Category Archives: Inspiration

Judgement Bucket

I wish I could say that I don’t judge, but I do. I have learned to stay aware of my mind and the stinking thinking that comes out of left field at times. I work every day at having love and compassion for others and myself instead of judgement and ridicule. But still….

Did you know that judgement comes from an unhappy heart, an unlovingofself and has roots of jealousy, envy and pride? That’s tough to swallow!! Judging others often times, bring the judger a sense of satisfaction….a sense of knowing more. Judgement is full of comparison & unacceptance. Its pompous and its demeaning to the person being judged because they are not being accepted exactly as they are. Ouch, right?

Imagine showing up at a gathering, you’ve had an awful week; emotionally, mentally and physically & you really don’t want to go, but you promised. So you do your best to get yourself ready & out the door you go. Would you rather be greeted with “Thank you so much for coming, I’m so happy you’re here, what can I get for you?” or with “Wow, you look like shit, what happened to you?” Wait wait wait!!! You KNOW you FEEL awful, ..remember,,,you didn’t want to come…. AND you certainly don’t need anyone telling you.

So the next time you’re about to open your mouth and be all judgey, stop and think about the effect it will have, your motivation behind your thoughts and bring compassion instead.

The one thing I’m not sure people realize…. at the root of judgement of others….we judge ourselves. We have not accepted everything ugly, or upsetting, or unfortunate, or whatever THAT is about us…….so we judge others.

Start to NOT judge, by looking in the mirror and accepting all of YOU.

….and may today be the day, that you empty the bucket of judgment with your name on it.

Your God Girl

Tracy

Don’t Waste Time Waiting For Others

Don’t waste time. It took 3 years after my divorce to be ok and enjoy doing things by myself. I have always been a planner in my life, even when I was married I would always be busy with either my kids or friends. After my divorce, I would never be alone. I would either have my kids or make plans with my friends. For the first couple years, I was ok with not being alone and I had enough friends to make plans with all the time.

It was such a hard thing for me to overcome because my life would go from having 3 crazy loud busy kids to nothing…deathly quiet. No yelling, no fighting, no constant questions, and no one that needed anything from me. I was alone and it sucked. Your married friends will think it sounds heavenly, but the feeling really sucks. The feeling is so hard to explain when your life goes from complete chaos to a complete halt in a matter of hours. You wonder now what do I do… do I walk around Target for hours to avoid being at home alone?

I finally realized I could not wait for my friends to do things.. If I wanted to do something I should just do it. Then last summer I decided to buy a paddle board… It is a scary feeling to have enough confidence to do something on your own. I had many thoughts going through my head… will people wonder why I am alone, will I not know what I am doing, will I fall off and drown. No one will even know where I am… since I am alone. All of those thoughts went through my head. The truth is that people could care less what I was doing and why I was there alone. However, if you are someone like me—always with people—it is a hard step to take. I pushed myself to do it and I loved it. That’s the truth.

Now, I will actually say no to plans with friends, so I can have some time for just doing things by myself. Either trying out a new place to hike or going paddle boarding. I will actual plan for that time in my week and make sure that I do it. Life gets crazy and if I actually schedule the time, then I will do it. A year or two ago I would not have been able to do that.

If there is a hobby or activity that you are really wanting to try, you just need to do it. Do not wait for others to join, but try it on your own. Honestly, now I love the times that I have to myself.

Thank you for reading,

Snarkydivorcedgal

See A Bridge For What It Is

Webster’s defines bridge for my purposes here as “a thing that provides connection, contact or transition”.  Sometimes Life provides us a bridge that we mistake as ‘the solution’…there are times when we need help, yet we are not truly ready for what’s next and in those times Life provides a bridge that transitions us from who we are to who we must become.  Often in this process we mistake the ‘bridge’ as the solution.

There are times in our lives when moving to the next, higher stage of being is required and often we are so caught up in the circumstances of the moment that we can’t see our way clear to make the changes on our own.  It is at these times that Life sends us a bridge to help us transition from who we are to who we must become…it can look like a new situation, a new friend, a mentor, a boss, a relationship interest, a new job opportunity, a move from one place to another, a new work project…whatever way we need to have it in order for it to be effective, that is the way Life will send it.

When the desired transition is complete the bridge is no longer needed and often the loss of the bridge is mistaken as a hurtful experience, when in fact it is a blessing because it means we have transitioned and are ready for the next level which is a better place for us.

