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Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) #125442
06/23/11 09:13 PM
06/23/11 09:13 PM
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flowmom Offline OP
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One of the most important concepts in Divorce Busting is Get a Life (GAL). For LBS/WS, GAL plays a critical role in restoring self-esteem and positive attitude, while drawing them away from the negativity of putting too much focus on the marriage crisis. And in many situations, GAL is what gets the WAS/WS curious and interested in what the LBS/WS is up to.

Michele Weiner-Davis describes it this way:
Quote:
I’ve worked with enough couples in this situation to know that when you feel desperate, you get clingy and depressed. You cry a lot, mope around, lose interest in things, and basically become a blob. Understand that this is perfectly normal. Losing someone you love and watching your family fall apart are definitely the most painful things you can ever experience. However, the end result – your desperateness – is not exactly attractive. In fact, it’s very unattractive. And when you consider that you are competing with your spouse’s fantasy of an ideal life without problems, or perhaps even a real-life affair, you’d better pick yourself up by the bootstraps and get yourself together! You need to act as if you are moving on with your life. Otherwise, you don’t stand a fighting chance.

You’re probably asking yourself, “How do I become more cheerful, strong, outgoing, or attractive when I feel like crap?” That’s a good question. The reason you are feeling as crappy as you are right now is because you are living through some really tough circumstances. You are reacting as any normal person would. But, and this is the big but, this isn’t the real you. You are much stronger and more confident deep down inside, aren’t you?

Stop for a minute and ask yourself, “what was it about me that attracted my spouse to me in the first place?” Think of all your wonderful traits. Well, the person your spouse fell in love with is the “real you.” You’re acting differently right now because you’re going through hell, not because you’ve changed radically as a person. Don’t forget that.

I’m not asking you to put on an act. I’m just asking you to remember who you really are. You need to stop acting as if you’re a victim because if you act the victim, you’ll become the victim. Any self-defense instructor will tell you that the worst possible thing to do in a tense situation is to signal to a potential attacker that you believe you are helpless.

Focus on making yourself a better person. If you’ve stopped going to church or synagogue, go back. If you’ve been wanting to take a new class, go for it. Think about some old friends you haven’t contacted in a while. Pick up the phone and connect. Go visit a family member. Watch a sunset. Read poetry. Count leaves. Play golf. Go fishing. Do something that will put you back in touch with you, not just because your spouse might like you more if you do, but because it’s important to feel centered and love yourself. You deserve it. I know you do.
- from Weiner-Davis' post How To Prevent a Divorce – The Last Resort Technique

GAL is counterintuitive. With a problem as huge as a marriage crisis, the temptation is to put all of one's energy into solving it. Unfortunately, many of the "solving" strategies make things worse, because they generally involve pursuing (initiating relationship talks, doing nice little things, etc.).


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: flowmom] #125444
06/23/11 09:14 PM
06/23/11 09:14 PM
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flowmom Offline OP
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I'm hoping we can make this into a resource thread by posting how GAL helped us in our sitches - especially those who have recovered marriages. thumbsup


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: flowmom] #125446
06/23/11 09:17 PM
06/23/11 09:17 PM
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wildwoodflower Offline
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LIKE! Thanks for posting this.

Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: wildwoodflower] #125469
06/23/11 09:55 PM
06/23/11 09:55 PM
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My contribution: GAL cannot be faked or done with any type of motive other than to move on in life. Otherwise, the WS can sense it a mile away.


Me: 31
Kids: 10, 8, 3
Bomb: 08/10
The rest doesn't matter.

No longer lost... A blog
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: Thirty78] #125506
06/23/11 10:46 PM
06/23/11 10:46 PM
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flowmom Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Thirty78
My contribution: GAL cannot be faked or done with any type of motive other than to move on in life. Otherwise, the WS can sense it a mile away.
thumbsup Yes, it's all about motivation, which should be doing things to make MY life better.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: flowmom] #125606
06/24/11 02:14 AM
06/24/11 02:14 AM
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nevermind

Last edited by sparrow; 06/24/11 02:18 AM.

me- 35
son born July 2009

Love or nothing!







Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: flowmom] #125607
06/24/11 02:17 AM
06/24/11 02:17 AM
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sparrow Offline
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Quote:

I'm hoping we can make this into a resource thread by posting how GAL helped us in our sitches - especially those who have recovered marriages.


me- 35
son born July 2009

Love or nothing!







Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: sparrow] #125646
06/24/11 03:31 AM
06/24/11 03:31 AM
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Mary Emma Offline
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Love this thread. Not sure- did Harley ever really touch on self-care and anything like the GAL concept? This is a great piece to take from DB.

I personally had been a hermit and forced myself to start going out after the bomb. I had not socialized on my own for years and it stunned my hubby. I've kept up with it and feel "normal" again- not so isolated and lonely that I once was.

Married saved or not- nothing wrong with GALing, can only improve things for you.


Oh yeah-it really, really helps you take your mind off of things. Redirect you mental focus elsewhere for short periods.


Me 41
H 40
S 9
S 6

I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: flowmom] #125657
06/24/11 03:42 AM
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flowmom Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: flowmom
I'm hoping we can make this into a resource thread by posting how GAL helped us in our sitches - especially those who have recovered marriages. thumbsup
OK, I can't edit the post above (anyone know why??)...but does that help sparrow? smile GAL does help everyone, whether their marriages end or not.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: flowmom] #125751
06/24/11 12:40 PM
06/24/11 12:40 PM
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Because you only have limited time to edit your own posts.

I have a ton to say about this topic, but the encouragement of the recovered ones...um...made me feel like a fail. cry grin



"A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving." - Ayn Rand
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: pookie69] #125876
06/24/11 05:38 PM
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I agree completely with the GAL philosophy, and it worked for me personally. It re-energized my life after my M disintegrated. NEVER discuss it with the wayward spouse. If they ask questions, be vague and evasive. Resist the urge to tell them about it. Do it for YOU.

Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: futureunknown] #125910
06/24/11 07:13 PM
06/24/11 07:13 PM
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I made a list of things I enjoyed - from smelling clean sheets to dancing - and posted it on the wall. I tried to do one thing from it every day. After a week of enjoying the little things ("light a candle", "paint my toenails") I actually left the house.

A friend dragged me to exercise class with her one week. That was the absolute best thing she could have done to help me. I declared it an "STBXH-free zone" and would not allow myself to think about him there. The exercise really helped me deal with stress, and I still go once a week.

I also promised myself one fun activity a week outside the house. At first it was with my kids. I'd cry sometimes when I got home (or even in the middle of the activity) because I was so jealous of the intact families I saw. I went anyway - because it was "for the kids".

After a few weeks, I stopped crying and started enjoying what I was doing. I told a coworker that I had gone to a movie by myself over the weekend. She invited herself along to the next one.

I went to a birthday party for one of my son's friends and found out several of the other mothers were wanting to set up a "chick flick club". I signed up.

I gathered all my courage and bought tickets to an event three months out. I justified it that maybe STBXH and I would reconcile and he could go with me; we didn't, so I took my mom and had a blast. Now I make it a point to always have something special planned for a few months out.

I decided I could afford a vacation and that I would take one while my kids were with their daddy over the summer. It was a lot of fun to plan one - and my mom decided I sounded like I would have such a good time she wanted to come too. We do that next month smile I've booked my 2012 vacation too.

My original list of things I enjoy is no longer on my wall, but I don't need it anymore. Now I can scan the paper and see things that sound like fun and just go. I don't need to plan everything and psych myself up to go.

In my case, my STBXH never asked what I was doing (although he sounded shocked the first few times he asked me to do something for him and I said I had plans). That's okay. I'm a much more interesting person now because I do more and have more to talk about. I've deepened some friendships. I'm in the best physical shape of my life. I've learned that I can be happy by myself - and that I'm really okay with that. If I hadn't gotten out of the house and forced myself through the pain to do stuff, I'd probably be clinically depressed by now.


