We’ll Never Be Rested: What if Parents Rewrote the Lyrics to Lorde’s ‘Royals’?

From Groundswell
Hysterical take on “We’ll never be Royals”

Josh Stearns

Lorde’s song “Royals” was everywhere in 2013. But my wife and I wondered, what if instead of a 17 year-old superstar, it was overtired parents of young kids who had written this song. The lyrics below are the result. My friend, singer/songwriter Lisa Hillary  recorded our lyrics and it is amazing. Listen to the track and go check out Lisa’s music.

UPDATE: Thanks to fans of the song we now have a video! Check it out.

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Four Steps to Surviving Divorce

Divorce can be, in a word, “Hell!”  In “From Divorce Court to the Ice Cream Shop,” I write about my own incredibly long and nasty contested divorce and how I MORE than survived it and came out the other end a happier person who now has a great relationship with her Ex and her child! 

In short-form, here are four pieces of advice  to survive and flourish instead of falling into despair or eating yourself up with anger! Heck, they worked for me!

1. Therapy!  It costs money, but it will help you control your anger and help you make decisions that make sense. You might need some meds. Be open to it.  You will be angry. You might be sad. Even if you are the one that filed! The adversarial nature of the system simply breeds unhealthy psychological states. Do what you can do for YOU to survive the experience!

2. Make your body happy by doing something you love! Maybe it’s working out at the gym, doing yoga, running daily, or, like me, riding your horse! Whatever your passion is, just do it!  Drinking too much wine or stuffing your face won’t even occur to you!

3.  Write!  Keep a journal, blog, or facebook.  Whichever medium  works for you, writing will help you focus on what you are Really feeling, so you can identify the healthy from the unhealthy thoughts. If you’re lucky, like I was, through blogging, you might even get a bunch of support from some of the 900,000 women who get divorced every year or from those who have already been through it.

4. Get out there and date!  Even if you don’t fast and furiously find “true love” at the dot-com of your choice, with the right attitude and a healthy bit of caution, internet dating can give your the thrill of attention, a little self validation and — yes — sex, just when you need it the most!. Get out from under those depositions and negotiations and have some “you” time! 

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Hello 2014!

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It’s that time of year again when many of us set out goals and resolutions!

Let’s face it, that resolution is bound to be broken and that goal probably won’t be reached. As Dilbert cartoon author says, in his new book, How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big, “Goals are for Losers.” He says goal-oriented people exist in a state of nearly continuous failure.” Even if you reach that goal, he says, you wind up losing the thing that gave you purpose, set a new goal, and reenter the cycle of permanent pre-success failure! 

Even if you don’t buy into Adams’ thesis, I’ve got a better idea: Reflect, instead, on the year that has just past and the lessons learned from your experiences. Call it a bit of “positivity” if you will!.  No doubt, It will  lift your spirits and force you to realize even the “downers” of the past year had some usefulness!.  

Keeping to the topical order of last year’s post, here’s my list:

Lessons Learned from 2013:

1. From my injuries and recoveries:
Instead of the O.R., I found myself in an E.R. in 2013. Believe it or not, a golf cart hit me before a group bike ride, and my leg was deeply slashed by the chain ring on my Trek. From this experience I learned the body has an amazing ability to block out pain and that most people are really good!

As I lay on the ground with fatty tissue exposed for all to see, I didn’t feel a thing, and I might have even biked had dizziness not taken over when I tried to stand! Yay for adrenaline!  But more to the point, all my cycling buddies were incredibly caring. Who gave me a towel to wrap the wound? Who held my leg up, so blood didn’t flow? Who took care of my bike while I was whisked to the hospital?  How many emails did I get from people who wanted to know if I was ok?  i have a nasty scar, but I am none the worse for wear. The friendships endure!

2. From M., My Man of 2013
Just when I thought my heart had been too hardened by breakups to love again, I found a good one who loves me more than I ever thought possible. I had a couple of rough, heart-wrenching breakups in 2011, one easier one in 2012, and a quick tough one in early 2013. But I learned from Michal that the heart, like the body, is resilient  — able to recover and love, even more strongly, when it’s “right.”

3. From My Daughter
Alex, my little girl, who is now 15, went away to boarding school as a sophomore in 2013 after messing up her first year of high school in the city. From Alex, I learned that “being there” for someone doesn’t necessarily mean constant contact! That growing up requires separating from one’s parents! That failures can turn to success! Amazing. The independence required at her new school has given her the ability to tap the “executive functioning” skills all the therapists told us were absent. Plus, she’s gone from C’s and D’s to Honor Roll! And, best of all, she’s gone from snippy to charming!    

4. From the Family I was born into
Although I threw up my hands and “gave up” a few years back, I learned from my family this year that family will always be family. The olive branch is a powerful tool for renewing love and bonds that  might have become frayed.  My olive branches included reaching out through calls, visits, gifts and cooking.  There’s still a little fraying, but it’s just around the edges.

