Author Archives: staff

You Have a Friend In Me

As I rapidly approach my 50th year I am watching my circle of close friends shrink and my circle of acquaintances grow.

I think there’s a couple things at play here. First and foremost the internet good, bad, or otherwise has made it possible for you to “connect” with people you’ve never met.

It also I think makes you feel like the effort that comes with a friendship doesn’t necessarily have to be nurtured. I checked on you on Facebook… we’re good..

Are we?

Before I get too into this, know I am not a friendship nurturer. I’m horrible at it. I suck. SUCK. It’s not that I don’t love and adore my friends I do. I really do. I have some fantastic people in my life…but…

I work in a job where I have to be “on” all day, I have an eleven year old, a side gig… I am the person who needs to recharge. Me declining an invite doesn’t mean I don’t care, I just might need to shut my head off. Thankfully, I’ve gotten much better at telling my friends this. Also, my time with my daughter comes first. Lastly and probably the things that have held me back … being with a group of friends and being completely decimated by a mutual friend. Over a decision that was pretty personal to me at the time. Or having another friend in the heat of my divorce tell me to get over it. Being made to feel like my problems were small by another. This may seem petty but when you’re in it with people you trust you make a decision. Maybe the wrong one. You start keeping yourself so busy you’re not a burden. You don’t share. You hide.

Lucky for me, my current small circle doesn’t give me that pass and will call me out or even on occasion just show up on my doorstep telling me to get dressed we’re going out.

Over the course of the few days they’ve needed me and as the resident insomniac of the group I’m usually up. I also don’t shut my phone off. I know.

I guess where I am going with all of this is you need people, and that is ok. One of my circle remarked friends shouldn’t make you cry unless you’re laughing.

Another has told me I need to live.

A third likes to send me pictures of a certain actor I like.

One gives great Mom advice. I have one who makes me laugh like crazy.

One who always calls me. One who always texts me. One who always teases me. One who loves makeup as much as I do.

Find your circle. Friends really are the family you choose and I’m incredibly disappointed in myself I let the actions of others miss out on some precious time with the circle above.

I am not making that mistake anymore. So I steal moments. One of my closest friends I’ve known since I was 13. It sounds dorky but I call her every morning. My soul sister who has the same birthday as me I make sure to send a message to,just so she knows I’m thinking of her even though I know she’s crazy busy.

Having her message me back “dang I miss you made me cry.”

I send stupid memes to my radio boos.

Lastly and this is a biggie from this guarded girl I told my best friend that he is my best friend.

Because he is.

So how about this… as always, I will be here for you but let’s make sure we let our circle know on the regular what they mean to us.

I’ll start…

I got you Mamas and I appreciate you so much.

<3 Caprise

NOTW-Not Of This World

“Not of this world”…I’ve known these four words for a long time.  Thought it.  Read it.  Lived it.  Every day, still, I work on reminding myself that I am Not Of this World.  Being the God-girl that I am, you’d think I wouldn’t have to remind myself… but I do.  I am IN the world but not OF it.  This World we live in….it’s a powerful place.  God’s power is ever present and much, much more powerful… BUT if my eyes are not on Him and my eyes are here, looking around me, comparing, challenging, competing.  I’m sucked in.  I’m doomed.  There is power and money and fame and popularity and attention and affection EVERYWYERE.  I can have those things, but at what cost?

In my younger years when I thought the World was the place to find all of these things, I charged forward, I had it all figured out, all lined up.  I was successful.  I climbed the corporate ladder-stepping on who was in my way, I dated the handsomest of men-spitting them out if they didn’t please me, I hung out with beautiful girlfriends-controlling where we went and what we did.  I judged, I ruled, I competed, I was soooo popular.  BUT I was sad and lonely and alone.  I created my life to satisfy me and yet….oh and I was satisfied – or so I thought….but the satisfaction never lasted so there I was again…going at it.  The cost?  My soul.  I did whatever I had to do to be liked and accepted and important. And I was empty.

