Author Archives: staff

What Are Your Hobbies?

What are your hobbies?  I have hated that question since I was in school.  I have no hobbies…How do you start doing things you for you?

Last Spring, I decided that I needed to do something for myself. I needed to start getting back into things.. And by things I mean, hobbies, activities, or something that I loved.  I was married for over 13 years, you have kids, and then you stop doing things that you love.   I think we all experience that part of life even with being divorced or not. Having kids is great, but you have to give up many things in the process. I stayed home with my children for many years, so over time I forgot the things that I loved. Or I would feel guilty for wanting to do them.. Yes, the mom guilt.

I love music.. I love concerts…I love working out.. I love golf.  I started to think about all the things that I had really enjoyed in life and had not enjoyed in so long.  It had been years since I had done a lot for myself.  Or even put myself first.

I had golfed after college and even did my internship at a golf resort, but after having kids I had not done it in years. I had missed it.  Being outside with friends and a few drinks in the summer felt so heavenly.   I knew a friend that was in a women’s golf league and so I decided to join. I did not have a partner and I only knew a few people in the league, this was way out of my comfort league.  I usually gravitate towards smaller groups and people that I know.  I was scared to death… what if my partner was a golf pro, what if she wasn’t fun, what if she didn’t sneak drinks on the course… All these things were going through my head.  I like to know what to expect and this was all new…I am a woman in her 40’s that is freaking out about meeting new people.  Yep, just like high school it never changes.

Well I did it, I joined the league and somehow I got placed with a partner that was just recently divorced with kids.  All of my fears were put aside the moment I meant her.. I mean she suck “truly’s into her golf bag.  A girl after my own heart!  We really suck at playing golf, but we have so much fun. I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason and this was it.   I mean sometimes its pretty much dark before we get off the course..haha.  We golfed each week and could talk about our divorce, frustrations, dating, etc.. we became great friends.  I can not tell you how great it felt to do something again that I am doing for myself and that I love.

Every Tuesday from May through September I golf in a women’s league.  This is what I do for myself. Yes, I do golf league even when I have my kids. I am not a bad mom for not spending every moment with my kids and I have learned that you do need to put yourself first at times.

It just think its important to start doing things, activities,  hobbies, etc. for yourself.  Find the one that you love or might learn to love.. And do it.  You might have to start from scratch and find something you enjoy..might be something completely different than the old you. Lets face it, you are different.

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

Let That S*&% Go!

Let That S*&% Go!…

What I am about to share may seem surprising considering I often riff about the fact I tend to hold on to things and over analyze.

However, in my journey of over analyzing I’m learning there is a whole lot I need to let go. I’ve talked about this before. Now that I’m actually doing it, it’s been kind of amazing the difference it’s made in my life.

Less stress for starters.

I have also started speaking up. Putting space between myself and things that aren’t working for me. People included.

Stress is a silent killer and it’s amazing the things that can help it creep in. It’s sad who might hold the door open.

It is also sad the things I have let get to me. It’s taken some very frank conversations with some people I love and trust a whole lot, to realize sometimes I feed into my self doubt and insecurities. I assume the worst. I listen to the voice inside my head and sometimes the voice of others who I absolutely should not.

Rather than take a moment and stop and think about what is upsetting me.

I believe the worst and for awhile there I had a team of cheerleaders agreeing with me.

Not to say there have been things that have happened that definitely have caused me to put the barbed wire up around my heart sometimes and unfortunately scrutinize things I just shouldn’t.

However…

Not everyone in my life is going to hurt me. Just because someone else did.

Not everyone is going to lie to me just because someone else did.

Not everything is going to fall apart.

Not everyone is out to get me.

I am lovable even when I don’t feel like I am.

This is whole thing, life it’s not a competition.

People who love and care about you should never make you feel like it is.

I should never feel like it is.

Because it isn’t.

It really is a journey.

A crazy, bumpy one with some serious twists and turns but at the end of the day it’s mine and as long as I’m happy and G is happy,the rest of it…

Well I’m letting it go.

I hope when you have those moments, or days you can too Mommas.

Much love.

