2012 Mid-Year Review

It’s June 2012, how are you hanging in there? For me, well I’m hanging in there but it’s been a crazy year so far.  Our family dynamic is so different, not only having a blended family (who doesn’t now days), but my husband travels out of the country and is gone for sometimes months at a time, my oldest Brett, who is 17 lives with his Dad in another state, and when my husband is out of town, his boys often go stay at their Mom’s house.  So Brittney, my 14 year old and I are often home alone….um with our rabid Pit Bull and 3 Rottweilers. Oh and I have a shotgun, 9mm and yes I know how to use them. 🙂

Anyways…..

Brittney was home/online schooled this semester since we were suppose to be moving back to Texas but were not sure when. She and I have spent a lot of time in Texas this year but came back in April when our beloved dog Bevo became sick with liver cancer.  We had to put him to sleep April 27 but luckily my husband was able to just make it home in time.

Our oldest, Kaleb turned 18 in May and graduated a few days later. Just last week I drove him up to Provo, UT for summer classes at BYU…yeah! We are so proud!

The last couple months I have been on a serious job hunt. Although I love consulting and would like to continue doing it, I would really like the opportunity to work for a large company or agency running the social media department.  Ideally I would like to find something in Texas of course or in Florida. I know, everyone thinks I’m crazy for wanting to move to Florida but I would be in heaven!

My youngest, Brittney will be 15 this weekend so we may take a trip over to Vegas and hang out by one of the many awesome pools.

At the end of June, I will be meeting up with some high school friends to go tubing on the Guadalupe River in Texas! I can not tell you how excited I am for this trip!

Well that about sums it up from January to June…kinda. We’ve got lots of catching up to do!

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Dating is like a job interview…

Call me old fashioned by why don’t you just live in sin?”, my mother actually said this to me several years ago while I was dating my husband. Funny right? My mother is the only person I know who has lived with a boyfriend and actually made it work.  18 years ago she and my now step-dad Byron began dating.  It wasn’t long before Byron moved in with us and that was ok because he was a great guy and moving in seemed to be the normal thing to do, right?  It wasn’t until 2 years ago they actually, officially tied the knot and got married.  I have never known any other couple to live together before getting married and have the relationship actually work out in the long run.  Think about it.  How many people do you know that have been together that long or longer who started off their marriage by living together first?  Yes, there are some exceptions out there, my parents being one of them.

When my husband Glenn and I began dating we took things very very slow. 1) We both had kids. 2) We were both recently divorced. 3) We didn’t want to screw this up.  For those several reasons, and including religious and moral beliefs, we decided not to live together before marriage.  I am an avid Dr. Laura fan and I have adopted her rule of the 2 year dating rule and the no shacking up rule.  If you date someone for 2 years, you will experience a lot with this person.  2 sets of holidays with families, financial ups and downs, blended family issues, home repairs, and other normal daily life stresses.  The kinds of stresses that can hurt a marriage if you haven’t dealt with them before with your significant other.

Dating is like a long job interview.  How does this person deal with his family, his kids, his finances, his anger, his ex, his friends, etc. If you truly want to spend the rest of your life with this person, why would you jump right in and give him the job and hope for the best?  That’s what you’re doing if you begin living together with this person while still dating.  On the job training? You are managing your life and if you hire every yahoo that applies for the job, how successful do you think you will be?

During our time dating, I had some severe financial difficulties partially stemming from my previous divorce.  Of course life would have been much easier, in theory, if we had just moved in together and only had one mortgage to pay and one set of bills to pay.  My job even offered health insurance coverage to him and his kids IF we lived together! This is when my mom quoted the famous line from above that I swear I will print on a t-shirt one day and make millions from!  But since we chose a different path, he and his kids would have to wait on that health coverage, and financial struggles would continue.  Did we make it out of that mess? Sure. Did it prepare us for how to deal with future financial stresses? Absolutely!

Anything fabulous is worth waiting for.  My husband and I have been together for 5 1/2 years and tomorrow celebrate 3 years of marriage.  I trust him completely and he still puts butterflies in my tummy!  A good man is worth waiting for and if he waits for you…he’s a good man.

 

 

The Best Advise? The List!

What is the best advise you ever received?  A friend of mine asked this question on Facebook the other day and ironically, the best advise I ever got was from her.  She told me to make a list.

After 12 years in an unhappy and abusive marriage, I finally got up the nerve to leave. That was exactly 5 years and 9 months ago to date.  It was no doubt the hardest and scariest thing I had ever done, but I did it.  I will skip all the dramatic details and long term effects I had to deal with and to some degree, still dealing with, but will tell you that it was the best decision I ever made.