Now my life is of substance.  I have friendships and money and things.  BUT it’s all from God and for God.  Money, blessings, miracles, love…all of it.  HIS.  I am here to be a steward.  I am a beacon of His love and light.  I am here to shout it from the rooftops that I am Not Of This World.  I am of His World.  You’ll know it by my words, my actions, my compassion AND by my tattoo.

Your God Girl,

Tracy xoxo

Use The Power Of Forgiveness

The Webster’s definition of forgiveness is to give up resentment against or the desire to punish; to stop being angry with; to pardon; to give up all claim to punish.  My working definition of forgive for this chapter is to simply let go.

There are so many people out in the world that are holding onto so much yucky stuff—bad childhoods, terrible marriages/divorces, abuse of some sort, anger from some past wrong done to them, bad business deals, insults, injuries, etc.  Every person holding onto something like this feels very strongly about it and should you try to pry it away from them they get very angry.  It is their stuff and they want to keep it right where it is, what they fail to realize is that harboring those yucky feelings is sucking the life right out of them.

I have been actively working with forgiveness for several years now as I was holding onto some resentful feelings from the past.  Over the last few years as I continued to move forward in my life it became apparent to me that there was something in the way of my progress.  After some soul searching I discovered that I was still holding onto resentments and bad feelings toward people from my past.  In my speaking I had forgiven them but in my heart I was still willing them to be different and therefore had not truly let go.  I started doing some active work on forgiving these people and as a result a 25 year old impossible relationship was miraculously changed.  This turn of events was something I never conceived as possible.  The power of forgiveness is truly awe inspiring.

When we forgive (let go of) someone or something  it doesn’t mean that we are consenting to or forgetting what has transpired, it simply means that we are willing to get rid of the dead energy that the situation or relationship has placed on our lives.  Holding onto animosity over someone or something doesn’t really teach the other person anything it merely interferes with our own ability to manifest good in our lives.  Harboring resentments and wishing ill on other people actually stops our own flow of good and can make us sick.   People often hold grudges to “teach” the other person a lesson or to try and hurt the other person as they have been hurt.  This kind of thinking only ends up hurting us,  as we are the ones that actively carry around the bad energy which can cause us to be depressed, overeat, lose sleep or have anxiety.

The Choice Is Yours

In order to forgive someone we had to first decide to take offense from their words or actions.  Whenever they did what they did we had a choice to take offense or to let the incident blow over.  The choice in that moment was ours.  Most people go along in life doing the best that they possibly can for who they are in the moment and often we get angry because their best is not our idea of what the best should be.  We think that we would act very differently if we were them, however, we are not them and we don’t really know how it feels to be them.  It is very easy to be offended by others when we fail to consider what aspects of their lives effect their actions.  It is easier to think about forgiving someone when we begin to really think about what their lives are like and what circumstances may be influencing their actions.   Perhaps they don’t even mean to hurt us, perhaps they are just going along doing the best that they can and they don’t even recognize that their actions or words are hurtful.

How we react to something is always our choice.  We can choose to be contributed to, insulted or offended.  We can choose to take another’s actions personally or we can choose to just let things flow over us.  If your best friend doesn’t call you back you can choose to be angry and offended and make it mean something about your friendship or you can choose to decide that maybe they are just so self-involved that calling you hasn’t even crossed their mind.  You decide, the choice is yours.  The first choice puts a wedge in your friendship and the second allows you to let it go and go on with your life.

Watch Your Frame of Reference

You are not the same person that you were 5 years ago and neither is anyone else you know.  Perhaps you are still relating to some people in your life based on how they were in the past.  Your frame of reference for certain people could be based on what you knew of them 5, 10 or 15 years ago.  This means that when they show up acting differently, you miss it because your frame of reference for them is ingrained in past perceptions.  When we hold things against people they tend to remain forever trapped in our minds the way that they were when the hurt occurred.  It may be easier to forgive them if we starting looking at whom they have become instead of who they were way back when.  This happens a lot with family members, we tend to view them only as we knew them back in the day, who they are now doesn’t even show up for us.  We all have things in our pasts that we would do differently, imagine how we would feel if someone only judged us from the way we acted at 20.

