Author Archives: staff

Keeping The Edges Sharp

Keeping the edges sharp…

If you caught my FB live last Sunday Morning (Coffee Chat, Sundays 10am EST) among my connection struggles you would have heard me talking about how we can avoid succumbing to apathy and complacency.  You would have heard me tell you about a conversation that my son, Antonio and I had that morning…we have an immediate family member that no longer has their kick-ass and take names mentality and I was saying to Antonio that for all that particular person had taught me in my lifetime about keeping my edges tight and being effective, I was at a loss as to how they got to their current state.  Antonio replied that he understood it and so I asked him to explain. He went on to say that when you have things that you want to get done everyday to feel effective and on purpose and then you miss the mark and have a bad day, it requires even more discipline to get back on the bus and once you don’t get right back on the bus it becomes harder and harder to do so until all of a sudden you turn around one day and your life has very messy edges or no edges at all…

The kid is right you know…let’s use my workouts as an example…I can be doing great, working out daily, getting it done, kicking ass and then I have an off day and I miss one.  Then I feel like an asshole because I am off track and so maybe the next day I don’t get it done either and then before you know it I have gone TWO weeks without a workout…and therein lies the story of the last 7 years of my life…pathetic in my opinion.

Sooooooooooooo kind of like the old adage about one step at a time, the question, “HOW DO YOU LOSE YOUR EDGE?” is aptly answered with one undone task at a time.  After the live I was talking to one of the 3 life-coaching clients that I still coach…(the 3 of them have been with me for over a decade now) and I was telling him about the conversation that I had been having on the FB live and he said, “yeah I get it.  I still have not unpacked my suitcase from the trip in November, I have baskets of folded laundry laying around to put away and I have a collection of dirty silverware in my dishpan because I hate washing silverware so I keep leaving it there and only wash the one fork at a time that I need (WHAT?!) (He lives alone in case you could not tell) and then I come home from work and just fall asleep on the sofa because I exhaust myself thinking about all the things that I am not getting done.  We laughed about it and he said, “I really get what you are saying about this, all these things are taking away my edge and making me less effective and they are such small things that I didn’t even notice…yet when I put them all together in a list it is quite a bit.”

And so it goes right?  All of us have these little things, the messy corners, drawers, closets, cars…the things left not straightened when we go to bed because we will ‘get it tomorrow’, the laundry left unfolded or in baskets not put away because we ‘don’t have time’—all these little things dull us just a bit every day—the too many cookies we ate, the workout we didn’t do, the trash we didn’t empty, the papers that we didn’t throw away…

On the FB live video which you will find on the FB page under videos I tell you about how years ago my Coach gave me an effectiveness assignment and I encouraged you all to do it with me…here is how it works:

Make a list of TEN DAILY things that you want to see yourself accomplish, ten things that if you did them every day you would feel like you were on top of your game.  The items can be as simple or as complicated as you wish…brush your teeth, make the bed, take your vitamins, workout, read for an hour…whatever YOU wish. Then make a checklist so that each day you can check off the task.  At the end of each day give yourself a score, if you got 2 things done = 20%, if you got 8 things done = 80%–you get the idea. Then at the end of each week look over the whole thing and give yourself a weekly average score— data doesn’t lie, this is a really great way to see just how effective you are being and also a great way to sharpen up your edges.  Go back and watch the FB live, I will be sharing my own scores with you weekly on Coffee Chat. See you soon.

XO, Noelle

Teaching People How To Treat You

Teaching people how to treat you….

If you have any friends worth their salt, you have heard the phrase “you deserve better than that.” But here is my question, when it was said, did you believe it? Did you believe it on a soul level? And if you did, what did you do about it?

In my life, I have been terrible at believing I deserve the bad things that have happened. There were disturbing things that happened to me in childhood that I always felt I somehow invited. There was the high school boyfriend who cheated on me and I believed that I somehow neglected him into the action. The same boyfriend who was jealous and controlling and I thought that was somehow okay. Looking at it through eyes that are very removed from the situation, it is easy to see that people who cheat, often project. 