There is a teaching that says “the blessing comes before the challenge”—meaning that we create a gift for ourselves and then we must create a challenge to overcome so that we can readily receive it…in that same way we create a bridge to help us become who and what we need to be.

Understand that a bridge is a gift, just because something is utilized to get you from point A to point B doesn’t make it any less meaningful or worthy—it is just means that a bridge isn’t forever, it is a situation that is meant to last only for a certain period of time whether it is one week or 5 years.  A bridge isn’t meant to build a life on; it is meant to cross you from one place to the other.

Think of all of the things that haven’t worked out the way we thought they would or should have…reframe them as bridges, every, single one of them.

To see something as a bridge allows you to forgive yourself or someone else for what you previously may have labeled “failure”.  To see a completed situation as a ‘bridge’ allows you to reconstruct the past in your mind and out of that you have the ability to create a different future.  Imagine if you had an attitude of gratitude about your ‘bridges’ instead of a story of how horrible they all were…imagine turning a string of previously labeled ‘failures’ into a path of bridges that are taking you just where you need to go…there is a lot of freedom in that and a lot of power.

 

~Noelle XOXO

**From Noelle’s book, “Practical Change…Inspiration for Kicking Ass & Slaying Dragons”

Sometimes You Need A Moment

This past weekend my Mom’s family had a get together. My uncle who has lived in England for decades was visiting. Emails were sent out and somehow my Mom’s siblings of which there are seven, (there were nine but my aunt and uncle passed away several years ago) and children and grandchildren all converged on my favorite uncle’s property for food and a visit.

It was pretty fantastic. My daughter who is an only child had my cousins kids who are close to her age and ironically have similar interests to hang around with, throw in one of my considerably younger cousins who took it upon herself to dote on them all and a lesson in driving a tractor… my kid was in heaven.

For me it was about being with my family. July which is thankfully over, was full of one thing after another. All out of my control and increasingly worse than the other. Normally I pray for July to last all summer, I prayed for August to get here instead.

Needless to say July wore me out.

That suitcase I told you all to push back under the bed a few weeks ago in another blog. I started to get it out. Thought about opening it.

Then the family get together happened. The suitcase was peeking out under the bed.

Then a moment happened. There were several actually, but this one has stuck.

My uncle the one visiting from across the pond who the last time I saw him I was married, came and sat down next down to me.

He started it off with “I was surprised to hear about your divorce”.

I instantly tensed up.

He continued… “but emotional abuse is hard. It gets in your head. Being slagged on day in and day out. You start to believe it,even when it’s not true. Words hurt. I don’t care what anyone says. They stick with you. No one deserves that.

You seem happy and life is treating you well and that is what you deserve”.

Even now as I write this I don’t think I can explain how much that meant. How much that conversation, that moment meant.

Because, sadly my reality over the years is most people just have not understood.

When your marriage fails it’s hard enough, but I never want to be the person who bad mouths my ex husband. Regardless of what happened during our marriage because he is still my daughter’s Dad.

But there were hurts.

There are still hurts.

I hope some day they will be less.

I hope some day I look in the mirror and I don’t second guess what I see. I don’t second guess what I say. I don’t doubt who I am. I continue to get back to being the badass I like to trick

everyone into believing I am.

I also want you to remember who you are Mommas. Grab those magic moments.

Look in the mirror and roar.

Love the sound of your voice.

Believe in who you are.

You are someone’s Momma and that means you are a magical badass.

<3Caprise

Liberation In A Hair Cut

For the past four years I have been growing my hair out. The last time I had long hair was when my 7 year old was 2 and I ended up frying it off with a do it yourself at home perm. I loved the idea of  it being long, and I even look pretty decent with it. This time growing it out started as something I wanted to do and turned into something I was doing to prove something to someone else even though I left that said person almost three years ago.

I have a complicated relationship with my hair, always have. The only thing that stays constant is its always changing.  New love interest? Chopped color or textured it. Experienced a big loss or defeat? Changed it. Experienced a Major win? Changed it. Bored? Changed it. Going through any change? Changed it. I use my style kind of like a canvas to express myself, it changes as I change. You can thank my quirky artistic side for all that.

The problem arose a year after I started growing it out. I allowed someone to put doubt in my mind and made me feel lesser for not having long hair. The comments made me feel less feminine, and insecure with my hair, so for the last four years I refused to cut it. At first I loved the long hair, messy buns and long ponytails. That did grow old after the first year, where will my short hair i could do more with it and I didnt feel like I was suffocating with it down, I found it much more difficult for me to do anything functional with my long thick hair.

