Getting Married in November

Ah, November. The beauty of autumn is past, with most of the leaves off of the trees. But the stunning snow-frosted look of December isn’t here yet. That often leaves us with a gray, wet, cold, dismal kind of month.

But the Irish remind us that there’s a special charm to November.

They say:

If you wed in bleak November,

only joy will come, remember.

November is really an ideal time to get married or to celebrate anniversaries. People aren’t wound up with summer vacations. They aren’t busy with Christmas things. And they aren’t hunkered inside for the frozen months (at least for those of us who live in snowy climates).

November is usually just about right. No blizzards, no hurricanes, no spring thunderstorms. It’s just right for getting together with family and friends. It celebrates Thanksgiving, that time of year all about appreciating our blessings.

If you have an anniversary or other celebration in November, that’s wonderful!

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day comes but once a year! Here are some ways to make this year extra special.

Special Night At Home – You’ve probably heard all the nightmare stories about dinners gone wrong at restaurants. The places are packed tight and servers are stressed. Don’t have your special evening destroyed by an overworked restaurant. Even if you do take-out, make it a special night in with candles, music, and just you two. You can always go out on another night when the crowds are away.

Make a Card – All you need is a piece of paper and a pen. Instead of relying on Hallmark or someone else to churn out cookie-cutter thoughts, write out three things you love most about the person. It will be far more meaningful!

Bring Live Flowers – Cut flowers wilt and fade, which is definitely not a romantic look. Get a small potted rose plant or something else which will live on in a window. It’ll bring joy all year round.

Think Daily Use – So often people get gifts which, while cute, sit on a shelf and are rarely looked at. Think up a gift which will be in their heart every day. A coffee mug with their favorite painting. An engraved wine glass. Something which brings joy to them on a regular basis.

Make a Difference – Gifts are nice, but most of the time what really matters is the offering of time. Have they been dreaming of visiting the beach? Make the time to take them there. Is the screen door rattle driving them nuts? Figure out a way to fix it. Sometimes those investments of time can mean the world.

Think Beyond Today – Valentine’s Day comes and goes. A relationship is tended to with regular care. Let them know on Valentine’s Day about one thing you’d like to do with them in the near future. Give them something fun to look forward to.

Listen – So often we can get caught up in our smartphones and devices and our own thoughts. Take this one day to listen. Really listen. Pay attention to what your partner is saying and show it.

Help Others – Study after study shows that when we help others, our own happiness levels go up. Do you love animals? Volunteer at a local animal shelter. Love kids? Find a way to help kids in your area. This will bring you both joy and bring you closer together.

Turn Off Social Media – Sure, maybe make that one post to celebrate your sweetie. Then put the phone down. Make this day about you and your partner. Focus on each other.

Relax – this is one day out of 365 in a year. Marketing agencies have used it to sell jewelry, but relationships are about treasuring every day. Find a way to infuse love and romance into each day you’re together.

Geese at Sunset

Social Networking and the Ex-Partner

Most of us have done it out of curiosity, anger, or hurt. Our modern world makes it so easy. We google our ex-partner. We check in on their Facebook page, their Twitter feed, and their Instagram photos. Maybe we’re hoping to feel better by learning that they still pine for us. Maybe we’re hoping to desperately reconnect with a glimpse of what was lost. Maybe we need forgiveness.

Heck, maybe we’re just bored.

However, if you’re already courting or connecting with another person, those reachings for the past can have a damaging effect.

You’ve probably heard some of the more serious tales. The two exs sneak off and cheat with each other, since they are used to being intimate already. It’s an easy trap to fall back into. Some exs become more extreme and leave their current partners for each other. It’s easy to idealize that past – to remember all the good times and gloss over the not-so-good times. In the meantime, pain and anguish is caused to the current partners who trusted in you. And, in the end, in most cases, the exs break up again for pretty much the same reasons they split up in the first place. It just wasn’t meant to be.

But even more subtle connections with an ex can harm not only your relationship but your own growth and contentment as an individual. More and more researchers have been studying these effects.

Tara C. Marshall is one of the researchers exploring this arena. She found that the more a person spent time following the activities of an ex, the more that person stopped living in the present or planning for the future. Instead, they were drawn back to the way things “should” have been. Critical time, energy, and focus were supplied to that past situation instead of to current possibilities.

It can be even worse if the ex seems to have found a happy life and/or kindled a new relationship they’re joyful about. These can all make the person in question feel less happy about what they have achieved.

Looking at the research out there, it’s usually better to create a path forward which focuses on your own growth and on the relationships you are forming. That’s not to say you have to shun an ex. If you happen to run into each other, it’s usually the best policy to remain polite. But none of us have a time machine. We all can only control this one moment we’re in. We can plan for our future. Hopefully we learn from the past so that we make better choices with each day.

Romantic Bermuda Cruise

I just got back from a delightfully romantic cruise to Bermuda. The boat goes right out of Boston, so for me there’s no flights involve. We simply drive into Boston, park there, hop on the boat, and then it’s beautiful sailing for a week. The boat arrives at Bermuda and docks there so you can get on and off whenever you want.

I love to snorkel and take photography of architecture, so it was just wonderful. Having delightful food available whenever I wanted was a treat, too!

Nearly every building on Bermuda seems to be done in pastel shades of pink, blue, yellow, and green. This church is at St. George’s which is a beautiful village.

I have a romantic suggestion for people considering a trip like this. On one of the ferry rides I was seated near a dating couple. The woman spent the entire hour-long trip complaining about her ex-boyfriend. I get it. The guy wasn’t right for her. But surely there’s a better way to spend one’s energy and vacation time than stressing and ranting about someone who, hopefully, is now no longer important in your life. Especially when you’ve got a new, interested beau sitting right there beside you.

Life is short. Every day is precious. Treasure it and spend it enjoying the people around you who care for you.

And do try a cruise :). They are often fantastically cost-effective ways to explore places full of beauty and wonder.

Have you gone on a cruise? Where did you go? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Autumn Equinox!

Happy Autumn Equinox!
Happy Autumn Equinox!

Happy Autumn Equinox!

The Autumn Equinox issue of Mused is now live. This is the final issue of our eighth full year! It’s just stunning. This next Winter issue will be the first of our ninth season!! Thank you all so much for your support.

The issue is spectacular. There are just amazing stories and poems in this. It is heartwarming how many high quality artists trust us with their works.

Here is the issue –

We would love to hear your thoughts on it – and we would love to see your submissions for the upcoming Winter issue! Share the news!

Have a great week :).

Yoga for Stress Relief and Forgiveness

Yoga for Stress Relief and Forgiveness
Yoga for Stress Relief and Forgiveness

Today’s lovely yoga session on the back porch filled me with calm energy for my day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, a gentle breeze was blowing, and life was radiating with peace. I am so grateful to have that opportunity to reset myself before I begin my task list.

Here’s my routine – it’s a free ebook and is suitable for all levels. Feel free to ask me with any questions!

Yoga for Stress Relief and Forgiveness