It is always a good policy to investigate your frame of reference for the people in your life; perhaps some of them deserve a fresh perspective.

Nobody Wins the Blame Game

Blaming other people for circumstances in your life is never helpful nor will it take you any place you want to go.  Nobody can win at the blame game.  The only way to win in life is to take responsibility for your own destiny.  Stop blaming the past and the people in it for what doesn’t work in your life.  Start having some new thoughts about the people and situations you need to forgive (let go of).  Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the hurtful behavior is excused or forgotten; it simply means that you stop allowing those incidents to control your life.  Forgiveness can take place after you have experienced the necessary emotions associated with the incident.  Once the initial anger, sadness, outrage, disappointment, etc. has been processed there is a space for forgiveness.  You may need to express your feelings in a constructive way before you can allow the process of forgiveness (letting go) to take place.  It is healthy to experience your emotions; it is not healthy to continue to carry around bad feelings for months and years.  Process the events and then let them go.

Look For the Lesson

I am a firm believer in the statement ‘everything happens for a reason’ and I look at every uncomfortable situation in my life and try to see what it wants to teach me.  Sometimes I see the lesson right away and sometimes I just have to trust that it’s there and that I will see it eventually.  I have learned some of my most valuable lessons from the people and situations that have distressed me the most.  When you are open to the possibility of being contributed to by every event in your life the unpleasant events seem to go by faster.

I have also learned that one of the best ways to diffuse an attack is to apologize for something right in the middle of it.  For instance, “I’m sorry that you feel I’ve insulted you”, or “I’m sorry that you think I hurt you on purpose”.  People attack you because they want attention or they are unhappy with themselves.  If someone attacks you in conversation and you do not respond or you apologize this will diffuse the situation.  A person can only fight with you if you let them.  You cannot argue with someone who refuses to be engaged by you.

I have been told that what we don’t like about other people represents something that we don’t like about ourselves.  If this is true the first action would be to forgive ourselves for all the things that we find unacceptable.  If we can forgive ourselves successfully then we can move ahead to start forgiving others.  Truly, truly everyone is going along doing the best that they can for who they are—maybe it’s time we stopped being so hard on ourselves and others.

~Noelle

Stop Waiting And Do

Stop waiting…..

Sometimes in our life we can want something so bad that we put things on pause to try to make sure it happens. A lot of the time though that is how you lose not only what you want but also lose your peace. More recently for me there was someone who came into my life. I developed feelings for that person, and I waited. I waited for this person to open up to me the way I did them; I waited for them to tell me how they felt like I did them; I waited for a direction, all while my businesses, my self improvement and my goals all fell to the wayside.

This person isn’t a bad person but I had to stop waiting. My peace of mind and forward movement was at stake. I still care about this person deeply but how things are right now are painful for me. Instead of waiting I am holding a place, a place they may or may not fill, but I know if that person is meant to be in my life they will fill that place when the time is right. In the meantime I am working as hard as ever. I’m growing past a certain set back I’ve had, and I am crushing business and personal goals.

I’m living my life and not holding still. Knowing whats meant for me will always find a way to me.

Always be unapologetically true to yourself,

Ali

My Frenemy Social Media

Bill Murray recently tweeted: social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder why everyone is depressed.

As a recovering insomniac I have a bad habit of reaching for an electronic device when my brain decides I need to overthink something at 2 AM. Which is a bad idea. I know this.

Bill’s not too far off. It’s hard not to do. I’m guilty of it. Who isn’t? You see your peeps post pictures of beautiful vacations meanwhile I’m excited about going to Target by myself on my lunch.

Your girlfriends who are madly in love, posting flowers and cards, and outings. You are spending your fifth Valentines alone sporting the noodle necklace made by your kiddo.

You co-worker running a marathon while you’re lucky if you make it to the third floor of your office building without being lightheaded and winded.

You cousin eating a gourmet meal out, you are tucking in with Taco Bell.