After a hectic week of quitting my job, finding another, doing more inside work on myself, I decided it was time for a change. I went to great clips and liberated myself of 12 inches of hair, what I was taken by surprise by was, how much other weight seemed to be lifted when walked out of there. It may seem odd but I feel like, I emptied some baggage, closed some doors and finalized a personal lesson or two during something as simple as a haircut.

Who would’ve thought? I hope you all enjoyed, let me know if ya’ll have experienced something similar.

 

Loving, Growing, Liberated

Ali

Fire Seasons

There are times in your life that quite literally bring you to your knees and erase all sense of having something to stand on or back you up—at those times you MUST rely solely on FAITH. FAITH that GOD is good all the time, no matter what it looks like, Faith that you will get through whatever it is, Faith that you are stronger than you think. I call these FIRE seasons…periods of time when you must rely on Faith and strength and Grace to get you through…I find that once we are out the other side of these times the lessons and the skills gained are invaluable.

The first one of these times for me was in 2001 when my Grandfather passed…I don’t think that I have ever shared the details of that time with you guys and so I wanted to do that now…as I continue the approach to my 51st birthday, I continue my evaluation of lessons learned and FIRE seasons that I have emerged from and how they have created who sits here now….

Often the things that we are sure will break us turn out to be our testimonies that go forward to help others walk successfully through their FIRE seasons…may the sharing of this time help you in that way now….

In March of 2001 my grandfather died and everyone in my large family came unglued and went kind of crazy and we all scattered…I moved to the South, so unusual for a Boston girl. I realized this past Christmas as I was driving to Cape Cod why I moved away from there …as I was driving past my grandparents exit where I grew up, I was overcome with sadness knowing that our family home was sold and gone and that I could no longer go back to the place and the people that raised me…

A year after he died my Nana sold the house and I remember sitting on the front steps with my mother crying and crying over the loss of the house and every, single thing it stood for—I see now that I moved away only months after that…I’m not sure that we always recognize what grounds us until it is gone for awhile.

My father and I were estranged for 25 years so my grandfather was in all practical ways my father…he was the strongest person I have ever met and his level of loyalty went beyond anything I have ever seen. He was my base, my childhood was soooo crazy and I always knew that he would never let anything really bad happen to me, he was always, always watching and silently stepping in to make things right when needed. He wasn’t overly affectionate and he was nothing like Andy Griffith or Ward Cleaver and when you screwed up he was by no means gentle—he was hard on us and hard on himself…if he couldn’t bounce a quarter on your bed, you re-made it—if any of the dishes you were drying were damp the whole cabinet came down and got re-washed, if you lied you paid the consequences…

When I was really little I was afraid of him, when I was about 16 I finally GOT him and we were thick as thieves after that, I was his first grandchild and his favorite girl…and he took it so badly whenever I did stupid stuff and boy, did I do a lot of stupid stuff in my early 20’s and until about 30…

I was always the one that took him to the doctor and I was the one that got the call in the middle of the night that he had taken another stroke—I am not even sure what force drove me to the hospital that night, his training I suppose…he trained us to operate in the face of ANY difficulty and GET THE JOB DONE, no crying, no whining, no excuses—just get it done. This is a way of being that too many people neglect to practice these days…

During the recovery of that stroke they found cancer in his liver and in his stomach, his response to suggestions for treatment was for everyone to F— Off…he was going home and that is where he would stay, they gave him three months, he lived a year…

That year was the year that changed all of our lives, it made us better and stronger and it made me more compassionate and understanding. I was in the middle of finishing a degree and I left school to move into their house and help take care of him even though my then husband and I were expecting my son…everyone told me that it was too much to be pregnant and try to care for a dying man…I told them to F—Off (see a likeness here?)There were some tough days and I spent a lot of time crying, but there were some really good days that I wouldn’t have missed for anything in the world…the rest of my family couldn’t really handle the deal, except my Uncle Mike another rock, he was there with me every step of the way—a really good man.