There were bosses who didn’t see my worth. I see now they were so concerned with their own worth, they did not know how to mold and develop their employees. There were friends who saw me as a different person than I am. I thought I deserved it because I did make some mistakes (because I’m human). There was an ex-husband who did not treat me like a woman, but rather someone to take care of him. I thought, I made the choice to marry him, and that’s that. I made my bed, and now I live in it. 

But here’s the truth; I had some responsibility in all of those things. Truly. It just wasn’t the way I saw it at the time. With that high school boyfriend, I should have refused to be treated that way. I should have told him to deal with his own feelings of guilt and stop projecting on me, or we were finished. In the workplace, I should have been more confident in my abilities and more forceful with my ideas. And if I couldn’t be in that company, I should have been willing to leave for other opportunities. With friends, it is difficult because the easiest thing to do is walk away, which is essentially what I did. But I should have let them know why and how I saw the things they were doing and saying behind my back and their attitudes toward me. Maybe then I could have ended things with cleaner conscience. 

The marriage is harder. I thought I was clear about how I wouldn’t be treated. There were several times I refused to be treated certain ways. In the beginning of our relationship, he got jealous for no reason and I told him that it was his problem and he was going to have to get it figured out, and he did. And he never threw another jealous fit again in 17 years. I stood up for myself when he told me to shut up, and he never did it again. But I don’t think I told him what I needed enough, but it is also possible he just wasn’t capable, and sometimes we have to be smart enough to know that too, and to accept that and walk away.  

But when you find the people you know you want in your life, you have to be willing to teach them what you need and what you will not put up with. You have to be willing to say, when I act like this, I need a little extra patience. You need to be able to say, I will not be spoken to like that, I don’t deserve it. But most importantly, you really have to believe that you deserve it. It boils down to you really having to believe you are WORTH it. And you are. 

Stronger Than Yesterday,

Alice

You Do Not Always Need To Hold It Together

You do not always need to hold it together….

Some of us know the hit song “Homecoming queen” by Kelsea Ballerini. 

”Hey homecoming queen – 

what if I told you the world wouldn’t end. 

If you started showing what’s under your skin? 

What if you let em all in on the lie? 

Even the homecoming queen cries

Yeah, What if I told you the sky wouldn’t fall?

If you lost your composure, said hell with it all”.

 

This song just gets to me every time.  Why do we always have to hold it together?

Growing up I learned to keep my emotions together.  I did not show much sadness or tears. Through my marriage it continued. It was all about holding it together even when I felt like a mess inside. It’s this feeling that you always have to be perfect..or act a certain way. I hid my feelings for years, thinking is this how I’m going to live the rest of my life. I still have a hard time showing my true emotion to my parents.. it’s a hard thing to overcome. 

It’s like the song, what if you started showing what’s under your skin? What if you showed people who you really are.. so many times, I changed myself to fit others.  Or I hide how I felt inside.  

Through my divorce, I would cry in the shower.  We all have that place where we can let it out.   I would put on my favorite music and cry. It was the place I could escape the outside.  And it was the place that my kids would not see me. It’s hard to always put on that happy face.  At times, I would feel so alone. And even though my divorce was my decision, I still felt sad and alone. This is something a lot of people do not understand. I would hide it from most of my friends. The entire divorce process can take so much out of you.  I felt deflated at times, like it was never going to end. Why at age 40 something, do we still feel we need to hide our emotions???

I grew up not being able to communicate emotions and I was married to someone that could not communicate emotions, so this was a challenge.  It’s a lifelong process moving forward. Learning to tell someone that you didn’t have a “good” day instead of just lying through it. I want my kids to see that I’m not always happy.. and that sometimes I have bad days also.  I want to just be honest with them and tell them when I had a bad day at work or when someone treated me poorly.  

The world is not going to end because you can’t hold it together.  It’s ok to break down.. it’s ok that you can’t get your kids to school on time or that they wear their shirt backwards.. it’s ok that you are not perfect. It’s ok that you skip events for school. It’s ok that your kids don’t shower everyday.  Or if you forgot about soccer practice. No one can hold it together all the time.

