Monthly Archives: September 2013

Endangered Cashieria Walmartii

I saw one, no, I take that back. I saw two specimens of the endangered Cashieria Walmartii. They were in their nests, but sadly, the nearly two dozen nests around them were empty. Some of the other seers were waiting their turn to feed them. I am sure that each of the seers were wishing there were more. They appear to be on the brink of extinction. I am not sure what can be done to increase their population. They seem to be driven out by the growing flocks of Selfus Registerii.

Near my sighting today, I saw a flock of the Selfus Registerii. They were much fewer in number several weeks ago. The management of the retail park placed a large box on one end of the Cashieria Walmartii nests. It sported signs announcing new construction and remodeling. But it was not to be the benefit of the Cashieria Walmartii. Inside that huge box, the Selfus Registerii were breeding. They are not without their fans. They beeped much like the Cashieria Walmartii. The seers rewarded them by feeding them cards, slips of colored paper and round pieces of metal which they eagerly consumed. Just as the Cashieria Walmartii, the Selfus Registerii thanked their feeders with bits of white paper.

I hope that the Cashieria Walmartii will find a way to survive in the wilds of the retail park.

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Remarriage Statistics

The US is the most remarried country of the western nations according to a study by Cherlin in 2009. In another study by Deal in 2005 found that one third of all weddings in America formed step-families.

I, myself, am in a remarriage. Being over 50, I am part of the statistic that 25% of people who remarry are over 50 years old.

Now, you would think that being married a second or third time, you would have the maturity and wisdom from your previous experiences. I would think that and do think that. However, even though I believe that a second marriage would be better, the Census Bureau in 2006 found that 60% of second marriages, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. But the challenges of remarriage are different. You deal with complex relationships made even more complex with differing backgrounds.

In most remarriages, I believe the main drivers of frustration are money and children. Expectations differ greatly, especially in the way children were raised.  What was totally acceptable and a non-issue in one household nearly commanded the death penalty in the other. This can definitely cause some tensions when you try to blend the two households. It is not that anyone is wrong, it is just different. This exists in first time marriages as well, but I believed it is amplified in further marriages.  It definitely take time, patience and trust to build newer, stronger relationships with the spouse’s children, remembering that it is a new dynamic for them as well. This is true for both minor and adult children, even grandchildren.

Both partners may have established careers and their own nest eggs.  This can be a concern of the children as well as the partners. Communication about goals and comfort levels can help alleviate money differences. It is also wise to determine in advance how monies are to be dispersed if one spouse passes away.

A 2002 study by Hetherington showed that on average, couples in step-families have three times the amount of stress of couples in first marriages during the first few years. But with time, stress levels for couples in step-families can fall to normal levels found in first marriages.

I said earlier that I believe that I can use the lessons from my first marriage in my first marriage to improve the happiness in my second marriage. I will admit, that I was not prepared for the some of the unique challenges that have arisen. I plan on working hard in my relationship and working though the challenges. Love and marriage takes lots of hard work and its worth it.

Are you in a step-family relationship? What kind of challenges did you experience that you did not expect. How did you overcome those challenges. It may be true that 60% of second marriages fail. That means that 40% make it.

I know that the statistics are scary, but couples do make remarriage work. Marriage always has challenges and it is overcoming those challenges as couples and families that make relationships stronger.

Take care, stay well and be safe.

My Life GPS

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I like to use a GPS when I drive. I use a social GPS where other’s ahead of me provide input and I can verify the info for those behind me. I think that we can use a social GPS in our own lives. But when I thought about it, I think we do have a GPS in our lives if we choose to use it.

Before the GPS can plan a route, you must first input where it is you want to go. In life, it is a good idea to decide and know where it is we want to go. Not everyone does. The GPS will always tell you where you are, if you don’t let it know where you are going. It is good to know where you are, otherwise how would you begin.  I will admit that I didn’t know where I wanted to go. I am not even sure I know what I want to be when I grow up. Since I am more than 50 years old, I probably should decide. It is never too late to decide where you want to be tomorrow. I’ve been thinking about retirement, especially where to live after retirement.

So my first task is to input into my life GPS where it is I want to go. When I do that, it gives me several options for my routes, with the fastest option at the top. I can choose slower options, it is up to me. Once I choose the route, the GPS gives me my first direction. It’s initial route is based on traffic and known hazards at the time the request was made. When we make decisions on what to do next, we can only make them based on what we know now. We make the very best decision we can with the knowledge that we have. We may find out later that the decision was flawed, but only because of information of which we were not aware.

My GPS dynamically changes routes when it encounters new information. In my life, I have to do the same thing. I may have to change my actions or thinking based on new information or situations. No matter how well we plan, we still must be flexible enough to deal with the reality of the moment. The GPS routes around the obstacle, if it can, or warns you that the obstacle is ahead and you just have to suffer through it. The GPS might even provide routes that we didn’t know or think about. That happens in life too. We might not be aware of obscure opportunities that get us to the place we want to go. Or we might not realize that there are different ways to live our dreams by doing things associated with our main goal. Our life GPS can show us new ways to approach our future.

Sometimes my GPS is wrong. There are times that my GPS will tell me that there is traffic ahead but when I get there, it is gone. Was there traffic there earlier? Probably yes. Just like in life, just because we experienced something once, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the same way now. Travel is a dynamic exercise. Roads can close at a moments notice, new roads open, detours pop up, accidents shut down lanes and create traffic tie-ups. Life is like that too. If we were hurt in one relationship, it doesn’t mean that every relationship will be bad.  Just as the GPS doesn’t have all the answers, things in our life can pop up that were unexpected and unplanned.

Even when the GPS is right, we may not want to follow the directions or take the wrong turn. I sometimes think to myself, that doesn’t make sense to me, I think I will go this way instead. Almost every time I do that, I end up regretting it. If I ask someone wiser than I for advice and then ignore it, it usually doesn’t work out well for me. Their experiences are different and may not be perfect, but the information is valuable. We can learn from those who have experienced and overcame difficulties similar to ours. Or, we can ignore the GPS and go our own way. It might work. It might not. It might have been easier if we listened. The GPS might have been wrong.. This is why life is an adventure.

My life GPS comes in many forms. It takes the form of the Bible, many great books both spiritual and philosophical. It comes from seeking advice from experienced individuals. It comes from studying problems and learning how others coped with difficulties and opportunities. It comes from my own past experiences. It comes from thoughtful and heartfelt prayer.  And, it comes from my hopes, aspirations and dreams.

Life has a GPS. It can tell us where we are and where we have been. But for every moment we live, we help decide where we are going.