Or how about when you are in a relationship and suddenly things that before social media maybe you didn’t see or even care about. Now you see. Like that girl who likes every DAMN thing he posts. Or how he comments on that one girl’s stuff but never yours.

Are you taking this in? It’s kinda silly right? It is. But as humans, at our core I think we all want to be sparkly and loved. We don’t want to show our flaws. That’s weakness. It’s hard to show those bad days, to enjoy that Taco Bell, to realize that girl liking every DAMN post may just be a friend, and even if she’s not, trust your person.

On the flip side there are some really fantastic things social media has brought.

Like I can keep in touch with the funniest person I know, my 72 year old great aunt.

Memes!!!! I love memes. It’s bad. I have a problem. Luckily, so do my girlfriends.

Reconnecting me with people I lost track of. I’m looking at you my Chewbaccas.

Helping me find cool events to do with my family and friends.

New music.

Recipes.

This page (The Working Single Mom) <3

Tips and tricks for almost ANYTHING.

Some absolutely truly heartwarming stories.

I guess where I am going with this. With anything… remember who you are. You are sparkly and beautiful even when maybe you feel like you aren’t.

There is no such thing is perfect.

And really who wants that anyway?

By the way I love me some Taco Bell and my noodle necklace is my most prized possession.

BUT just in case the next time you’re mindlessly scrolling remember this:

“Be yourself today. You look beautiful like that.”

 

And as always I got you Mommas

XO

Caprise

Unconditional Love

In order to begin this conversation with you; I must first define the word – Unconditional.

Webster’s defines unconditional as without conditions or reservations; absolute.

My question to you —is there such a thing as giving too much or loving too much?  My answer to this is, NO—if the giving and the loving are unconditional.  Unconditional loving and giving are I’m afraid, rarer than you may imagine.  There are people that love so that they will get something in return…love, money, happiness, sex, material things etc…there are unspoken conditions on their loving and when the other person fails to deliver, the love is taken away in punishment.  The same is true for some folks in the giving department…they give and then they expect something in return and when they don’t get it, problems arise.

There is also the case of the person suspect of being unconditionally loved or given to—this indicates an inability to receive on their end…you see in order to be a balanced giver you must be able to receive as graciously as you give…there are those that only want to give and become very uptight when on the receiving end of gifts or love.  They wonder what the other person is “up to” giving all these gifts and expressing all this love, they become certain that things cannot be as simple as they seem—there must be some ‘ulterior motive’ to all this generosity…

Funny thing is if you gain a deep understanding of how life really works you would love and give yourself SILLY…for those of us that get it there is nothing else to do but give and give and give and love people unconditionally…really and truly that is what we are here for…to share…to share ourselves and our ‘stuff’…

So many people walk around so tightly wound up about what is ‘theirs’ and what hoops have to be jumped through in order for someone to gain their love…there are times when we see what people are really made of and sadly those times mostly come when tragedy strikes…do you remember how loving and generous people were with each other after 9-11-2001?  Strangers helping each other however they could, sharing, offering love, strength, help, money, clothes, food…anything — we all gave anything we had and we were glad to do so…we allowed ourselves to feel love for people just because and it made us all stronger at a time when we needed it most…well what happened folks???

Did our need for generous hearts subside???  No, in fact it seems to me that we could use generous hearts more than ever right now—-we could use a lot less complaining and criticism and a lot more unconditional giving and loving.  Look around you—the world needs a lot of help from people that understand…there are so many things that we could say are wrong, however when do we begin to say what’s right with everything?  That kind of looking starts with you…there is good in everything, you just need to have faith that it is there and then you have to be willing to SEE it…sometimes it takes awhile…

We have to wake up, we have to be responsible to make things better for ourselves and everyone around us—there is nobody else folks, this is our job.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to:

love too much, give too many presents, celebrate too many things, be too forgiving, be too generous, be too happy, see too much good, help too many people, give too much money, volunteer too much, serve too much…

Nobody ever died from giving too much of themselves, actually it enlivens and empowers you…maybe you should give it a whirl, may make you live longer…when you get busy contributing to other people your own small grievances hardly show up anymore…

I leave you with a quote from St. John of the Cross:

“A generous heart will never care

to go part way; it won’t be cowed

if there is passage anywhere,

but set out on the hardest road;

nothing can cause it misery,

and with faith soaring like a cloud

it feeds on something I don’t know

that one may come on randomly.”

