This won’t happen to me” I hear you say……. THAT’S WHAT I SAID……But it happened to me.

I did not realise it, my family did not realise it (in fact he even managed to turn some of my family against me) and it was only thank you to a caring work colleague who one day took me to one side and said “This is emotional abuse, he is doing all he can to try and break you down….” That was the day when the penny dropped.  That was the beginning of the rest of my life. So what are some of the signs of EMOTIONAL abuse?

1. THEY WANT YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION 24/7 This sounds great does nt it.  When you first get together it is normal to want to spend time together.  But if they drop all his friends and stop doing the normal things like their hobbies etc, your relationship may be going in the wrong direction.  If you feel you do not have much time for yourself, or your friends or family, and feel that you cannot do the things you normally would do as you do not want to upset your partner then your partner is probably trying to control you. This may seem dramatic….but think to 6 months or so down the line, when you are constantly attached to each others hip, and your friends or family no longer invite you to do things as they know your answer will be ‘no’. How will you feel when you realise that the only person you have is your partner?  Probably fine…..until something goes wrong and you feel lonely and stuck.  Is this really how a relationship should feel? “I had a little boy when I met my ex, I did n’t realise at the time, but my partner was extremely jealous of my little boy and tried to push him out.  He not only emotionally abused me but he emotionally abused my son too.  that is something I find difficult to deal with and it has taken a long time for me to forgive myself.  Luckily my son is growing up to be a good level headed young man, of whom I am very proud of.  It could have been a very different story.”

2. THEY ACT LIKE A DICTATOR AND MAKE ALL THE RULES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP They do not want you to hang out with your mates, but it is fine for them to do what they want…..they will complain that they do not like your friends, saying they are a bad influence or are too slutty or they do not trust them.  They hate your best friend (probably because they are trying to indicate your partner is controlling….).  Does this sound familiar?  How about this: They do not like the clothes you wear, always choose what you are doing, what you are eating, what you are drinking…. “My ex hated my best friend.  He was very clever as he managed to turn things around so that I felt sorry for him and I ended up not seeing my best friend for over two years. I never fell out with her we just eventually lost touch.  She was frustrated because all she wanted for me was to be happy and to be with someone who treated me right.  I was so in love with him that I could not see the tree for the woods. Looking back he was always controlling, very clever and calculating and in the end I paid the price.  Luckily my best friend and I are now back in touch and things are as they always were.  We are always here for each other.  We may not see each other from one week to the next, but we share a bond which has always been present from the day we first met at nursery at the age of just three years old.  That bond will never be broken.  The day we reunited we picked up from where we left off. I was lucky but many people would have lost that friend for good.”

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3. THEY ISOLATE YOU FROM PEOPLE THAT YOU LOVE This related to the point above, but goes a little step further as it moves from telling you that they do not like your friends, family etc to then actually managing to stop you from seeing them.  You will stop going out with friends so that they stop accusing you of cheating.  You will stop seeing your parents to avoid you getting backlash from your partner because ‘you stayed too long’ or ‘you said something wrong.’  Your partner creates situations to try and force you to choose between them and your friends/family.  You should be able to talk to and spend time with people you like without having to justify yourself. “My ex used to insinuate that my parents had said something horrible about me to them, such as “they say you are out of control” or “well that’s not what they ve said.” but would never elaborate, leaving me to stew.  This allowed me the time to create whatever situation my brain wanted.  It left me feeling like I could no trust anyone.”

4. THEY ‘RE TAKING AWAY YOUR FREEDOM AND NEED TO KNOW YOUR EVERY MOVE A really bad sign of an emotionally abusive relationship is if your boyfriend demands that you tell him details like where you are going, what you are doing and who you are with. He gets mad whenever you do something without telling him. If you do not tell them, then they will do all they can to find out. They cannot deal with not knowing! “My ex went so far as to check my phone and social media accounts, he would log in as me and response to message as if it was me.  It was only when friends responded saying things like “What are you talking about?” that I would realise what they had done.  My ex once even text a work colleague pretending to be me, saying something along the lines of “Great night last night, can’t wait to see you again.”  The colleague asked me what was going on.  Although it was extremely embarrassing I am so glad that he did, as I was able to prove the message was not from me as it was from another number (and it made no sense anyway as I was not with them the night before) but I also have a very good indication of who it was…..”

