Sunday, July 16, 2017

Respect Challenge -- week one update

Good morning, readers! Wow, what a week this was. Jason and I have been under a good deal of stress (things we have no control over, all involving extended family) but you know what, there’s always something to be thankful for, right? And this week I’m thankful that we’ve been able to talk our way through challenges, support each other when we’re depleted, and meet each other’s needs. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Learning how to meet each other’s needs, cultivating peace, and enhancing intimacy? I have to say that I really enjoyed having a daily focus on my behavior toward Jason. It made me think hard about how I could work on my own role. (For those of you who missed last week's post, I'm doing a thirty-day respect challenge and blogging about it). 

So yes, it’s been stressful here, but today the sun is shining. It’s been a lovely summer. We took our kids to the beach last night for dinner, and it was so fun. This week, I have a few kids in camp and a few staying home with me. I have a new book coming out (the last and final Boston Dom, y’all!), and Jason and I are planning our yearly family getaway where we trek up to the mountains and unplug. So yes, things are stressful here, but I’m a happy girl. 

I do, however, really, really, really need a good spanking. The stress of this week has made for very little time with Jason, and we’re both feeling it. I need more than a spanking (ahem) so I think this busy couple needs to make a game plan. 😉

I promised you I would keep a record of how this challenge went! So here goes.

Day one
Choose joy 

I struggled with this. Female readers and the moms out there will understand why on this particular day I struggled with choosing joy. Here is the summary: PMS + swimsuit. Our plan was to take our rascals swimming for the day. My standard swimsuit was in the wash and I had to wear a back up that I didn’t love, and I had to work hard at not having a little meltdown fit (true story). I took a few deep breaths, focused on what I was grateful for (I had a backup suit and could still swim. It was lovely and sunny! Jason didn’t have to work, and our entire family could hang out together. Jason still thought I looked hot lol!), and with a good deal of self talk, I did it. I chose joy. We had a lovely time, and came home and cooked a yummy Sunday dinner. 

I like choosing joy. I work on it all the time and sometimes I don’t do so well. Jason isn’t always everything I need (how could he be?) and I’m not always perfect (only human, after all), but at the end of the day, there are always things to be grateful for, and I loved the reminder that happiness is a choice.

Day two
Honor his wishes

Day two, and I got spanked. Ha! I needed it, though. Isn’t that often the way? 

So it was a crazy busy day. I didn’t get to check in with Jason, hadn’t had my morning spanking, and was flat out busy with my kids and extended family. My little ones were grumpy I dragged them around driving their older sister to summer camp (she usually watches them when I have to go out!), and the day was busy. It was mid-morning when I finally sat down and said “okay, I need to focus on today’s challenge. How do I honor his wishes?” 

Since I’m submissive to Jason and we have our daily check-in, this was pretty straight-forward at first. He likes me to take care of myself and not overextend. He likes me to stick to my schedule and my plans. He likes me stay calm and focused, to rest when I need it, and to keep my priorities in check the way he and I agree. 

He doesn’t like me to swear at all. He doesn’t like me to snap at other people, to speak rudely, or to be mean in any way. Years ago, I had a temper. I had a hard time keeping in check. I’m better about that now, but I still get irritated. I never swear in front of Jason (well, not without getting spanked) buuut…I do swear sometimes. I guess if I’m honest, I don’t really find it something I agree with. I’m an erotic romance writer and, er, erotic romance writers swear.
By the end of day two, I was feeling like I needed my daddy a lot. Boy did I. He came up to bed, and he asked if I needed him (he can sense it, I’m sure of it!). I said yes. And then I fessed up about a few things where I’d gone astray. I hadn’t really broken a rule (I’m not allowed to swear at people, that’s the rule, and I don’t), but I hadn’t met his expectations. So I simply said, “I feel like I probably need to be spanked.” I didn’t tell him to spank me. I simply
 admitted guilt. If he’d said no, I didn’t need a spanking, I’d have accepted that. It’s happened. But he listened, asked a few questions while he held me, and then he said, “I’m going to get ready for bed. When I come back, I’m going to spank you. And while I’m gone, you think about what you could’ve done better.” 
Oh, daddy. OUCH! So, I was teary-eyed and ready to go over his lap by the time he came back. He gave me a very slow, very deliberate spanking, with a firm “daddy” lecture, and by the end, I was crying my eyes out. He held me, and things moved on to better things, as they have a tendency to do. Phew. 
For the rest of the week, I met his expectations.