*Side Note* If you are in an abusive relationship and want to get out, email me asap chanda_gunter@yahoo.com

So here I am, a 30 year old, single mom of 2 and on my own for the first time in my entire adult life. ( mistake #1)  My friend, who was also my roommate at the time, told me to make a list of everything you want in a person and that you can not make this list while currently in a relationship.  The point of the list is, love is blind. When we get into a relationship we lose sight of ourself and sometimes our core values because we really really like the other person.  By creating a list of everything we want, no matter how small or silly it might seem, some of those things are really very important to you. For example… if you really want someone who leaves the toilet seat down or puts the toilet paper on the right way or tells you they love you every single day, then write that down. If the toilet paper thing is important to you and your new guy doesn’t do it, 5 years down the road when things aren’t cute anymore and your breastfeeding a newborn, the toilet paper thing will drive you up the wall.

It’s who you are, your core being, your core value. Do not compromise it.

So I made a list.  I took a yellow legal pad of paper and wrote two columns of what I wanted, then put it away. When I met Glenn (my husband now), I took out the list after a couple of weeks of dating him and started to check off a few things.  He graduated college (check), he had been in the military (check), he had a close family (check), he went to church regularly (check), he had put up Christmas lights in November (check)…you get the idea.  After about 4 months of dating, I pulled out that list having had forgotten about it for a while.  At this point in our relationship I was head over heels in love with him.  When I started checking off the list I realized I had checked off all 2 columns except for 3 items. 3 ITEMS!!! Could this really be the perfect man??? For me, yes he was.  I was able to put in perspective what I really wanted, what was important to me. And then I got it. Luck you might say, Karma, channeling energy, Divine Intervention, whatever it was it worked.  We dated for 2 1/2 years before getting married and did not live to

 

gether, he moved into my house the day before the wedding.

So here is my advise to you…

#1) Do not get married before 25 (and I would highly suggest waiting until you are 30. You change as a person so much between 20 and 30. Think of it like this…when you were 6 you probably liked Barbie’s but 10 years later you hated them right? Same thing, seriously)

#2) Do not live together before marriage (How many people do you know that lived together before and are still together?)

#3) Date for at least 2 years before marriage

#4) Do not waste a ton of money on a huge wedding that you won’t really remember (Spend it on a house or furniture)

#5) Live alone or at least with a roommate. You will learn a lot!

#6) Make a list. Trust me, it works.

I am not a relationship expert by any means.  I chose to take the advise of a friend, trust myself and listen to myself, learn from my past mistakes, and let a good guy in.  The part I left out was the 2nd greatest piece of advise I ever got, again from the same friend.  After about 6 weeks of dating I almost broke up with Glenn and for no real reason other than he was just “different”.  I didn’t know what it was, but he was just different.  My friend said to me “Oh Chanda, you’re just not used to someone treating you so nice.” From that day on, I looked at Glenn in a different light.  He was different, and I almost let go of a good guy because he wasn’t “my type”.

#7)  Look for someone who isn’t “your type”.

Good luck!

Some People Are Just Gross!

If you know me then you know I worked in the fitness industry for a very long time, 12 years to be exact. I thought I had seen everything at the gym.  Men in speedos, women in make-up, women in clothing they should never be caught dead wearing in public, a woman “laying out” at the indoor pool, fights on the basketball courts, cars getting broken into, disgruntled employees making a scene as they are being fired, people refusing to leave at closing resulting in calling the cops, people having a “good time” in the bathroom stall, naked people in the sauna, broken collar bones on the racquetball courts, a girl overdosing/unconscious in the tanning bed and having to break down the door so the paramedics can get to her. …you name it, I’ve seen it. So I thought.

So I’m at Gold’s Gym yesterday relaxing in the dry sauna after my workout. This guy is sitting in there chattering away with everyone and as he is sitting on the bench, he proceeds to spit on the floor. He does this repeatedly in the same spot on the floor in between conversations. He then gets up to walk around this small space and continues to spit on the floor as he is walking. He then walks over to the heat coils and flings the sweat off his hands into the coils and then shakes his head back and forth to fling the sweat off himself. He walks back to the bench and wipes his sweating hands all over the walls to dry them off and the sits down and spits some more. Just as I was coming out of my shock and about to say something to this guy, he gets up and leaves.

Now some of you may not think this is any big deal considering some of the things I listed above and maybe your right. But this guy was just gross. I wish I had said something to him. I know I should have. Maybe that will be my daily incentive to get my butt to the gym more, so that I can hopefully run into this guy again and knock some sense into him if he does it again.

Whatever motivates you right?

The View

I moved from Texas to St. George, UT about 18 months ago kicking and screaming the whole way ( close, but not really) and it took me a very long time to get over the move.  Actually, I’m not completely over it yet. You see, I was born and raised in Texas.  Arlington, TX to be exact, which is a suburb of Dallas/Ft. Worth.  I never thought I would live anywhere but Texas. Ever.  Then I met my wonderful husband who convinced me to move to one of his favorite places as he had lived in St. George about 10 years before I met him.  I didn’t know one single person for the first time in my entire life.  I didn’t know where Walmart was.  I didn’t know where the other mall was (oh that’s right, there wasn’t another mall), and I couldn’t find any grass or trees to save my life. I was living on Mars, where everything was red rocks and red dirt.  Football was not important here and I couldn’t find a BBQ or TexMex restaurant that I was so desperately jonesing for.  You could say I was a bit homesick and not happy.