5. THEY USE THE SILENT TREATMENT TO PUNISH YOU An emotionally abusive guy will refuse to answer text messages, phone calls and e-mails when he gets mad at you. He won’t tell you the reasons that he is mad at you either. Instead, he’ll just disappear off the face of the earth until he feels that you have been punished enough. “My ex ignored me for weeks on end.  We lived together and the atmosphere was unbearable.  It was only once he could see I was at breaking point that he would then offer ‘an olive branch’, a cuddle, a kiss….but never a sorry.  That was my job!”

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6. THEY PUT YOU DOWN AND HURT YOUR FEELINGS “He would call me ‘fat’, ‘ugly’, ‘manipulative’, ‘horrible’, ‘bad mum’ etc etc, anything he knew that was important to me, he would pick at. I now know that he put me down so that he had control over me.” An emotionally abusive guy will accuse you of making a big deal out of nothing when you tell him he’s being hurtful. (Like my ex who always used to say ‘oh as normal you are making a mountain out of a molehill’, or ‘you are such a drama queen, get a grip.’)  This type of person is so insecure of themselves that they need to lower your self-esteem to ensure that you always stay with them.

7. THEY ARE EXTREMELY JEALOUS….OF ANYONE IN PARTICULAR FRIENDS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX When you are out together, they constantly accuse you of looking at other people. They will accuse you of trying to make them jealous whenever you dress sexy. They do not let you wear sexy clothes like a little summer mini dress or (men) taking your top off to show your abs!  “My ex used to tell me that I looked better without make up and did not want me wearing shorts or short skirts telling me I looked like a slut.”

8. THEY HAVE NO LIMITS Some emotional abusers are drug/alcohol dependent and will often put their addictions before you.  This will bring out the worst in them and will often be when they are at their worst.

9. HE INSTILLS FEAR IN YOU Most healthy romantic relationships offer support and security.  “I never felt secure and I never felt supported.  This only made me try and get more affection from him by trying to please him more.” You should feel comfortable in being able to talk to your partner about anything without having to worry about what their reaction is going to be.  whatever I discussed with my ex, he would turn it back on me so that I was the person who was at fault.  “Why are you always playing victim!” Would be a favourite statement of his.  You and your partner should be able to accept each other for who you are.  If your partner instils fear by threatening or intimidating you to the point where you hesitate to do things without your partner’s approval, it is time to re-evaluate the relationship.  I would in fact suggest ‘getting out’.

10. HE LOWERS YOUR SELF-ESTEEM What do you think when you imagine your favourite partner.  Mine make me feel like I am the only woman in the world, they make me feel beautiful, they build you up, they hug you and make you feel loved.  If they begin to make you feel like nothing, you start to doubt who you are and what you are worth, or being to feel like you have nothing to offer and are worthless, then your partner is not having the effect on you that they should and it is time to re-consider.

11. HE TREATS YOUR LIKE PROPERTY You know that it is time to end an emotionally abusive relationship when you no longer feel like you have any input in it. Your partner only cares about self-preservation and uses you to benefit himself or herself. There is no “we” in your relationship, it is solely based on the interests of one person. And we all know that that is not how things should work out.

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12. ROLLER-COASTER RELATIONSHIP If there is never a constant in your relationship and you never know what to expect from it, it would be categorized as unhealthy. Although it is typical for couples to go through their ups and downs, cyclical highs and lows should not become a pattern. Once you get into a habit of severe fights followed by make ups, you will never gain stability. This erratic relationship can only result in lots of stress and heartbreaks. “From the start we used to argue and fall out, he would throw me out of the house, and then in a few hours we would make up.  He would justify it by telling me that his friend had said ‘It is the day when you stop fighting that you should worry, as that is when you feel you have nothing to fight for.’  Another favourite: ‘It is only because we love each other so much that we argue.’

13.  THEY USE GUILT TO GET WHAT THEY WANT “If I was ever due to go anywhere whether with friends or family, my ex would write me letters insinuating that he was going to harm himself then take off in his car.  He would go missing for hours.  He would nt answer my calls or texts and would often turn off his mobile, only returning after ensuring I had missed my prior arrangement or just beforehand telling me I could go, knowing full well I would not go as I was not ready and was too upset to do so. If it was ever brought up in a later argument he would tell me ‘well I told you to go!’

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You are worth so much more. 

Your life is valuable. 

It is a gift.  

It is your duty to grasp it with both hands. 

Enjoy it.

Do not allow anyone to take this gift away from you.

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Related Articles:

Blogizing: What is a Healthy Relationship?

Blogizing: Manipulation

Blogizing: Domestic Violence by a Female: It’s still abuse!