5. From my Ex-Husband
I learned that friendship with an Ex can be built through mutual respect and recalling the good things. There is no reason for post-divorce animosity. Indeed, there were times I wondered why we even got divorced! But as Rick says, “That ship has sailed.” Now we have a tight relationship. There will always be a few bumps when it comes to how we raise our daughter, but we are truly mutual friends.

6. From my Job:
I worked?   Most folks seem to think I need a “real” job for structure. I earned a paralegal certification in 2013, but wasn’t able to land a single interview, despite the NYU credentials and earning the position of the only student with straight A’s in my class.  But even without a “day job” I’ve found that every day of my life is meaningful.  My life is incredibly full though planning and doing activities that involve health, exercise, reading and research. I learned it’s easy to remain engaged and excited about life as long as you never stop doing and learning!

7. From my Horse:
Zip recovered from his laminitis and lyme disease. 2013 was the year of training and getting in shape after over a year of illness. He’s taught me how to read his moods, taught me perseverance and, more recently, reminded me how exhilarating it is (for both of us!) to jump over fences!  

8. From the Ex-boyfriends
Once you’ve gotten over them, it’s easy to be friends with an ex-bf. Well, sort of.   My friendship with Dan is solid as a rock. We’re each other’s best friends after three years!  And, while short early 2013 attempt at re-dating Eric was not such a good idea, we’re now on good and friendly terms. It takes effort, but it’s worth it when a person has had — if even for a short time — a bit of your heart. It make the healing easier.

9. From my book
I learned that while I may be a writer, but I’m no entrepreneur. I feel proud of having designed and written a book from my Xanga blogs on divorce, but I never spent the money necessary to market the book and ramp up sales or turn it into a screenplay. Will I write another?  Dunno!

 

Monogomy Kills Desire

 

“Fidelity is Over-rated.”

I have made this statement many times over the last year, usually to wide-eyed shock or puzzlement.

But today I got a bit of validation.  Today’s New York Times Book Review covered a book on female sexuality entitled, “What do Women Want.”

Among the studies in the book that was quoted was one which looked at the causes of declining sex drive in women over time. Surprisingly it found the following:

“Flagging sex drive is not just an inevitability for women — it is specifically the result of long-term monogamy. ” “Even the hormonal decrease of menopause can be entirely overridden by the appearance of a new sexual partner. “It went on to say that “monogamy was, for women, a cultural cage — one of many cultural cages — distorting libido.”

Wow!   Read that again!

I have a few brief thoughts  on the topic and would like to hear yours.

*  I know there is no end to the amount of sex a person can want. It’s almost like having appetizers at a cocktail party.  The best appetizers leave you wanting more and famished for the main course.  In the same way, sexual desire breeds more sexual desire. I don’t know why that is true. It just is. And having more than one partner doesn’t change the math. The opposite! 

* I know that sex with one person doesn’t have to change the way one feels about another person. If having sex with another person negatively changes how you feel about your other partner, the relationship was probably on the rocks already.  If the relationships are sold, having two partners is no more confusing than having lunch and dinner in the same day. When I have had relationships that “overlapped,”  I felt something very different for each of the men. The existence of the one didn’t diminish the meaningfulness of the other.

* I know that sometimes people confuse sex and lust. But sex can be just “sex,” and “lust” is, well, always just “lust!” Sex can be a deeply emotional and spiritual experience between two loving partners.  It is the strongest, most transcendental way to experience sex. Yet.  there does not have to be any emotional anything involved during sex — even with someone you love deeply. Sex can be play. Sex can be experimentation.  Sex can awaken you sexually. In a great way! I think of my threesome and my one night stands in this way! I also think of sex in some of my most enjoyable relationships this way! 

* I know couples in real life and on Xanga who have great marriages that are open. In fact, I am struck by how strong their marriages are emotionally and admit I can’t say the same for any closed monogamous marriage. I am also stuck by how vibrant their sex life is. They share what they do with others and are not threatened by it. On the contrary, there is a sense of security, knowing they will always come home. And the relationships bring more to the table!

* I also know, unfortunately, that there is a double standard on infidelity. Men who are not monogomous are often seen as often seen as either 1) sexy & virile or 2) poor creatures forced to cheat because they are stuck in sucky marriages with boring wives.  Women, on the contrary, are seen as promiscuous or sluts.   Ehhh. I’ll have to live with that.

For me, I have survived a 20 year relationship that was devoid of sex for many years. To my delight, I rediscovered my lost libido, sometimes monogamously and sometimes not!  Judge me if you like…I’m having too much fun to care!

I didn’t say I’m sorry

The above picture says it all. That is good, because I’m having trouble writing this post and all that has happened since my last one.

The short story is that I did not say “I am so sorry” to Michael, as I had planned.  

We saw each other twice since “it” happened. But, rather than cower and give me an opportunity to “rewind” the clock, each time, he has radiated a chemistry, longing and electricity that is almost palpable.  I think I’ve come to believe that he is a big boy, responsible for his own thoughts, feelings, and actions. I’m no longer the seductress who needs to feel guilty. If that makes any sense. 