<3Caprise

No Stuffing Please

No stuffing please…

When our hearts are vulnerable or wounded, feeling weak to the temptations around us, hurt from something that brought us to our knees, or just plain old SAD….. This is not the time for stuffing the void with nonsense,  It is not the time to go clothes shopping nor is it the time to peek our nose into the pantry for something delicious.  It is not the time to call an old beau or wallow in self-pity or go for a quick fix.  A false action taken to remove the feeling we are feeling will only mask the upset, and fill the hole temporarily.  Just like a slow leaking drain or a puddle after the rain… the water that was just there will soon be gone.  Oh sure, it can be filled again… but only to empty again.

A more permanent solution…. rather than stuff ourselves up with physical ME pleasure, worldly delicacies and self -loathing we can fill it slowly with kind gestures, positive actions and self-love.

This would be a good time to sit quietly and reflect on what is really going on.  It may be the time to open a journal, the Bible, or that great book on the coffee table.  It may be the time to call a friend, to do something good for ourselves.  Find a new craft to take on, start to bake those amazing cookies for the Christmas Cookie swap, detail your car or learn a new makeup technique from an online video.

It is the time for healing, adornment and wonderfulness.  A time to treat ourselves well.  A time to be good and kind and loving to YOU.

Stuffing is fantastic on Thanksgiving and even better the day after, but stuffing oneself with bad choices which only leave us feeling empty tomorrow… is NOT the way to go.

Choose to fill your heart with the things that bring you joy and sit happily with that.  🙂

 

xoxo

Your God Girl

Tracy

The Caretaker Of Broken Dreams

The Caretaker Of Broken Dreams..

“We’ve buried dreams, laid them deep into the earth behind us. Said our goodbyes at the grave, yet everything reminds us. God knows we ache, but he asks us to go on… how do we go on?”

~Ellie Holcomb

I’d been wandering through the same leaves, the same graves… struggling to remember exactly where he was. It had been years since I’d placed my hands on the earth that held what remained of a brother I never got the chance to know.

The caretaker must have seen my wandering. He gently approached me and asked who I was looking for. I couldn’t help but notice the kindness in his eyes… his voice. He didn’t ask me what grave I was looking for, he asked me who I was looking for. I told him my brother’s name and he gently led me over to his grave… mere feet away from where I was standing. And isn’t that the thing… so often when we feel utterly lost, we’re closer than we know to finding what we need?

I traced his name with my fingers, brushed leaves off his grave. Funny how we want to tend and take care of things for people we love who are gone. I think sometimes these small, tender acts simply remind us of what once existed, remind us of what’s been lost.

I never used to visit the cemetery. When they put up a memorial for children who’d died in a local park and my brother’s name was etched into the stone, I didn’t want to attend the ceremony. Who wants to feel the weight of that loss again and again? For many years, I’d it pushed down, held it at bay, the pain and grief of loss. I thought that maybe if I held it down, swallowed it deep, maybe I could avoid the crushing ache of it.

And for many years… that worked. Or it worked as well as it can when your body is holding onto an aching sadness. Because the thing is, you don’t just lose a person, you lose the way it feels like your life should have gone. You lose what you thought would be your life. And you can only hold that for so long until it comes busting out.

25 years after losing my first brother, I lost the only other brother I’d known. And his loss was sudden, traumatic, and crushing. What was the last thing I said to him? Did he know how deeply I loved him? Was there something, anything I could have done to save him? That loss sent me reeling, and yet I quietly pushed it down. How do you put words to grief that shakes the foundation of what you thought you knew?

Three weeks after losing him, two surgeons took out my womb, and my hope for carrying more children ended more abruptly than I was ready for.

Although, who is ever really ready to bury a dream?

And in the months that followed, it felt like I dug a grave of loss so deep I’d never climb out.
I buried a brother, then the dream for more babies, a job I loved, a place I loved, a marriage, the life I’d known for the last decade of my life. All buried in quick succession. And in burying those dreams you bury other things. You bury relationships, spaces, and places that you once fit, things you used to be sure of, your sense of worth and belonging.

And again, I pushed it down, held it at bay… Until I couldn’t anymore. One morning several months later, I woke up and the tears came and wouldn’t stop. They bubbled over until my body trembled at the weight of what they meant. I was fully feeling the loss. And they’ve been coming ever since.