I want to teach my kids that they don’t need to hold it together. I want them to be able to show emotion. I want them to know that they can get angry and sad and frustrated and let it out. They don’t need to hold it together for me or anyone else.  I want them to be able to just tell me when I’m frustrating them. I want them to be able to communicate how they feel. I notice how my daughter holds it together so many times when she should just be able to let it out. We all have have melt downs and tantrums in life. 

I want my kids to just show emotions and who they are… when they are upset with me I ask them why.  There was a time in my life when I would just blow up and say no to them, but I learned that didn’t help anyone.  I now make them communicate to me why they think I’m wrong.. instead of just stomping to their room mad. I ask them why they are upset with one of their friends and explain it to me.. don’t worry I get plenty of eye rolls and huffing like a teenager, but sometimes I learn that I am overreacting and they are right.  We compromise a lot, but I get them to talk more then I would have in the past. And mostly I want them to learn how to tell other people how they are feeling. I want them to not be perfect and hide their emotions.

Little by little I have learned that I was doing the best I could. And little by little I learned to let more and more of myself out.  I started to show my kids who I really was… that I’m funny and sarcastic, but there are also days that I’m overwhelmed. That I forget things and that sometimes I’m just too tired. Or I just don’t want to do it.  And the more that I do that with everyone the more happier and content I make my life.  

Snarkydivorcedgal

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/blog

The Tao of Mr. Rogers

The Tao of Mr. Rogers….

While I am not a fan of resolutions I have been trying really hard to make both my 48th year and 2020 the year I am kinder to myself.

It started by not filtering my photos.

It’s a small step but if I can’t embrace and love who I am, how can I possibly expect anyone else to?

A lot of this shift started with Mr. Rogers.

I work with the under five set and I grew up on Mr. Rogers, so when the Tom Hanks movie came out, I started visiting with my favorite cardigan wearing sage again.

Secret: I would change my shoes and put on a sweater when I would watch the show when I was little.

Now you know that about me.

ANYWAY…

One of my favorite quotes from my man is:

“There is no person in the whole world like you and I like you just the way you are.”

Another absolutely fantastic one:

“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.”

Yet we live in a world that tells us to hide our true selves away.

As I write this I am snuggled under a blanket that looks like a tortilla because I love tacos.

Obsessively so.

I am a taco snob.

For real.

I fly that flag- high.

As I should. 

But along the way I’ve been teased, questioned, gotten an eye roll.

Why?

That’s a teeny example. A random kinda silly one.

But a bigger secret. A deeper, harder one to share. I am incredibly shy. I have a hard time showing my true self to people I care about. See people I’m dating. Yes we are going there, just a little for now. I worry about being too much. Not enough. I have had a bad habit of comparing myself to other people.

Boy, Mr. Rogers would be disappointed in me for that one.

There isn’t a magic switch to make that stop. But, I have changed my environment. I’m working on changing my mindset.

I have edited out the people who thrive on being negative cheerleaders. Here’s the thing. I appreciate honesty. I don’t appreciate cruel. Backhanded compliments. People who feed my insecurities.

We all have had those people… “I’m your honest friend.”

Are you?

A blog for never.

Forty eight may be the year of no filter, but it’s also the year I let certain things go.

Even if they’re people.

Somewhere along the way we forgot the lessons from our childhood. Being yourself is amazing. People who really, truly love you will love you. Even if you have a really unhealthy obsession with tacos.

Trust me.

I am also wearing taco socks right now. Yup, also a gift.

I know it’s hard. Being yourself. Not comparing. But did you forget who you are?

You’re a Momma and there is absolutely no one like you, and that makes you amazing.

 

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Laughter Makes Everything Better

Laughter makes everything better….

When was the last time you belly-laughed?  I’m talking laughed so hard that a few hours later your belly muscles hurt?  Laughed so hard you cried and you didn’t even care how your makeup was being affected?   Laughed so hard that your own laughter made others laugh along?

THAT makes everything better.  It’s like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold day or like a glass of milk and a delicious home-made cookie.  Or better yet…like a new pair of shoes that hug you like a glove. Laughter just makes everything better.

Stress does not help, burdens do not help, long to-do lists do not help.  But if you can stop in the middle of all that ‘stuff’ and find something to laugh about….heck how about something to smile about even!  That really truly could make everything better.  