Current spouse: Night. D10, D9, S7

About me

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

http://www.divorcedmomfinances.com
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: CajunRose] #125911
06/24/11 07:14 PM
06/24/11 07:14 PM
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I was wondering...is there a website based on the concept of GAL? Might be a good thing...


Me: 53
Him: 53
Together: 34 years
Married: 27 years

"Aspire to Inspire before you Expire" Author Unknown

Welcome to Marriage Advocates! Please click here to join the group: http://www.marriageadvocates.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/ubb/newuser
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: soolee] #125923
06/24/11 07:40 PM
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www.livestrong.com might have some good reference articles. I think FM might have specific ones!

Ok, thanks for changing the parameters for this thread!
GAL saves me from the throes of depression, I swear! I am kind of like walking on quick sand, or "hovering" above it...

I will second many of what CJ has said, but for me, the first thing I started doing was fixing my hair and makeup and clothes every day. (not anymore, lol! But I don't mind!)

It really helped, since I was about 60 pounds overweight from pregnancy and felt very self conscious.

The next thing I did was work on 2-3 self improvement goals. (I totally love goal setting and striving so it wasn't hard...but as you know STICKING to it is hard!) I worked on losing weight, cleaning the house and doing adventurous things. Once I got those down, I added more.

The other thing was I joined meetup.com and attempted to go to different meetups. Granted, the first 2 months I chickened out and ended up taking myself to a movie instead. But finally I got the courage and began going by myself. I have met some new friends this way!

Oh and I have ALWAYS been a believer in this: take a break every now and then and be sad, be lazy, but ONLY A BREAK. You have to pick yourself back up. The reason I say that a break is necessary is because it is very very tough to start a bunch of changes and very hard to go through this crap of getting divorced. So I think it's fine to give your body and mind a rest.



me- 35
son born July 2009

Love or nothing!







Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: sparrow] #126028
06/25/11 01:42 AM
06/25/11 01:42 AM
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I love this thread! FM, thanks for starting it and amending it. smile CR and Sparrow, love your posts!

I also post-bomb created a list of things that made me happy. I specifically focused on holidays and vacations. I remember (even though it was March or April) starting to think about Halloween costumes for me and my baby! I thought about a haircut I wanted, and what kind of tattoo I wanted to get. The vacation-- a trip to Seattle-- was such a breath of fresh air. There were definitely pangs of pain, but I felt alive and free to be getting out.

Now that I'm dealing with singleness, I find GAL still applies. I'm working on inviting people to events that I host (and I'm learning that it seems best to co-host at first!) and I'm pretty heavily into hot yoga right now. ($49 for unlimited month-- first month only. frown )

I strongly strongly believe people should put a lot of energy into GAL. It helps sooooo much!!

Thanks!


Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: raspberry] #126151
06/25/11 07:32 AM
06/25/11 07:32 AM
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GAL is definitely the best thing I could have done for me. No clue whether or not WH has any clue of the massive amount of changes that I've undergone this last year.

But, a year ago, I was breaking down & sobbing every single day. frown Now it's every so often, w/months in between breakdowns. Regardless of what happens w/WH, I'm definitely not even remotely the same dame I was 2 years ago.

In the last year, I've:

rode a mechanical bull
co-founded a pool team
played softball on a team
enrolled in college (again)
made new friends
deepened other friendships
jettisoned outdated friends
started eating better
quit smoking
started smoking
quit again
started again
quitting again
addressed my own b.s.

small list.

sorry if I'm rambling ...


M & H: 42
M: 8 T: 10
OW: 1/09 Bomb: 9/09
Sep: 3/10 H files 7/10
3/12: pushing hard for d; H seems to be waking up (not enough to DO anything)
Spring 13: D accomplished

Letters to Mr. Vulcanized
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: Vulcanized] #126192
06/25/11 02:59 PM
06/25/11 02:59 PM
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I think the reason GAL works so well is because it addresses a "big" philosophy in a very practical way: self respect. When you start doing things for yourself and out and around other people, you start to learn that you DO have something to offer, that you ARE an interesting person, you CAN accomplish things, and other people like you - like being around you - and thus, you deserve a spouse that is faithful and wants you!