Day three
Pay Attention
This was a good reminder to put down my phone, my laptop, stop folding laundry, and to give him my undivided attention. I needed the reminder, and this worked well! I’m a little nerdy in the goal-setting department, so every day when I put together my to-do list I have daily goals I strive for. One of them is to be attentive and present to my children and husband. Putting down my phone is something I need to focus on!

Day four
Don’t Interrupt

This I found really easy. Jason has me well-trained lol. I get spanked if I interrupt him, so if I even veer in that direction, a sharp look gets me in line. I don’t struggle with this, so I found it easy to do. I still kept it at the forefront of my mind.

Day five
Emphasize his good points
This was a super busy day. I didn’t see much of Jason. So instead, I focused on reminding myself of his good points. 
He’s a fantastic provider. He’s funny. He’s an awesome father to my kids. He's an awesome daddy to me. 😉 He’s hot. He’s supportive and gives me tons of attention. Yeah, I’m smitten, and by the end of the day with all of this on the forefront of my mind, I was flirting shamelessly and giggling like a little girl. So when I did get to see him, I praised him. This doesn’t come naturally to me. Out of the fivelove languages, words of praise are just about the lowest of my needs, so this doesn’t tend to be one of my strengths. I do believe that building him up is my job as a submissive, so a good reminder always helps.

Day six
Pray for him 
I do pray, but I also believe in positive and negative energy and good vibes and all that. I’m a Christian, but a not very conservative one, so I try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In short, I adapted this one. I prayed for Jason, but I also sent good thoughts. I envisioned myself as his number one fan, and focused my day with that in mind. 😉

Day seven
Don’t nag. 
And here, folks, was where I faced my biggest challenge of the week. 
How exactly does one define nagging? Is it a motive? A behavior? Is it okay to remind him of things, or to ask him, but not to constantly do so? Jason has very little tolerance for nagging. Ask him once, and a second time veers off into nagging. It’s taken fifteen years of marriage and umpteen spankings to get me to learn to communicate in a way that he appreciates, where I feel heard. I’m not a natural submissive at all. I tend to be forthright and outspoken at times. I have high expectations for myself and tend to hold others to those standards, which isn’t always a good thing. 
Jason likes his downtime. He’s also a man, and as a very typical male, somehow does not have the ability to multi-task very well. If he’s cutting the lawn, he is not watching the kids. If he’s relaxing, he’s not doing anything else but relaxing. That’s what I think a lot of guys do, and I used to get oh so mad at him for doing that. In fact, when we first started this lifestyle, I used to get spanked every.single.Saturday! I’d start tackling my to-do list, and he’d drink his coffee and watch tv or play Xbox. This made me  so mad. It felt like I was getting no downtime. He used to say “then take some!” and I’d say “But if I do, who’s going to cook dinner and clean this house and do the laundry?” 
And I’d snap and get spanked. 
We finally learned! We needed to communicate better. It’s okay to relax. Working all the time makes for grumpy people. And with enough focus and planning, we can do what needs to be done and still have plenty of time to chill. 
So yesterday, I had plans to visit an old friend of mine, and what a lovely time we had. It was three hours round-trip of driving time for me, though, so I was gone for most of the day. When I came home, touting a gazillion groceries that needed to be put away, the clean house I left was a mess, and Jason had not done what he said he would. I was fuming. 
In the back of my mind, I was thinking, “don’t nag, don’t nag, don’t nag.” Plus, losing my temper would get me spanked. I instructed the kids to help me. Tossed the laundry in the wash. Then I went upstairs and laid down on my bed, focusing myself for a few minutes. Jason came in. This is how the conversation went. 
“I’m struggling because today’s challenge is not to nag, and I’m a little angry, and having a hard time communicating without snapping, nagging, or getting myself spanked.” 
He smiled, sat down on the bed, and said, “Okay, good. You’re doing a good job. Why are you angry?”

I told him. I didn’t raise my voice or scold or nag. I just told him. He listened and nodded and said, “Okay. I’m sorry I didn’t do that. I’ll make sure those things get done. Anything else?” 

There wasn’t. I’d had a lovely day, and told him as much. Then I suggested we take the kids and do one of our “summer fun bucket list item.” We did, and it was so much fun! 
I was glad I had the challenge, because it helped me focus on the day when I really needed it. The fun part about this is that I can focus daily on actively submitting and fostering respect. 
Looking over the week ahead, I’m really looking forward to it. 