Keep smiling even when everything is shit: Amongst the grey clouds are always rays of sunshine

Why do I always feel like I am at a crossroads? Why is my life constantly like a rollercoaster? All I want is an ‘easy’ life, a life where things can be constant and permanent just for a little while.  Just long enough for me to feel comfortable.  As soon as I start to feel like things are getting better something else goes wrong.  Is everyone else’s life like this or is it just mine?

I am not just feeling sorry for myself, I am not talking about minor things such as missing the bus or forgetting to put the bin out so I felt in a terrible mood for the rest of the day.  I mean, real terrible things happen.  I am beginning to think I am jinxed.

In the last two years here is a list of what has happened (though please be advised it is not limited to said list, as I also have the usual things like having to stop at every set of traffic lights, getting stuck behind a tractor when I am already late for work, forgetting my packed lunch in the fridge, noticing I am low on petrol and then realising I have also forgotten my purse at work etc so bear this in mind)  Anyhow…….list…here we go:

  • Not one but two of my aunt’s are seriously ill.  One collapsed with a serious throat action and is now permanently brain damaged, though has some independence at least.  My other aunt had a serious fall and is lucky to be alive, but has had numerous brain surgery and it is feared she will never have independence again. This second accident happened on my birthday.  Happy birthday me!!! (They will now never be the same)  This year I found my birthday extremely emotional, as I spent the morning at the cemetery talking to my grandma, and the rest of it thinking, it has been one year since my auntie’s accident and she is no better)
  • I have had two car accidents, both not my fault. Luckily no one was hurt, apart from my car.  It is the sheer inconvenience of it all….
  • My son was run over, and as a result broke both femurs, he is lucky to be alive, I am lucky he is still alive.  Quite possibly the most stressful thing which has happened in my life (and his).  This meant three months of intensive care getting him back on his feet.  He is on his way to recovery, albeit it has been a slow road.
  • My grandma died.  She was a very special person in my life.  I could go visit her, sit there all day and speak to her about anything.  I did not realise it at the time, but she was actually one of my favourite people.  She never annoyed me or upset me.  She was a great help with my children, she looked after me as a child, she was a constant permanent fixture, pretty much the only one, and now she has gone.
  • Related to above in incident of my grandma’s passing.  Quite possibly the second most upsetting day of my life (aside from my son being run over) was having to attend my grandma’s funeral.  In saying ‘having to attend’ I do not mean this as though I was forced, I would not have missed it for the world.  However it was extremely difficult saying good bye to someone I hoped would be there forever.   Love you grandma x
  • My children’s father appears to have taken up a sudden interest in pedophiles,  decides to post things about this subject on facebook and as a result put me in a situation where I have had to stop contact for the time being, until I am sure my children are safe, and in me doing so has made me feel like an absolute mega bitch. Then there is the added stress of having to deal with this family, who seem to be incapable of understanding why I am upset at his failure to safeguard my children.
  • My finances have seriously taken a turn for the worst.  I have done nothing differently, but with the increase of cost of living and decrease in help for working single parents it has all taken its toll and there is not much further I can go.
  • My health is suffering.  I am suffering from stress headaches, severe hayfever and now having to have treatment in the lady department to stop some naughty cells turning even naughtier.
  • And to top it off, I am still very, very single. Sigh……..

But as luck would have it, good things have happened in the last two years also, so at least rather than you getting a picture of just one steep drop on a very large roller coaster, you can now imagine a big dipper 😉

So yes it is very true, these last two years have been pretty trying, and would have been for any person.  But I am still smiling.  In the last year I have met some brilliant people, I have carved out a great social circle, I have gotten back in touch with some family members, I have reignited my love for art and creativity, I have rediscovered my freedom, my love for nature and walks in the woods, and my love for travel. I have discovered how lucky I am to have such great friends and family and a roof over my head, not to take things for granted and to be thankful for what I have.

“Amongst the dark clouds are always small rays of bright sunshine”i

 

Bad Mood

After a peaceful week and a fabulous weekend spent with friends and family I woke up this morning in a great mood. Despite me being woken by our pup at 6am I was happy, the sun was shining and I was still buzzing from this weekend. You simply cannot beat spending time with people you really love. Some of my friends I love like they are my family and feel more at home with them than some of my actual family.