When you are authentic in your search for humor in the chaos, joy in the sadness, peace in the crazy that is all around you….there… in that truth, in that space of uncertainty… you just may find that right there in that place…. Aside from the one thing that matters most, the one thing that has you baffled, the one thing that your thoughts keep going back to in anguish…. you can release all the ‘stuff’ that gets in your way of finding the laughter, and just for a moment, stop and giggle.

Was there a time awhile back that a friend said something silly that make you laugh, or a cousin reminded you of a memory that caused you two to crack up with stinging cheeks, or maybe you yourself laughed at your own ridiculousness while crossing your legs tight so you didn’t pee your pants.  Remember that, give yourself permission and laugh out loud. It really can make everything better.

xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

Start-NOW!

Start—NOW

Ok kids, first Biz Blog for The Office Owl section in eons…the goal is now one a week…Kim (who manages the blog for me is saying to herself right now “God I HOPE so”) LOL.  So, it is the start of another New Year and it is time to ask ourselves what we want to create.  I know that a lot of you are concerned about finances and your mind wants to immediately go to the place of saying that you have to see what expenses you can cut or how you can save money.  Being trained as a Prosperity Teacher, my mind goes to HOW CAN YOU GENERATE MORE INCOME???

That is an entirely different conversation and one of creation instead of one based in a poverty consciousness.  Let’s first talk quickly about you changing your thinking when it comes to your work and your finances, let’s have you start declaring that, “every day in every way things are getting better and better for me now” and start thinking about what IS possible for you and your income situation.

Currently there are about a 1,000 or more ways for you to earn extra income, many of them can be done right from your phone.  In my career I have helped so many people to start small entrepreneurial adventures…it can be done, it can be done on a shoe string, it can be done as a side hustle, it is possible — however, like with everything else that I teach you, it requires WORK….and you have to be willing to do the WORK.  It also takes you believing in yourself and simply deciding to START NOW, right where you are with whatever you have.  

There is no shortage of ideas for ways to make extra money…you can do small services for other people, you can becomes involved with a network marketing company, you can clean houses on the side, babysit, cook for people, knit, sew, sell things on ebay, make things and sell them on etsy, start a website for something, a blog that you get sponsors for, pick up a side job…the list goes on and on.  The important thing is that you stop telling yourself that you will “do it when….”— there is NEVER a perfect time, there is NEVER a perfect way, things won’t align on a particular day and fall on your head—you have to START…NOW…where you are with what you have— DO something to move that idea forward.

Every, single person that now has a successful business or side hustle STARTED, they did something, they made that phone call, recorded that video, investigated that link— they DID something.

So stop WAITING— I am declaring 2020 the year of DOING.  If you have a question or need help thinking through an idea, feel free to email me and I will help if I can.  

XO, Noelle

Make Them Strong By Being Weak

My one wish for my children is that they are stronger than I am. A lot of people that know me personally have made comments about how strong I am and how much strength it took to walk away from a destructive relationship. Well, that might be partially correct, but it is also partially wrong. I had to be weak before I could be strong. I had to become completely broken before I could muster up the strength I needed to walk away. To stop a cycle and prevent my children from repeating the cycle because it was considered “normal” in our home.

My children have always viewed me as strong. My daughter has told me many times “mom, I can’t find your weakness. I mean, I know us kids are your weakness, because if someone hurts us they hurt you, but you come out swinging with all your strength that you have to protect us and fight for us.” Well, my sweet daughter’s perception is correct. New Years Eve gave me an opportunity to speak to my daughter, who is in the formative years of her life, developing her own personality, figuring out her future, and what she wants. We had a very raw conversation about the relationship her father and I had and my wishes and worries for her, her sister, and her brother. She asked some hard questions, made some quick and wise observations, hopefully realized that the by her mom being weak, she will be stronger because of that.