Next Sunday, I’ll update with how things went. Happy Sunday, everyone.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

30 Day Respect Challenge

Recently, some of us submissives were talking about This 30-Day Respect Challenge. Though it's Christian-based, and I find some of it a bit didactic, I thought it could be easily adapted for those who are motivated by challenges and who want to grow in their dynamics (read: me!). 

Life has gotten crazy lately, as I've mentioned in recent posts, while Jason and I tend to the needs of our aging parents and growing children. And I love how focused challenges bring my goals back to center. Also, since I've now been blogging for over four years, (four years!) I feel like much of what I have to offer gets repeated. "I don't get spanked much anymore for punishment, except I did, and it hurt a way lot, and I cried, and I love my daddy!" 😏

Ha! Anyway, I really like the idea of this challenge, and a few years ago, I even put together a challenge of my own, for those of you who are interested. 

The respect challenge linked above is Christian-based (the one I linked from my page is not), so do keep that in mind. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to journal every morning about how things are going here, and then I'll update you on my Sunday blog post. 

Today is my day one, July 9th, and today's focus is Choose Joy. 

I love this! I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking. Every night at dinner, our entire family shares three good things, with the intention of cultivating gratefulness and happiness. Whenever I feel myself getting down, I make myself focus on things that are beautiful, the blessings in my life, things that bring me joy, things I am grateful for. 

And I do believe that happiness is a choice, as is choosing joy. I have the power to control my own thoughts and actions, and today I am going to choose joy.

From the 30 Day Respect Challenge

Day 1—Choose Joy

We wives have the power to transform our homes from what might have been a vortex of negativity, darkness, and despair into a refuge of joy, radiance, and hope.

Our outlook on life has a profound effect not only on our own happiness, but on that of our husband and children as well. It has little to do with life circumstances and everything to do with choice.

Choosing joy is not about putting on a show for another person's sake. It's about changing the way we look at things. It's about being selective in our thoughts, choosing to dwell on the good instead of on the bad, and being glad for what we have instead of upset over what we don't.

My thoughts: 

What does "choosing joy" have to do with dominance and submission? What does choosing joy have to do with cultivating respect? 

A lifestyle of dominance and submission, in my personal opinion, works best when both couples are focused on meeting the needs of the other, focused on mutual self-giving. I serve Jason and he serves me. I bring him his coffee and he tucks me in to bed. He leads, and I follow. There is a natural give and take in all of this, and there are times when we need to deal with not getting what we want. Sometimes he needs to focus on me when he'd rather be doing something else. Sometimes I need to obey him when I don't want to. But in all of this, if I can choose to be joyful, I bless him. If I can choose to focus on myself, and understand that I can control my own actions and not his, I can let go of what is out of my control and instead give thanks for the many blessings in my life. 

When I submit to Jason, and he leads me, we remove friction from our homes and bring about peace. Learning to choose joy means that I bless Jason with a peaceful home, where we are happy and content. 

So today, on day one, I will choose joy. It's time for me to bring him his morning coffee. I'll do it with a smile. More to come. 😘

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Putting it back together.

Good morning, and happy Sunday blog day. :)

This was a crazy week. Crazy! Jason had some time off from work, which was fantastic. I love staying home with him, just relaxing and doing little day trips with our kids. We had a few days that we spent with each other on a bit of a "staycation," and it was lovely. The weather was warm, the days were sunny, and with our kids getting older it's a lot easier to enjoy outings and trips (when they were little it was quite the challenge!).

But we had some challenges that came up, and it put a strain on us. Not one, but several family members became gravely ill, and they needed a good deal of help from us. There were doctor visits and at one point a trip to the hospital, visitors from out of state, a birthday party, and some pretty intense meetings we had to attend for one of our children.

We've reached that stage of our lives, the season if you will, where our older children are teen-agers with very particular needs, our younger children are no longer babies but all school-age, and our parents are well entrenched in old age and the challenges that brings. It is a very different stage of life than we were when we began this lifestyle. When we began, we had no teens and had toddler and babies, and our extended family was self-sufficient. It makes a difference, as we learn to adapt, and outside influences affect our relationship.

So we had a whole lot going on. Oh, and I have two books coming out this week (see my author page for details). Eep!