And at first that scared me. I felt ashamed. Was I falling apart? Was I weak? Why couldn’t I keep it together? Why couldn’t I just put my chin up and move on? Life is hard for everyone, and my trauma is small in comparison to other people’s. So why was it a struggle just to get out of bed and face the day?

The caretaker told me there was someone with the same name as my brother and asked who he was to me. I told him that was my grandfather. I thanked him for helping me find my way and watched him go about the care of a place that holds many buried dreams. My eyes scanned the sea of graves and I wondered… How much care and compassion must he have to know the names on gravestones? My breath caught at the nature of his work. But more than that my eyes welled at his kindness.

I knelt next to the grave, raked my fingers through the ground, rolled up my sleeve and laid the tattooed ashes of one brother alongside the grave of another. And my heart broke at the beauty and devastation of that moment.

It had taken 27 years… but I was fully feeling the loss. I was acknowledging that it mattered. Sometimes we need to say their names. We need to speak about the broken places. We need to dig our hands in the earth where our dreams have been buried. We need to allow grief to be part of our story instead of trying to move forward as if we are the same. Because we aren’t.

I ran into a dear acquaintance at the grocery store recently who looked into my eyes and genuinely asked me how I was. The care and compassion on her face was evident. And as we embraced she said something I will never forget “I’m on your side… no, there are no sides… I’m in your corner.” I looked at her and nodded “No, there are no sides…” I repeated. She told me how she’d read an article recently about how no one brings casseroles to people going through divorce. And she reminded me that it’s okay to gather up your people and weather the storm with them, without explaining where you went. She reminded me that sometimes the places and spaces we so desperately wish were a safe place for our pain, simply aren’t. And that maybe the beauty in all of this is that we can be a safe place for someone else walking a similar road someday. Because there is nothing quite as healing as knowing you aren’t alone.

So how do we go on…? How do we put one foot in front of the other in this life that now feels new and unfamiliar? How do we make sense of the loss, acknowledge it, feel it, and yet still move forward? How do we live it and not lose ourselves in it? My deeply insightful answer is this: I don’t know. I don’t know how to do this well. Maybe none of us do. There is no manual for this. No one can tell you how to bury dreams and carry loss well. We just find our way, wrack our hands through the dirt that carries our loss, and attempt to wrap our arms around people walking a similar road… letting them know they aren’t alone.

And cemetery caretakers and women in grocery stores may just be balm to our wounds, if we let them. What I find deeply beautiful about pain… is the way it brings out compassion.

So might I say something? Today, be the cemetery caretaker and help someone who is a little lost find their way…. Be the woman in the grocery store and stand in someone’s corner without needing to know the story. Be the balm to someone’s wounds. Err on the side of compassion and write the note, send the flowers, make the casserole, pay for the coffee of the person behind you, wrap your arms around someone. Give them the balm of your kindness, help them find their way. Or, kneel next to them in the dirt, ask them how they really are, and trace the pain of their losses. It’s what will help them go on.

Death, loss, divorce, the estranged family member, illness, childlessness, financial crisis… the list goes on. We’ve all buried dreams. We’ve all racked our hands in some kind of dirt and whispered “this wasn’t how it was supposed to go.”

I sat there for awhile, arm stretched out, brother next to brother, fingers etching a grave, hands feeling the dirt. And then I looked up to see the caretaker tenderly digging in the earth. I don’t know why. I do know it felt an awful lot like love watching a man carefully shovel dirt and tending to loss in such a profoundly intimate way. Maybe we could all learn a thing or two from the caretaker who spends his days carrying losses and helping people find their way.

-Michaela

I Need Another Plan

It’s six months to my birthday, and I find it hardly coincidental that today I have launched an effort to find purpose and a plan for my life. I know this because for some crazy reason, shortly after I arrived to my desk at work, I decided I needed to examine every life planner known to mankind.

I started on Pinterest, where all the best data and comparison shopping information can be found. Eventually, I began Google searching some of the information I found on other sources and then I moved onto price comparisons on Amazon, of course. I may be less emotional and domestic than many women, but the last two sentences I think can testify that I am, in fact, a card-carrying female.