We went past Christmas and the New Year and I thought he was going to hang on until the baby came…I had four weeks to go…And then all of a sudden he took a turn and went into a coma…Hospice was helping us and they came with morphine, they taught us how to administer it every hour…it was my mom and I that last night taking turns in 3 hour shifts, I was sooo pregnant and sooo uncomfortable on all levels. Nobody else could stay in the room for more then 20 minutes…it was too sad for them…I just sat in his recliner by the bed and I held his hand and I said the Rosary over and over and over…I must have said 300 Rosaries that night…

The next day, March 31st he waited until the house was full of people, we are Italian so there were LOTS of people and the Priest came and went, it was about 10:30am and I decided to make ravioli…as my mom and I sat down to eat they started screaming for us from upstairs…took those stairs pretty fast for a pregnant chick…

So now there you are in the room watching what you know is the last run…all of a sudden I freaked, I ran into the other room and I thought, “I can’t, I can’t possibly handle this, can’t deal with this…” and then I thought I don’t want to miss him leaving, so I went back in like a big girl and watched him pass with the rest of my family…it was the most profound moment of my life thus far…he taught us how to live life out loud and he taught us how to die with grace on his terms, on his schedule…

So many people live with regrets; I can honestly say that I live with none. I had to file bankruptcy from cutting my work schedule down for that year while he was dying and I caused trouble in my then marriage, however I have never regretted one, single second. I did what was right for me to do. I did what he would have done for me.

As I have said before, after he died I felt like I lost my base and it took me awhile to learn how to become my OWN base…how to strengthen my FAITH enough to get me through ANY FIRE season…

My grandfather was my base for a long time, he was the rock and I still feel him with me every day …the life that I have built has his influence written all over it. I am of the opinion that when people leave here after a life well-lived they are still out there somewhere watching over us and checking up on us…and I think from time to time, when we are ready to receive them they send us some really great miracles with the help of God’s Grace…

Today may your miracle be the GRACE and STRENGTH to get through your next FIRE season.

-XO, Noelle

Balance?!? No Such Thing..

A few years ago I was featured in an interview about work-life balance for Moms and what that meant. I said then and I will say it again now, there is NO SUCH THING for those of us that are really living this life of raising kiddos. So PLEASE do yourself a favor and stop feeling bad trying to achieve something that does not exist. All these “experts” out there have all this advice about how to make you a balanced human and since in my opinion this is impossible to achieve all this stuff does is make you feel bad that you are so off point.

After almost 19 years of raising a human single-handedly, owning and working for companies and being solely responsible for the running of a home I can assure you that life is meant to be ‘perfectly imperfect’. At no time during the last 19 years did I ever feel ‘balanced’ nor do I now:)

At the best of times it’s a flow that moves along pretty smoothly and at the worst of times it feels incredibly overwhelming and like you are drowning in too many things to do. There is nothing wrong with you if you are feeling this way, this is honestly natural and a by-product of the lives that we are living. Just keep doing the next task in front of you whether that is a work task or a home task or a kid-based task—-whatever it is just complete it and move on to the next one. Don’t beat yourself up because you had a work thing that made you miss a kid’s game or you left dirty dishes in the sink etc. You are truly doing the BEST that you can and you are doing GREAT…and never mind what anyone else thinks about it. Honesty, unless you have lived this life of single parenthood you have no idea…none. Also even if you are a parent with help juggling lots of things, there is no amazing balance to be achieved for you either. It makes me so angry when I read all these articles about how Mom’s can achieve work-life balance…such horseshit.

So in the midst of the juggling act that is our lives what IS really important is that you figure out how to say NO to things that don’t work for you and

establish a system for taking care of yourself. Taking care of myself is still kind of a foreign concept…evidenced by the 25 hour bug from hell that I just had likely because I have been running myself in a million directions since the end of June.

Let’s cover the saying NO part first—-you have got to learn to start saying NO to things that don’t serve you or support you. The needy friends that steal your energy, the family members that stress you out, the work stuff that people are trying to overload you with and you are so nice you just keep saying yes…all that stuff is wearing you down whether you realize it or not. Saying NO is ok and even healthy, remember that if you go down from exhaustion or illness everything goes down so protect your time and your energy. It is important, your well-being is very important!