Shame the ex had to get in touch this morning with another manipulating text full of guilt trips and hate. This instantly put me in a bad mood. No matter how much I try to not let this man affect my life I just cannot help it. This frustrates me no end. Instead of letting it get me down for too long I’ve learned to try and deal with my emotion and release it. I did a quick drawing, the title…….Bad Mood

Going Backwards? It is not possible, time will never allow it

I had my first child at 17, needless to say I was nt married and the relationship did not last. By 28 I had given birth to my second and third children.  I still was not married, nor did the fella ever intend to propose, mainly as he knew he had some sort of control in this matter, and all I ever wanted was the happily ever after.  So I planned the wedding, and when our third child was 6 months old, we got married.  I was never proposed to, and he never said he wanted to marry me, but he did. I am now divorced. Single again and have been for two years.  I am dating, for the first time in my life.  I meet men, go on dates and if I want to see them again I do, if I don’t  then I don’t.  For the first time in my life, I realised I actually had a choice in relationships.  My children are older now.  I go out with friends, I go on holiday with them, weekends away to festivals and allow myself that time to let my hair down.  I am truly living a single life.  With three older children in tow.  They of course also get my time, but as I am sole carer, with not much of a break I allow myself some freedom now and again.  I benefit, but so do they.

I had a career at 21, working in a law firm, receiving a large pay check at the end of each month and a decent annual bonus to boot.  At 30, I left, I’d had enough of the rat race and returned to university.  I am a student. I also work, part time.

I had a house at 21, albeit with a mortgage but it was mine.  After a failed engagement and then a failed marriage and all the financial implications that came with that (thanks ex-husband for eternally lumbering me with your debt) I now live in rented.  Although it is not all bad, as in actual fact this is the first house that actually feels like home to me, since leaving my parents home some 15 years ago.

At 21, despite having a child, I had savings.  Maybe this was because it was before the recession hit us, I do not know.  But I now no longer have savings.  Another way I have gone backwards…..?

I felt at one point I had it all.  Husband, children, career, money. But I did not.  I did not have my freedom, nor my happiness. I was sad, and despite being surrounded by my husband and children I felt lonely.  Nothing fulfilled me.  I felt like a shell, an outline of a person with nothing inside. Empty.

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I used to be very creative, but all of this had fallen by the way side to make time for my career and my children.  I was desperately trying to hold everything together and it worked for a couple of years, but once the cracks began to show, no matter how much I tried to plaster of them, it was just a temporary fix.  I had to strip back to basics, and reassess my life.  At first I thought I had thrown everything away, until I realised I had in fact just began to clear everything away.  The things which I no longer needed in my life as they served no purpose, and in fact made me very unhappy.  However, I am happier now than I have ever been.  I still have problems in my life I have to deal with, but I do not ‘struggle’ to deal with them.  I am not constantly stressed out and have managed to develop a ‘whatever will be, will be’ attitude.  I believe sometimes we are so conditioned by society that we believe the house, car, husband, children, career blahdy blah is what is going to keep us happy. Having lived that live, it did not work for me, and I know plenty others that it has not worked for either.

If you feel unhappy, it is time to assess your life.  Do not be frightened, as you have to do this, for yourself. You have a duty to live life in the most happiest, fulfilling way that you can.

I had difficulty allowing myself time.  I felt guilty, feeling as though I had to be there for my children 24/7.  So I not only felt guilty when I went out for dinner with friends, or for a weekend away at a spa, I felt guilty when I went to work!  Working 10 hours a day in a law firm, meant most days I did not see my children for more than an hour a day-combined from before and after work.  It made it more difficult for me to accept as when I tried to explain it to my husband, he was so money driven (mainly as I paid his bills) that he failed to even consider a reduction in my hours.  So when I was finally brave enough to take a look at my life, and after my now ex-husband had left, I know the next thing on my list was my work.  I had always been interested in people and what made them tick, so I chose to do Psychology.  I left my work, which had always served as a security blanket and I took the giant step of becoming a student. This freed up a lot of my time, and now I can take my children to school every morning and collect them from school three days a week.  The guilt of not being a ‘proper’ mother (this way my ideal of the type of mother I wanted to be) to my children has gone.  Which now means I can also take time out some weekends, guilt-free.

Your steps do not have to be as life changing as mine, I am in no way advocating that every one packs in their jobs and gets divorced.  This worked for me, and I am still in transition after two years, but every day I am a step closer to where I want to be.  So even though I looked as though I was going backwards, (and believe me, many people questioned me, and some thought I was in mid-life crisis) I actually just cleared the decks so I could move forwards. I AM HAPPY.

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