 

~Noelle

It Could Be You

It could be you….Picture it.  You’re late for work and the driver in front of you is going…so…slow.  I mean – molasses in January in Maine slow.  You want to honk.  You want to scream.  You’re literally losing your mind. Am I right?  Why are people so self-absorbed and inconsiderate? You just want to get where you need to be!

Now imagine you’ve had a super long day and you’ve run into the grocery store to grab a few things.  You’ve beat the crowds and you’re next in line, when some lady saunters up and sets her stuff down in front of you.  Did she really just cut in line?  What do you say to her?  How do you feel?  Wow.  The audacity!

Typical stuff in modern life when out and about.  We’ve all experienced one of these things – or something like them.  And we probably all felt a little outraged, angry or indignant.  Maybe you even said something to the person – a cutting remark meant to remind them of their horrible behavior and put them in their place.  “Hey buddy – gas pedal is on the right!” or “What the hell?” C’mon – we’ve all done it.  They deserved it, right?

Maybe not.

What do you know about the slow driver or the line cutter?  Truly.  What do you know about them other than the fact that they seem to be oblivious to others?  Probably nothing.  You don’t need to know anything to know that they’re rude, do you?

Actually, you do.

That slow driver might have just said goodbye to their mom or dad for the last time.  Maybe they’re driving home after having just received a terminal diagnosis.  Perhaps that line cutter was distracted because those pads she’s buying are because she’s currently miscarrying.  Or maybe she’s in the middle of a divorce and rushing home to her kids who are home alone for the first time.  You don’t know.

Maybe you don’t care.  I mean after all – they’re still being rude, right?

But here’s the thing.  They could be you.  Someday you’ll be old, and you might struggle to drive.  Someday you will lose a loved one and, in your grief, you might do something you didn’t intend to do.  Someday your world may come crashing down and you will be them without even realizing it.

I tell you this from experience.  I’ve run a stop sign during a time of grief.  I’ve snapped at a cashier during a miscarriage.  I’ve lost my shit during a divorce and I’ve been the slow driver after I was told my baby might not survive.  But do you know what?  If you ask my friends and family, I probably say please and thank you more than anyone I know and I’m typically pretty considerate.  Those actions were not me.  One less honk, one less middle finger and one more wave of “it’s ok – it happens to the best of us” would have meant the world in those moments.

When things happen we often jump to conclusions, assuming the worst motives and assigning blame.  But that doesn’t make the world a kinder place.  Maybe those people are just rude.  But maybe they’re not.  Maybe they’re sick, hurting, distracted or afraid.  And maybe, in a year or five or ten, they will be you or your loved one.  And when that time comes, I guarantee that you will be grateful for the stranger who gives you the benefit of the doubt.  So please, be kind.  Judge less.  Care more.  Remember what you don’t know.  And never forget that someday, it could be you.

 

~Cassandra

Don’t Write About Me(!)

I have been writing since I can remember. I am not one for poems or fiction because to be blunt I’m pretty awful at it. My wheelhouse has always been pulling from what I’m going through.You can blame that on the many friends and family members who bought me diaries and journals.

The hard lesson I’ve learned over the years is when you write from the heart not only is it painful to put on paper it’s equally painful to read.

So as I was getting ready to approach this new chapter in my writing journey… see what I did there? I let those close to me know.

My sweet Dad who is to blame for me being both an avid reader and writer immediately yelled out “don’t write about me!”

I promise this is probably it Dad.. Sorta. But it is a slippery slope.

Every week I put myself out there.

I usually do have a plan. I keep a bunch of post its with topic ideas handy in case my ritual of an adult beverage and accompanying music of the moment leave me stuck.