For me, I started GAL right away - the biggest thing being going back to school to finish my degree. It gave me a real sense of accomplishment and something to focus on besides my marital situation.

I would say this concept is so important that I realize - even after reconciling with H - that it must be maintained. Sure, everything is now done with an eye on my husband's agreement of what I'm doing - but I don't ever want to lose myself again. Every person, married or single, parent or not a parent, has to have things he or she does just for him/herself. Otherwise, what do you bring to the table in terms of being interesting to the relationship?

I was discussing with someone just yesterday the difference between being "dependent" on a relationship and "inter-dependent". It's very unhealthy to be dependent on your spouse or partner to provide happiness and fulfillment. You have to have two whole people involved in a marriage - making up a partnership, not two half people expecting the other to make a whole.

Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: SunnyD] #177202
11/12/11 11:41 PM
11/12/11 11:41 PM
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flowmom Offline OP
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bumping for anyone who needs to GAL smile


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: flowmom] #177385
11/13/11 03:10 PM
11/13/11 03:10 PM
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Mary Emma Offline
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Want to add meetup.com

Great way to gal- I loved the mom's meetups


Me 41
H 40
S 9
S 6

I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: Mary Emma] #177417
11/13/11 04:57 PM
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I GAL right away; always have, actually. I think that GAL, for most of us, is right under our noses anyway. If we just do what we have always loved, either when we were single or married, that is it.

Good friends, beloved hobbies, or try something new that you always wanted to. Who's gonna stop you now but you?

ETA: I kinda disagree that GAL is counter-intuitive though. To me, it just means that you get to do whatever you damned well please without worrying about what your ex will think, or how they will react.

Last edited by kimmie lee; 11/13/11 05:00 PM.

THE FOG comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on....C. Sandburg


GOSH!!
GOLLY!!
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: kimmie lee] #177492
11/13/11 10:24 PM
11/13/11 10:24 PM
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HI
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Orchid2 Online
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GAL (get-a-life) is helpful when it is done with a purpose. Other sites have similar topics with varying names but it comes down to when one realizes they have the power to make changes for themselves and by themselves.

Many a giver have a hard time with this. I know I did. Yet it was a lesson I HAD to learn in order to survive.

It is not an easy task. For someone who has the word 'giver' embedded in their soul, moving forward and paying attention to our personal needs is hard to do. Why? Because we are primed to give not receive.

The lesson I also learned was sometimes, less is more. May do a separate thread on that topic. wink Will see.

This thread gets people thinking.... this is a good thing. grin

Mahalo,
Orchid


Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: Orchid2] #184128
12/01/11 07:37 PM
12/01/11 07:37 PM
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flowmom Offline OP
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waves


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: flowmom] #184200
12/01/11 08:54 PM
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I have never liked the term get a life, I have one, I had one. It sounds so easy, it is not easy at all.

The best intentions can be made but the hurt of your spouse having an affair so deep a list of things to do does not help me at all.

I can be busy in the day, help people, the pain is still there, it is not going away. I can't just magically forget my marriage, and to think I can I am not going to think I can, I can't.

And I had a life, just because your spouse cheated does not be you are sub par and if you had a life and were more wonderful they wouldn't have done this.

And being replaced does not exactly make me think oh wow I am just going to go get a life and show the world. I am so worn out I don't want to prove anything to anyone, it doesn't matter.

Last edited by tinkerbell; 12/01/11 08:56 PM.
Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: ] #184385
12/02/11 04:38 AM
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I do peruse the DB site. I find it fascinating some of the things that are recommended. I also read threads that are so profoundly sad. Stuck in the DB method but no forward movement and a deepening depression. Sometimes, it seems to me action is required.

Re: Get a Life or GAL...a key Divorce Busting concept (please chime in!) [Re: LaFemme] #184386
12/02/11 04:43 AM
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flowmom Offline OP
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LaFemme, a lot of the advice on the DB site isn't really "by the book" (ie Divorce Remedy). IMO the advice in the book is a lot better than how it's implemented in the forum. I don't think that the author has effective advice on how to deal with active affairs however.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
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