Last night, my weekly Wednesday night group cycle ride, ended with a stop in a parking lot to “steal a kiss.” He drove, and I followed. We made out longingly, almost desperately with a feeling of relief:  We had been sitting next to each other for dinner with our  group for the previous two hours, pretending there was nothing but friendship between us.

It was only supposed to be a goodbye kiss before he ships off to Virginia for a weeklong vacation. But, after kissing turned to foreplay and I couldn’t stand it any more, I wound up pulling off my jeans and climbing on top of him. The sex was slow and intense. He came quickly, admitting as I did, that he felt like an 18 year old. The good and the bad.

I think I do not feel the guilt or regret that I did at first because we have talked so much and I have been with him enough to see that he wants it in ways I didn’t expect.  I gave him an opening. Instead, in the two times we have seen each other since last week, he’s drawn me in by the way he looks at me, mentors me, insists on sitting next to me at group dinners, makes sure our arms touch ever so lightly against each others’ when we are near.

And, he takes risks that I would not.

He seems to want people to know.  Not his wife, but the people in the club. Maybe I am the trophy, the girl that announces to the world that despite his age he is still virile and strong and attractive.  Oddly enough, I feel emotionally “safe.”  That he is in a marriage he does not want to disturb means there is a limit to where the relationship can go.  This is a good thing for me. 

He plans, too. He wants me to go on a three day cycle trip to Amherst, MA in AUGUST!  It seems he can hardly wait: He wants to be sure I will be there. He wants me to share his room.

That is all I have to say now.  I told him I would still be doing match.com dating, but wouldn’t tell him about any of the dates any more. If something turned into “something” I wouldn’t tell him either. In the same way that I won’t want to hear anything of his wife. 

We seem to have a deal. When I’m not ok with it, I’ll let him know. If the guilt comes back, I’ll let him know.

But I think what I have come to accept is that this is not about me seducing him. This is about him wanting me. He is old enough to take responsibility for it. I can’t take responsibility for him. 

A “First” in the Sex Department

I had sex the other night. 

The sex, itself, wasn’t my “first” anything.  I’ve pretty much done it all. But the guilt was.  

You see, He was married.  And I was his first ever in all his  years as a married man. And the relationship with his wife is solid as a rock.  

He’s older than me by quite a bit and not the most amazing in the looks department. But there’s something about him that drew me to him. I met him in my bicycle club. He’s far older than me, far faster, and took me under his “wing” almost immediately.  

We’ve been flirting for months. In person, email, and via txt messaging.  I just checked. Since I met him in March, we’ve exchanged over 130 emails alone.  

Why me?  In his bed.  Where he sleeps with his wife, who was away on business. And, with legs wrapped around each others’, we talked and talked and talked afterward. And then I left. 

I actually got so unnerved by the whole thing that last night.  I thought I should go to confession today, except that today is Sunday and priests don’t do confession on Sundays. It’s usually Saturday afternoon. Or weekdays.  

I will see him again tomorrow for the first time since Wednesday night when it happed.  I don’t know how I’ll act. I want to say “I’m sorry.”  Just “i’m sorry.”   

I keep thinking, “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”  

Stood up?

I can’t believe Newguy stood me up. Last night we were supposed to go out for his Birthday.  We had planned it last Friday. I made arrangements for my daughter to stay at her Dads.

Got a text Late Sunday saying his brothers were taking him to Atlantic City and he’d be back Tuesday or Wednesday.  Yay for You!  

I get that things happen, but how ’bout an apology?  How ’bout  some contact — a phone call or even a txt — that makes me know you’re thinking of me? I didn’t even get a response to a txt message I sent yesterday saying “Happy Birthday.”

His phone better have been dead and broken, lol!

But I did not stay home and feel sorry for myself. I have spared you all the details, but I went on the Eric rollar-coaster “take 3” from Jan-Mar. I’m not liking or trusting men at the momen. (errrhhh…you guys are all just sh=t is what I’m thinking).

So, yesterday afternoon I called Jess  and hooked up.  Jess was a match.com hot date from a few weeks ago. I knew in the first few minutes of meeting him, he’s  not “The One” but, damn, he’s good in a pinch. It was fun. Until he got too drunk.  Like I said, HE is definitely not “the one,” but it was nice to have a booty call on my terms.  And it’s nice to have a backup. 

No…It did not feel good to be stood up, but it did feed good to have a “Plan B!”

 

ps. I feel stupid writing this on the day after the Boston Tragedy.   I’m sure enough people have written about it. Acts of terror make me sick to my stomach. No matter that this was “small” in comparison to 9/11…But it brought back the memories, the anger, the fear, and a feeling that would take paragraphs to describe. As I write, a plane flew overhead. I felt the terror again.  I know we don’t know who did it yet. But how did this happen? How can people be so evil, wishing to destroy life just for the sake of striking terror in the hearts of Americans?