Planners have very little to do with anything except that here I am, six months from my birthday and I need a life change, a’ la Eat Pray Love (yes, the movie). I need to discover who I am, I need a project, a goal, a way to focus my energies on self love, self discovery and adventure.

Planner shopping was a symptom of a greater problem…. I need a plan, not another planner.

Last week, I thought about becoming a travel writer, and while the very idea of that is enthralling to me, I don’t feel like I am “there” yet. I mean, I’d jump at that chance in a heartbeat, but while I am still figuring out how to pay my bills, I think buying a plane ticket could be putting the cart before the horse.

But taking the most important journey of my life doesn’t really require me to even leave my own neighborhood. And this all important journey is going to take me to some pretty exciting, life changing, and maybe scary places too!

I am starting the Journey of a Lifetime, by traveling into my own heart and soul and mind. I’m going to spend the next six months journaling, drawing, practicing self love, seeking, exploring, and discovering … me. That’s my life plan. No life planner required.

As with any good adventure, I don’t know exactly where this journey will lead. I don’t know what roads I’ll travel, what milestones I may find or what roadblocks I will surely stumble upon, but I know it will get me closer… daily closer… to knowing myself and finding what lights my soul on fire. And isn’t that what we all want?

Who wants to come along for the ride? I could use a travel buddy.

-Sharona

Experiencing a Setback? Push Forward

Experiencing a Setback? Push Forward.

After a lengthy hiatus from writing, I’m back and am as ready as ever to trudge ahead towards my goals, and ultimately, my dream. It’s amazing how easily a setback—big or small—can discourage us or even stop us from our goals and what we have set out to do. . .if we let it.

For me, it started out as a simple yet paralyzing case of writer’s block. Yes, writer’s block—it is a thing. All my fellow writers out there will completely understand. My head was flooded with ideas on what to write about, but as soon as I’d sit to put those ideas into words, I had nothing. Nothing!

While the writer’s block was enough to make feel as if I were up to my neck in quicksand, it was a phone call I received from my website hosting provider that really did me in. Two words: malware infection. Now I really was at a complete standstill.  Because of the malware infection, my site was shutdown. Completely. I couldn’t even access my own content. The countless hours I put into developing my website and creating content, now seemed like it was all for nothing.

At the time, I was on a very strict budget and couldn’t afford the hundreds of dollars I was told it would cost to get back up and running. I broke down into tears. This roadblock set me back for months. I felt like giving up, but I knew I couldn’t. After further research, I found a very affordable security company to go with, and I was back up and running within 24 hours. Finally!

Remember Why You Started

Regardless of how much passion we may have for something or how determined we are to attain the goals we have set for ourselves, it becomes a little too easy to lose sight of our purpose or just completely give up when things don’t go as planned. Remind yourself why you started in the first place. We don’t put blood, sweat and tears into something for the heck of it. What are your end goals? Your purpose?

Re-evaluate Your Goals

Setting unrealistic goals can lead to further frustration, making the likelihood of executing them even less. This is when it becomes necessary to re-evaluate your goals and/or set new ones; ones that are more attainable.

Once we have fallen off-track, it can become extremely difficult to get back on, especially as more time passes. Sometimes it requires taking baby-steps to get us to where we want to be. Remember, we must crawl before we walk; walk before we run. Keep in mind, progress is progress no matter how small.

Victories Must Be Celebrated

After re-evaluating and/or setting new goals, reward yourself. Victories must be celebrated. Don’t forget, small victories are still victories and are noteworthy. Oftentimes it will be these small victories that will not only carry you through the more difficult times, but will also boost your motivation and self-confidence. And, who doesn’t need a little boost once in a while? It will also be these small victories that will lead you to the bigger ones. Sounds like a win-win to me!

Hold Yourself Accountable

Ah yes, accountability. . .something we all need in our lives. Whether it’s creating a schedule, a checklist, or even leaving yourself post-it notes throughout the house—I’ve done all three—holding yourself accountable is a surefire way to success. The best part is, you don’t have to do it alone. You can always find an accountability buddy to give you that extra nudge if needed.

Final Thoughts

In closing, I would like to offer some words of encouragement. Whatever your passion, purpose or goals are, never give up. Will it be easy? No. Will everything go as you planned? Absolutely not! But, you can do it. Anything worthwhile is worth fighting for. The only thing you will regret is not trying.