Though Jason was here, and we spent a great deal of time with each other, he was stressed. I was stressed. And we all know how that goes. No bueno. 

So we took steps to mitigate that stress, and it helped a great deal. He gave me stress relief and daily check-ins. We talked, we kissed, we spent time with each other, we went out to eat, I gave him space, we slept lots.

But although Jason was, and always is, my Dom, he was not really in a good place to be my strict Dom. Even though I don't get in trouble much these days, sometimes I need a firmer hand, even if I'm not in trouble.

So by the time Thursday rolled around, I'd slipped. I was snappy and grumpy. I'd not broken any rules, but I was wiped. Because here's the thing.

It takes a ton of focus to submit. 

Submission doesn't come naturally for me at all. I have to work at it, fight for it, and when my focus is elsewhere -- managing my work, or attending to my children, or helping our family, all things that came up this week -- I don't slip into that head space easily. And sometimes? That means I snap.

When I've spent four hours dealing with medical issues for a relative, or had to make umpteen phone calls for my child, or had a to-do list a mile long, or spent several hours in rush hour traffic, my mental energy is expended. I simply don't always have what it takes to reach down into that reserve needed to submit, and do it. Kneel. Concede to Jason's wishes. Say, "Yes, daddy." Deny myself and focus on him.

Sometimes I just can't do it. 

This is just the way it goes.

Submission takes so much work, and unless someone is wired this way to begin with, or has very little stress in his or her life, there will be times when that dedication to submission slips, and the same is true for dominance. 

So what do we do when that happens? Well, this is one of the reasons he spanks me every day and why I serve him every day. Every single morning, I bring him his coffee and kneel, and that gets me back in the mindset, pushes away distractions and the dominant part of me that gets things done.

Every morning, he looks over my to-do list, reminds me of my rules, and spanks me. This entire ritual is very simple and takes only minutes, but if it doesn't happen, things slip. The ritual is what brings us both into the dominant and submissive head space we need to embrace to live this lifestyle.

We both need to serve one other. 

So by Thursday, many things had come up. We hadn't done our ritual check-in yet, and I had some early morning duties. It had been one thing after another for days. He was weary. I was overwhelmed. And finally one morning, things came to a head. I was finding it harder and harder to submit, more challenging by the minute to reach deep down into myself and yield to him. My tone was getting snippy, and though I hadn't disobeyed any rules, I was not being a very good girl.

I was feeling combative and he was on the edge of withdrawal.

Not. Good.

This is the very beginning, the first glimmer of trouble, when we slip out of the roles that serve each other and into the roles of selfishness. It was starting, just beginning. At this point usually one of us recognizes that we need some help. I might say I need some attention, or suggest he needs downtime, he might suggest I take a nap or have some daddy time with him.

This time, he put down what he was doing, got up, locked the door and said, "Get your ass over here."

I knew he was going to spank me, it was going to be painful, and I needed it.

I did not want to go to him. 

I sorta stood there and hedged my bets until he opened his desk and took out a wicked implement and said, "Now." I did. And thus began the lecture.

"I don't like your attitude and it's time I adjust it for you," he said. I protested at this point, on the verge of getting my ass spanked, because I blamed him a bit for how I felt and also, to be honest, because spankings hurt and I'm only human. But there was really nothing to talk about or prevent at this point. What I really needed was a good, hard spanking, and that is exactly what I got. He didn't let up. He spanked me firmly and thoroughly, until I cried, and even when he was done, he was still a bit upset with me. Even after he spanked me, he had a few more things to say about my attitude, and that was what broke the dam.

I cried, and we talked. I explained how I'd been holding onto so much, and how I needed that spanking.

"I know you're stressed," he said. "But don't you dare mouth off to me again. If you do, I will not hesitate to spank you again."

All I could say was the truth. "I wish you would. I hate feeling this way and it helps when you keep me accountable."

I haven't said anything like that to him in a while, but it needed to be said. He said a few more things that sounded dire and scary and stern, but I needed that. 

The next day, he was back on and so was I. We had even more challenges come up that were outside our control, but we handled it without fighting or getting angry with each other. We talked. He led. I yielded. We rested when we could. And now we are right back where we started.
This lifestyle isn't easy, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

He told me yesterday he was proud of me, that I'd been a good girl. I thanked him for being my daddy. And so, it goes on.