But full transparency these blogs come from moments. They’re  moments that I think if I’m feeling this way maybe someone else is too and maybe just maybe they will read this and maybe not feel better, but know they’re not alone.

That can sometimes be the hardest thing. No matter who you are. But when I first left my ex husband I felt it. Hard. There were a few people who really stepped up and they know who they are.  That leads me back to the beginning of this post. When I write these I am trying so hard to not be hurtful, to keep things that are mine, mine but still share those moments.

In a recent post I alluded to a new person in my life. He caught it. Believe it or not I’m actually a pretty guarded person. If you read my series the Fixer of Broken Boys … well you know why. I’m working on it. So it can be hard for me to tell the people I care about what they mean to me, but I can write it here.

I know I don’t get it either.

Again, working on it.

It’s scary. Sharing your life. Your joys. Your not so great days. The ugly. The great. The newest wrinkle.

But that’s WHY I’m here. That’s why I’m write. That’s why I share. So on those days- YOU know someone’s got you Momma.

 

Hi there- my name is Caprise, I’m your tattoo’d, music loving, Henry Rollins obsessed, Mom of the  amazing G, single working Mom cheerleader… and I’m going to try my hardest to remind you we got this.

<3

You Hold The Memory

Do you ever wonder, how did you get so many of ‘these’? Whatever your THESE are. More than likely it’s because you bought them, they were gifted, handed down, or you won them for doing something great. Stop and ask-

“How many do I really need?”

Then decide how many to give away and begin the choosing.

I have 15 coffee mugs & 4 to-go mugs (mind you, I live alone), so I decided to get rid of 5 mugs and 1 to-go. That’s a good place to start, right? As I was going through them & deciding which ones to keep and which ones to pass on, I was noticing how much meaning I had put on each one. The emotional connection was strong for me…. to the person who gave it to me, or the vacation location I bought it at or how pretty it was. I found it a little rough to disconnect from the emotion (did I tell you I wear my heart on my sleeve and have a LOVE tattoo on my foot) because I feel.

Deep.

I reminded myself, this is just a token.  The real sentiment is in my memory, in my mind, in my heart and it’s time to downsize and simplify and the only way to do that is to let it go.

What meaning do you place on things that you have too many of?

How can you start to purge and unclutter the “too many’s”

Too many pairs of socks, panties, boots?

Too many spoons, cereal bowls, kitchen towels?

Too many scarves, vases, tea cups?

Whatever it is,take a look and begin to release some of them.  Give them away.  Donate them.  Hand them down.  Start small and remember that YOU hold the memory in you.

And proudly, happily, say to yourself “It’s time to let it go.”

 

Your God Girl,

Tracy xoxo

Every Action Has An Equal And Opposite Reaction

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I say this because recently some people whom haven’t out grown their high school behaviors had came into my life.With these people in my life I noticed myself second guessing my decisions and goal, my stress level was at an all time high and I have been completely distracted. I let these people affect my peace, an old habit that I’m still not 100% better at. The difference from this time and others is that I haven’t been excusing or dismissing red flags, being constantly on high alert is why my stress level has been so high.

One of these individuals has been involved or on the receiving end of some gossip about me. Instead of talking to me this person decided that what ever they have been told is true and decided to end our friendship. Which is fine, I let them know that the drama level had been getting to me and that I was already taking a step back, I wished them the best and went on my way.

The level of growth I see in my self for responding this way is astronomical. Just a few years ago, I would have been bending over backwards to save this friendship, trying to prove that I didn’t do whatever it is that was said I did. Now, I don’t see the point, If anyone wants to walk out of my I will let them. My peace progress and happiness are more sacred than any single person in my life.

I’ve noticed that these people are not happy with my non reactive approach and are trying to get a response from me. Which is fine, I know if I let it be they will eventually get bored and leave me alone. I refuse to allow anyone to pull my focus in other directions. I am very blessed for the amount of growth I have experienced these last few years and I am excited to keep growing.

 

Always be unapologetically true too yourself,

-Ali