So what is a Texas girl to do?  I networked.  I found a few networking meetings in town and started going, made a few acquaintances which led to a job building from scratch the new Washington City Chamber of Commerce.  Working for the chamber was great because I was able to connect with so many people in town and many acquaintances evolved into friendships.  Although I am no longer with the chamber, I am grateful for the doors it opened for me.

In my 18 months in Utah, I have made 2 very dear friends that I visit with almost on a daily basis.  The funny thing is, you would never think we would have much in common.  One friend is in her very early 20’s, single, from Vegas and no kids and the other friend is a married empty nester, from California who is retired.  I myself am 36, and married with teenagers.  3 best friends, all from different parts of the country, in 3 different levels of life.  So what could we possible have to talk about every day?  Life, what else?  We always end up talking about relationships (past and present), friendships (past and present), business, and our day-to-day happenings. We all have an interesting take on life and advise each other daily from our own perspectives. I absolutely love these women!  They keep me grounded and keep me from being homesick 24-7.

Today we decided we needed a fourth to complete “The View”.  We were thinking about a divorced recent empty nester who is back in the dating scene, mid 40’s…maybe from Utah. You know who you are 😉

Is “un-friending” passive aggressive?

The world of Facebook can be an amazing social place as well as a great business tool, but can also be a frustrating place.  It is amusing to me how people “friend” and “un-friend” each other.  I personally started using Facebook a few years ago for personal reasons, like most people…finding old high school friends, people I had lost contact with, and current friends and family.  Over the last year, I have began using Facebook more as a networking tool than anything.  My personal page and my business page are what I manage the most and I find myself being amused at how many others “manage” themselves on Facebook.  Now I am not perfect by any means and have made my share of inappropriate remarks and TMI.

Recently I stepped on the toes of a couple of people in the business community, which I quickly apologized for when I realized what I did and how it looked.  Within the hour, that person “un-friended” me, had some of their friends “un-friend” me and was “un-liked” off 3 business pages.  Let me rephrase that…5 people don’t want to be my “friend” and they don’t want me on their business page.  And for what?  I didn’t run over anyone’s dog, I made a bad decision by showing up at an event that apparently I was not welcomed at because I am competition to their business.  How old are we anyway?  I have another friend who is no longer my “friend” who also “un-friended” me and took me off her business pages.  I guess in all these circumstances I can somewhat understand the “un-friending” but why take me off their business pages?  It lowers their numbers and unless I was trashing their page (which I was not) why would you want to lower your numbers?

You are probably thinking by now “WOW, she is really ticking off alot of people lately”, but remember the Facebook movie The Social Network…”You don’t make 500 million friends without making a few enemies”, so I’m not too worried about it.  I find it all very comical actually, because all of the people I am referring to claim to be experts in the Social Media world in this small town, yet they are all having knee-jerk reactions.  In business, you don’t allow knee-jerk reactions, you think it through, check the facts and then make decisions.  I think “un-friending” is a passive/aggressive gesture which again, has no business in business.  I always live by the rule “Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer”.

What Is Valentine’s Day Anyways?

So it’s Valentine’s Day.  Here is where all the guys say “oh crap.”, all the single girls say “who cares anyways”, and many businesses say “cha-ching!”.  I’m married and actually couldn’t care less about Valentine’s, however…it is nice to receive flowers and go out for dinner.  I am more of a believer in “take me out and buy me roses because you want to, not because you feel you have to”.  My husband is sweet and non-traditional romantic guy and absolutely despises going to restaurants on weekend nights unless it’s after 8pm and I don’t blame him.  I on the other hand, would rather you spend $50 on a steak dinner, than roses.

So I’m on Facebook one day (of course) about a month ago and saw a contest on the Love Locks facebook page.  They wanted to know what your love story was and you could win a dinner for two.  I thought “Why not?” and told them how my husband and I met and fell in love and yadda yadda yadda.  Well, we won!  We get to have a candle light dinner for two at the Lovescape, music, goodie basket, and of course a Love Lock of our own.  I was so excited because I love Love Locks and what a great gift for my husband from me…no restaurant waiting!

So what does Valentine’s Day mean to you?  For me it’s just another day because my hubby and I still act like honeymooners anyways, but again, it is always nice to have a little extra special something once in a while, right?  I like to reflect on our relationship and what is it about him that made me fall in love with him to begin with.  So if it takes one day out of the year to make us all reflect on that, I say GO VALENTINE’S DAY!

My husband Glenn and me