My daughter, because I was weak, realizes that she can set healthy boundaries for relationships, friendships and romantically. Because I was weak, my daughter knows that life will knock a person down, but that weakness eventually turns into strength and the person gets up, dusts themselves off, and goes forward in life. In my weakness, I made my daughter strong because she will know how a woman is to be treated, how a woman is not to be treated, and she will find a person that is set apart for her that will fulfill the desires of her heart in a relationship. My daughter saw me weak, and stay in an environment where it was not healthy, and because of that, she knows she does not have to remain weak and stay. She will be stronger and walk away sooner, to preserve her spirit, her heart, and her soul. In my weakness, my daughter saw me lose my identity, my passions, and myself. But my daughter, she will be strong and never lose those parts of herself and have to rediscover them.

Being weak, while most view it as a negative characteristic, really is my greatest strength. While I was weak, I was teaching my children how to be strong. Strong for themselves. I was given then one, big life to impress upon my children life lessons. I hope a life lesson they take from watching their mother be weak, was that while in her weakness, she found her strength. The strength to pull herself together everyday, to rediscover her passions, find her own identity again, rise up with a renewed strength. I am grateful for the weaknesses that my children have seen in me, because they will be stronger than I ever could be. I made them strong because I was weak. There is something to be said about finding your strength in your weakness, because it is utterly true.

R

You can visit R’s blog page here:

https://thedignifiedgrace.wordpress.com/

Please Text More Than “Hi”

I wish someone would explain the meaning of the “hi” text.  I do not understand the constant texting but never asking someone out on a date.  If you are interested in me, then ask me out or ask me to do something.  I would like someone who would get to the point and be honest.  I feel that a lot of the men that I have corresponded with are interested in just texting.  Yep, here we go another pen pal.  And I am sure this goes both ways, that girls waste time and just send “hi” texts also.

I am probably going to write about more what not to do than what to do.

You text me short texts every morning that consist of “hi” or “this day sucks”  but why can’t you say “good morning” or “how is your day?” Anything that would show some interest in the person you are texting.  Girls want to feel like they are important to you or that you care, or possibly show some interest.  I do not think anyone wants to start their day with a debbie downer text from someone that they barely know.  Some days I feel like I’m trying to cheer up Eeyore.

I have just spent the morning yelling at my kids about getting in the car before school or fought with them over what color pants to wear or that they can not eat Doritos for breakfast, so getting a good morning text on my way to work can be a complete game changer for my day.   I love “good morning” texts.  Honestly, a good morning text will probably get you a date with me.

Or there is the every other day “hi” from someone.  You don’t want to seem too needy or desperate  so I get just a “hi” every few days.  And nothing else.  I honestly do not even know how to respond to those texts.  I ask questions back for example, “ do you have any plans this weekend” and I get “not much” in response.  I know we are not all super chatty but you need to put a little effort into it.  Something to get the conversation going…

For example its basic…might be kinda nerdy but it gets the conversation going…

Man-How was your day?

Woman–Good, The weather today is beautiful. I am going to go for a hike after work

Man-Really, that sounds perfect.  Where do you like to hike?

Woman-I love to hike at the state park near my house. It’s so relaxing in the evening.

Man-I know. I have started to get back into hiking and running.  Would you like to go hiking next week one night?

Simple conversation that could lead to a date…

I do not know who invented the “hi” text but it has got to be the most confusing text to send to a girl.

And if you are going to send a “hi” text, can you please follow up with something like “whatcha doing, did you make it to work, how was your workout”, or anything that shows you have interest in them.  Something that they have told you in the last few days that you can ask about.

If you have to store a “notes section” in your phone with things to remember about that person, then do it.  There are many reminder apps these days, just pick one. And if you ask about my day and I tell you about it, then have text me back and start a conversation over it.  Don’t just not respond.

Here is the truth..I get “hi” texts and  “ good nights” texts, which turn into nothing. I eventually get bored and don’t respond.  Say what you mean and just ask.  Don’t spend weeks or months sending short ‘hi” texts because that does not turn into a conversation or definitely not a relationship.

I love when I get something that includes a bit of something we had discussed earlier.  I love that I told you my kids had swimming lessons 3 days ago and you remembered and asked about it.  Maybe you just looked back at our messages, but I don’t care because you put some effort into the text.   Maybe you know I get up every morning to work out, so you text me at 7 am each morning to see how my workout was.

Those are the things that girls want…  If you like her or want it to go somewhere, then show some interest in her life…

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

No Filter

I turned 48 in November. As I do every year I made myself a promise.