“A setback is a push forward in disguise” ~ LMD

~ Lindsey

https://farfromahousewife.com/

How To Deal And Navigate The Unexpected

Navigating the Unexpected

Nothing unseats us faster than things we don’t expect—events, circumstances or communications that we weren’t planning for, these are the things that have the capability to throw you if you allow it.

These unexpected events can range from an unwelcome communication to some event concerning our job or children that wasn’t in our master plan.  When this stuff pops up the first thing that we want to do is REACT which usually includes a fair amount of emotion and that never really leads us to a good place…

Unexpected happenings are designed to challenge us and often we allow them to steal our joy and take away our peace of mind, we give into the panic, drama or worry and within minutes we are ‘down the rabbit hole’ and off into all the ‘what if’s’— this methodology is a recipe for disaster…

All seemingly unwelcome events come to teach us something and they come to PASS and not to stay—how fast they pass really depends on our response to them.  We cannot control what comes our way, however we CAN control how we deal with it and how much of our energy we expend on it.  I believe that everything has something to teach us and the faster we are open to the lesson the faster we can move out of the circumstance.

Our response to our lives is KEY, I often tell you that what we call a thing it becomes so if we start calling some circumstance horrid or a travesty or insurmountable then that is exactly what they will become.  When things don’t look the way you want them to you have two choices—one complain about them to anyone who will listen and lament about how horrible your plight is OR you can choose to know that somewhere in it there is good and you can start saying things like “I know what to do and I do it”, “solutions present themselves to me”, “Divine Order is present here and now” and my favorite “every day in every way things are getting better and better for me now”.

Since I have been pushing that affirmation with you guys these past few Sundays on the FB live, I have started using it more myself.  Today when my daily prayer partner asked me how I was on our morning call instead of listing out all my grievances I just said you know what “every day in every way things are getting better and better for me now” and they laughed and I laughed and said, “I could list out for you all my seeming problems today, however what the hell difference would it make?  So I am just going with this statement as my answer— how I am today is better and better and I am sticking to that all day.”

So far, so good and it is 12:34pm at the moment—- I mean shit what do I have to lose, right?  I teach this stuff, it works, I tell you to do it—so instead of giving voice to my complaints I am doing it too.

It is all what we make of it—- if I list out all my crap then I only give it more power and I KNOW this for SURE.  The best place that you can be is peaceful within yourself—no HIGH highs, no LOW lows—if you can remain at peace knowing that whatever is displaying itself to you is only temporary then you will achieve a level of self mastery that most people never see.  It is a difficult thing to do and takes practice, yet do the work on yourself and you can get there.  I still work on this myself regularly—-it gets easier to quell your reactions with time.

So for this week strive to keep yourself in a peaceful place and know that unwelcome circumstances don’t come to stay, they come to pass.

 

Join me for Coffee Chat, Sunday on FB live at 10am est.

See you then.

-XO, Noelle

Maybe It Is Me

Maybe it is me?…..

Over the last few posts I have been sharing snippets of what my former marriage was like.

I have also shared these are things I don’t readily share with friends and family anymore.

As I’ve started to dig into things, I’ve begun to analyze myself. I am and always have been my harshest critic. I have begun to wonder if my failed relationships aren’t so much about who I’m choosing but me.

Why do I choose these people?

Do I change them?

Am I hard to love?

I was really to start to buy into this mindset, then three things happened.

One of my infamous car conversations with my daughter G. Afterwards, I kept thinking it would break my heart if she ever thought some of the thoughts I think about myself sometimes.

I met with my therapist. Who honestly has been a buoy for me in this ocean of things that I’ve just started facing.

Lastly I thought about you all. What would I say to one of you if you shared that statement with me.

That you felt your failed relationships, the hurt were your doing.

I would come through whatever device you are reading this one and shout “absolutely not!”

So why on earth would I allow those thoughts for myself? I’m going to go out on a limb here, because somewhere along the way I thought I didn’t deserve more.

Somewhere along the way I got stuck.

I stopped believing.

Happy people can still have self doubt. Where I’m at in my world is trying incredibly hard to drown out that doubt. I am reclaiming hobbies I gave up.

