Archive for the ‘Ashley Anders’ Category

From Bah Humbug to Happy Holidays

December 4, 2008

Most of my friends would not describe me as the person who eagerly awaits the holiday season. On the contrary, they know that in the past, I have really dreaded the holidays due to the many transitions that my family has endured over the past several years. My family, like so many others, has experienced multiple divorces, deaths, and other family transitions that dull the cheerful glow of the holiday season. I know I am not the only one who has wished to sleep through Thanksgiving and Christmas and then, when we wake up, it’s January.

However, we all know this is not possible.

Thanksgiving this past week was the official kick off of the holiday season. Much to my surprise, I found myself looking forward to Thanksgiving and seeing my family. Now that Thanksgiving has passed and time is on the super speedway towards Christmas, I have found that I am anticipating this holiday as well. Inquiring minds may want to know what has accounted for this change in perspective regarding my “bah humbug” attitude towards Christmas.

I used to spend my time mourning over times passed and wishing for things to go back to how they used to be. I can imagine that there are millions of people who are currently struggling with this same problem. However, I recently realized that I will never be satisfied if I continue to long for times that have passed because it is simply not possible to go back and relive the “good ole days.” I have learned to appreciate the people who are in my life who really love me. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved and appreciated them but I have developed a new sense of gratefulness for my family in realizing that I must appreciate them now.

Therefore, I encourage you to be appreciative of the family that you have right now instead of focusing on the one that once was. We only get one family, so let’s enjoy them (with all of their craziness and flaws) to the fullest. Happy Holidays!

Ashley Anders, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant

Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative

The Passion that Binds

October 2, 2008

We’ve all been there: longing for that person who makes your “ liver quiver” but at the end of the day, he/she does not return those same feelings for you. I know, I know. It really hurts but what can you do. I can recall a situation similar to this in my personal life. He was popular, ambitious, intelligent, and did I mention gorgeous? I was crazy about this guy, but the sad part is that there was nothing that I could do that could make him return the strong feelings that I had for him. I found myself doing what those “desperate” girls do. I would cook meals and invite him over, “spontaneously” end up at events that I knew he was attending, and continuously call or text him just to let him know that I was thinking about him. The list goes on and on. Then, one day, I realized that there was nothing in my power that could make him return the feelings that I had for him. That realization was profound!

Well, a few months later, I met someone else who is absolutely amazing. He’s generous, funny, he enjoys cooking for me, and he treats me like a queen! He also made it very clear that he really liked me and he freely expressed this to me. Who wouldn’t want to be with a person like that? Yep. You guessed it. Me. I am the moron who does not like this guy, despite all of his great qualities. I recently hung out with him because I was thinking to myself, “Ashley, you are crazy for not liking this great man!” As this thought continued to cross my mind, I resolved to hang out with him enough so that he could “grow on me” as my friends said he would after spending enough time with him. So, as I was getting ready to go to his apartment I got so excited because I was ready for this guy to steal my heart . That is after he grew on me. As we were sitting at his apartment though, all I could think about how annoying his laugh was or how much it bugged me when he would talk about almost any subject. So as I left from his place that night I had a really insightful realization. I cannot make myself like this guy! No matter what he does nor how hard he tries. It’s almost like trying to fit a square puzzle piece into a place meant for a circle: No matter how hard I could try to make it fit, it’s just not gonna work.

There is one similarity between these two relationships: one person involved lacked the passion that would make the relationship worthwhile. Research indicates that the most satisfying romantic relationships are the ones in which each person is passionate about the other. While the levels of passion that each person has will indeed fluctuate over the years, it is important that there is passion. Whether it’s at the beginning stages of a relationship or later after the relationship has developed, this passionate component is one part of the glue that holds relationships together. Although neither of the above mentioned relationships worked out, I rest assured that one day someone will come along for whom I will have really strong feelings and he will return those same strong feelings for me.

Ashley Anders, Graduate Research Assistant

Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative

Ashley Anders, M.S.