I remember reading somewhere that men are like waffles because they can easily compartmentalize while women are similar to spaghetti because everything is connected in some way. Once again I’ve relocated and along with the change in location has come a renewed commitment to be more healthier after I was challenged to make better choices. There’s this story in the Bible about a guy that had a skin disease and he was told to wash in a muddy river 7 times. The guy almost turned around and went home because he was expecting to be told to do something big and the remedy was just too simple. However, his maid convinced him to do it and it worked. In a world of fad diets, special equipment, and fancy fitness plans that consume your life, there still isn’t a substitute for eating healthy and exercising regularly. It’s a solution that seems too simple to a lot of people so they spend money (sometime unnecessarily) in the hope that it will take the place of hard work and discipline. I’ve learned more about discipline in these last few weeks than I have in a long while. It’s the same kind of internal motivation that I had to use in order to finally finish my dissertation and it’s really uncomfortable. However, it’s the only way to get the results that I want. It’s not something that I can delegate or outsource to anyone else. Like most decisions to make some significant changes, the question is, “How bad do you want it?” I’ve always admired people who genuinely enjoy working out but as I’ve been more consistent I can see how it can become a habit–regardless of the degree of “like.” I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out despite the fact that it’s still uncomfortable. But anything worth doing is worth doing well and I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge.
These past few weeks have been unusually stressful for me. I feel like everyone has a certain level of stress that they manage and cope with on a daily basis. It’s like a “regular load” of sorts. And then there are the things that can’t really be helped. It’s like Murphy’s Law gone haywire. The past two weeks have been exactly like that. From my job doubling my caseload, to car troubles, to making a decision to separate myself from someone who didn’t have my best interest in mind–it’s been exhausting. I was talking to someone the other day and I said that I felt like building a fort in my house out of blankets and chairs, crawling in and never coming out. Very unreasonable I know. The theme of my life sometimes seems to be this song “You Can’t Win.” But one thing that I’ve learned is the importance of being flexible and resourceful when necessary. I have to admit that times like this make me miss the presence of a significant other in my life. I’m not complaining but it would be nice to have someone as an actual support who had a vested interest in my life and was there because they wanted to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and would do anything for them but it would so clutch to not go to bed alone every night. I’ve never been one to flaunt my single status or to complain about it but there’s something to be said about the power of “we” versus “me.” Normally I would take this time to launch into some Pollyanna-like declaration that everything will be fine. Someone will come into my life who genuinely want to be in it and I’ll experience some degree of happiness in the future. But I’m just not feeling it right now. Yes, I’ll be fine. I’ve been living this way up to this point and a change isn’t anywhere on the horizon. I’ll continue to adapt and make adjustments as necessary but it honestly does just plain suck at times. But that’s my life. At least for now.
I like Tyler Perry. Despite the fact that I’ve never met him personally, I admire his story have enjoyed the videos that he’s posted. Despite this, I haven’t cared for all of his theater and movie productions. Netflix recently put his movie, Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor on their site and I recently watched it for the second time hoping that it would be better. Not so. One of the downfalls to having an actual background and experience being a therapist is that you tend to critique the way that therapy is portrayed on the big screen. However, the movie definitely sheds some light into marriages and portrays a situation that has been repeated in millions of marriages. But first, let’s talk about why Judith (the marriage counselor) feels that it’s necessary to monopolize the entire session with her client telling her a story about her supposed sister who is really herself. Self-disclosure much. But I digress. The breakdown of Judith and Brice’s marriage involves both of them. They are both busy people who are stressed by their jobs but rarely take the time to actually spend with each other. Both feel neglected by the other but they have not discussed this with each other. They have been together for years and have slowly slid into the place where their marriage just “is.” It becomes more of a habit for them than anything else. This is when the problem arises. Harley enters the scene as everything Judith has ever imagined or dream of. You can see in the movie that Judith attempts to seek Brice out for emotional connection but he is closed off and totally blows her off. This rejection is the last straw for Judith who then decides that her life would be better with Harley. The interesting thing is that Brice also makes heartfelt gestures to save the marriage but he is promptly rejected by Judith who has decided that he’s too late and that her decision has already been made. This leads to the demise of the relationship and marriage. The irony of all this is that Judith works as a matchmaker who puts people together. This movie tells the story of millions of people and their marriages. Just because the grass looks different doesn’t always mean that it’s greener. Judith learns this lesson the hard way after she discovers that the man she thinks she loves is not only abusive but also infects her with AIDS. Not the greatest ending ever. I say all this to say that Judith and Brice’s marriage was fix-able. Judith left her husband because of an emotional connection with another and because all her gestures and attempts at connecting with her husband had no results. When she finally realizes what a mistake she’s made it is too late to make amends and her (now) ex-husband belongs to another. It’s taken her too long to come to her senses. The problem is that both took the other for granted until it was too late. They assumed that just because they were married things would work out. They didn’t take the time to actively work on the marriage and to meet the emotional needs of the other and both paid the price of the failed relationship.