Painting for one. I am listening to music I forgot about. I’m here to say Rage Against the Machine makes for a fantastic band to listen to when you have a case of the reds. Maybe don’t drive while listening to it, may cause speeding.

I am and this has been the hardest- asking for what I need. Then in turn feeling comfortable giving myself space when I feel hurt.  Or it doesn’t go the way I hoped.

I still pick myself apart. I still wonder. I still make incredibly huge mistakes. I am human. But I am learning to forgive myself. I am learning to not read into every little thing. That my friends WILL definitely be a blog for another day.

I am learning no, it’s not me. That’s the easy way out.  It’s a lot of things and while I hold a piece I’m not the whole puzzle.

Self blame, self doubt… while easy to do and will never completely go away, I’m learning to cut myself some slack.

As always my badass Mommas remember to do the same.

<3Caprise

Hey Gorgeous, Let’s Talk The Truth

Hey Gorgeous!

Ya you.  I’m talking to you.

Hello gorgeous.

Do me a favor…no wait… do YOU a favor.

Repeat this sentence 5 times:  “”I am gorgeous. I am lovely.  I am amazing.””

Go ahead.   5 times.    Later you can do it in front of a mirror.

Every. Day.

Because you are.  THAT, my friend, is the truth about you.

TRUTH.

Now maybe somewhere along the way, you may have believed a lie.  A lie that someone said to cut you down, to make themselves feel better about their awful life, or maybe you endured some pretty tough bullying, or hate mail, or stalking or something that took you off Beauty Avenue, Glorious Street or Captivating Road.  Did you?

And where are you now?

Wherever you are and whatever road you’re on, it’s not a Dead End and it doesn’t say No Outlet anywhere.  It’s a road that connects to another road… to a different neighborhood, to a different town and to a different state. It’s a road with opportunities, blessings, new realities, rewritten stories. It’s the road you’re on right now, doing what you’re doing and if you keep walking and keep believing and keep digging deep into your soul to shine your brightest light, you will end up in a beautiful place.  As you tell yourself, Every Day, that you ARE beautiful and lovely and amazing, and you journey forward, around the culdesacs, through the barriers, down the hills and beyond the twisty turns, you will see what lies ahead.  You just have to keep going.

When you get tired and it’s too messy to see and everything seems to be stacked against you, remind yourself WHO YOU ARE.  The Truth of you.  The deep down, raw, babygirl truth.   Because when you come right down to it, that’s all that matters.

Add some more words of your own to your daily mantra.

Wonderful, Magnificent, Stunning, Delightful, Marvelous, Smart, Outgoing……whatever you can add about your Truth….add it proudly.

xoxo

Your God Girl

Tracy

 

Don’t Blow It

Don’t Blow It!
I consider myself to be blessed because I have absolutely incredible parents.
All of my life I have never felt like I was going through anything alone. I have always had these beautiful humans taking care of me with all of the love in the world. A huge part of our close bond is the honest relationship we have built with each other over the years.
Although I respect them and see them as my superiors—as every kid should view their parents— I’ve always genuinely felt like they were my friends. As is usually the case with friends, we have always had an honest relationship.
Not many kids can say that they want to tell their parents everything going on in their lives. They usually don’t want to talk to them about school, friends, or even dumb little crushes. I, on the other hand, wanted to tell my parents every little detail about the crush I had in the first grade.
I have learned that this great relationship would never exist without this thing called “trust”. Trust is a very powerful feeling that develops over time. Once you gain someone’s trust, and they gain yours, it strengthens the relationship. Unfortunately, I’ve taken advantage of this beautiful trust a few times.
Recently, I feared that I had permanently damaged that trust. Thankfully, it was over something that I can work on and over time we can move  past it. Truthfully, I didn’t realize how wonderful a relationship we had until I felt that it may no longer exist the way it was before.
This relationship is the one that I’ve valued most in my life, and it is the one I want to continue to strengthen forever. I guess that probably goes for all relationships built on such a strong bond. If you sit and think about it, trust is probably at the core of all the relationships that you hold close to your heart. Once you build trust, it becomes such a special part of your life.
If you do become lucky enough to have it around you, make sure to preserve it. My tip is: don’t blow it.
-Dani <3