This would be the year of no filter.

I started simply. I removed Snapchat and any photo editing apps from my electronics.

When I did take a picture I added a cheeky caption- “me in my bathroom while my child is getting ready for bed.”

Surprisingly my friends were into it.

I also did this in a response to strengthen my confidence. I still struggle. I am not going to tell you I don’t. I am not a size five. I just cut my hair off and I’m covered in tattoos. I am not the stereotype of what sometimes our world tells us is attractive.

And I know I’ve sang this song before, but sometimes there will be a wobble and I need a reminder.

I also have a daughter. What am I saying to her by editing my photos before posting them? It’s one thing to not post a photo because my eyes are closed or maybe my smile is a bit goofy. But to change it to the point I don’t look like me.

I can’t show her that.

Although, I do like the filter that puts tacos around my head.

There is a great quote “in a society that profits from self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.”

Every week I write these blogs encouraging you all to love yourselves meanwhile I’m struggling.

That’s my secret to share in this year of no filter.

I am a fabulous cheerleader for others.

Me- I need to work on.

So with each picture I post in color, without a fun Snapchat filter, I’m learning to love the freckled, wrinkled face staring back at me.

Look Mommas if you dig the animal ears, you do you. Seriously. But you are gorgeous with or without those ears.

<3 Caprise

Me, You, And My Medication

Me, You, And My Medication….

I slammed my bedroom door shut and pounded my firsts into my thighs repeatedly. Till finally my legs went numb and some sort of calm had come over me. I was 7 years old and had no idea this would be the first of many outbursts I would have before finally getting a diagnosis at age 27.

I have never been able to control my emotions; I have always struggled with extreme highs and lows my entire life. My depression was a huge part in both my divorces. I had to be medicated throughout pregnancy and post-partum with all three of my children.  I spent years of my life in therapy chairs looking for answers. It was blamed on my mother abandoning me at an early age, being molested, and divorce trauma. But I knew deep down something more was at play. It wasn’t until I met a doctor at age 27, I finally had answer.

Bipolar.

Such a scary word to hear. I sat numb in the doctor’s office for awhile before finally asking.. Will I have to take medicine forever? The doctor smiled weakly and said its recommended you stay on medication. I spent 6 months working with my doctor to find the perfect dose and perfect medicine to stabilize me and it was exhausting, I never thought I was going to feel a normal for myself and that’s all I wanted was a sense of normal. Bipolar explained a lot of my behavior but it didn’t excuse any of it. I made serious mistakes in my bipolar episodes I couldn’t just write off because I had a diagnosis. I had to learn how to live my life on medication and navigate the world. I ruined a lot of relationships during my bipolar episodes including an engagement to what I believe was the love of my life.

How could I fix that? How do I start over fresh?

I reached out. I reached out to family, I reached out to friends, I even reached out to my ex fiancé in hopes of making amends for what I done unmedicated. I had to learn it was okay to accept my mistakes and those around me forgave me for my behavior. Oddly enough my Dad told me he suspected all along I was bipolar. It was about learning a new life balanced out by an anti-psychotic. I take three medications now once daily for my bipolar, one once daily for anxiety and one I take as needed up to three times a day for my anxiety and they both help along with my monthly sometimes bi-weekly therapy sessions. There may come a day where I can overcome my anxiety but there’s not going to come a day where I don’t deal with my bipolar, and I’m learning to be okay with that.

There are times I miss being off my medication. The days I would feel high, on top of the world and get so much accomplished were amazing. I once redid an entire bathroom on one of my “good days”. But the lows were incredibly painful. I would go days without running a brush through my hair or even showering because I was so depressed. Being on medication has made me successful, I firmly believe I have gotten so far ahead in life being stabilized with medications. I may not experience the highs, but I no longer suffer the extreme lows.

I feel normal and that’s something I never thought I would say. I feel like I can accomplish things. I have learned to manage my emotions and control them better. I’ve been promoted at my job and I’m successful and I never though that would be possible unmedicated. I’ve learned that there’s no harm in being honest when you’re struggling with mental illness there’s a whole community out there of people who are ready and willing to be there for you, including me.

Serendipity