The taking care of yourself part you sort of have to figure out as you go, maybe its yoga, or a walk on the beach, a good novel, a movie night with friends, sitting quiet somewhere, a spa day, a regular workout, a weekly binge watching session on Netflix. Whatever gives you peace and some moments to yourself—maybe it’s getting up an hour early to have an hour of power for yourself. Whatever it is you need to figure it out and commit to doing it. Your health, your peace and your peace of mind are vital in this mix…in order to keep moving and to keep doing the next thing you must be in good shape, so you have to commit to self-care. By the way I always made fun of that statement in my mind…self-care…until I realized that I had to actually be the one concerned for my OWN well-being because it was nobody else’s job. I have two speeds…go like a bat out of hell or crash and get sick for 2 days…pretty much that is all I know, at 51 I am learning a new way, learning that I can say NO, that I can go a little slower, that I can do what works for me….I am hoping that I can get you guys to avoid the errors that I made along the way.

Take the time to stop, breathe and appreciate the moments…they really do pass quicker than you think and inevitably you will look back and wish that you did something different. Let’s try and make sure that you don’t have too many regrets…appreciate how far you have come and take care of YOU.

XO,

Noelle

Be Prepared For Tomorrow

Today is preparing you for tomorrow. This is preparing you for that. Just like Kindergarten prepared you for Elementary School and High School prepared you for College. Just like the rain prepares the ground for the flowers to bloom and a good night of sleep prepares you for a restful day in the morning. …so does every moment of every day prepare you for tomorrow, for what’s next, for a future worth being in.

All the joys & victories, bumps & hiccups, falls & lessons…..they are all preparing you for what is next.

Do not be afraid of:

Every hard duty that lies in your way, that you’d rather not tread, because of the pains & struggles that will come.

Every hard road on which you cannot see the Masters shoe prints, that you’d rather not follow, because of the thorny path.

Every heavy load that you are called to carry, that you’d rather not, because of the discipline & endurance needed.

Every point of battle to which you are called where you must draw your sword, when you’d rather not stand up never mind fight.

There is power, blessing, strength & victory in all of them. And if you do not go to them and go through them, you will not know what is waiting on the other side.

And when you’re not so sure….remember……when you were in Kindergarten, you had no idea what College would be like. You just kept doing what you do, being who you be and enjoying the moments in front of you.

Prepare now. Take it on now. Invite it in now. Set things in motion now. Embrace your heart now. Live life full now.

So you CAN know about the tomorrow, the what’s next, the future worth being in.

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Stop Labeling Ourselves

Labeling ourselves and others is becoming quite the norm nowadays.  Depressed, anxious, broken; we label ourselves with what we do and how well we do it, and how others see us.

Labeling- I’m finding as a peel away each one of mine layer by layer is just a way that I hold myself back, and in away remove the responsibility of being, and giving 100%.

When I don’t go out with friends or be social, “well I am a mom”. When I used to lie in bed all day “well i’m just depressed.” When Another relationship would fail “well i’m just broken.”

I used my labels as a shield. A good chunk I received from others, but I made them my own, and let them rule me.

For a long time I defined myself based on what other people see me as I wanted so desperately to change how other people see me. I failed to realize I cannot change others perspectives only my own.

When I first started peeling the labels away, I felt lost, almost naked in a sense. Who am I? Over the last year I have been discovering who I am under everything I let run my life. It’s been a long road and I am still not done. I have some big things in the works, things I wouldn’t have dared to dream of actually doing. 

It’s very freeing and maturing to let go of labeling, and not to try to change perspectives. As well as knowing that my perspective isn’t the only one. Its very reassuring aslo, to me I may be facing a dead end brick wall, but maybe someone else can see the door.

Keep Believing in Yourself,

Ali

Trust The Process

Three years ago I had the idea that I should put out a yearly workbook to help you guys design a better new year…I worked on it a little but it didn’t materialize into form. Today I completed the outline for that workbook which will be in your hands by October. It was a process, one that I could not really see because back in 2016 I thought it was a failed idea. God had more things to teach me before that workbook would be all it could be, I didn’t know that then…I could not see.

Often we are in the middle of a process that is bringing us to greater good yet in the middle it looks like a hot mess…it’s hard, sad, confusing…we feel inept, like we failed and we think that life is not working out for us the way that it should. We want instant gratification and quick results…at almost 51 I can promise you that anything worth anything does not come without doing the work to earn it. Even though I know this and understand it, I still want everything to happen sooner rather than later and patience is still something that I ‘mostly’ lack.

I never used to be good at the “trust the process” thing…people would say that and it would piss me off…in my opinion the process should hurry the F up. That didn’t do any good of course, things take as long as they take and I saw that I could either learn to accept that and embrace it or I could just be aggravated all the time.

About 4 years ago I really started to learn the gift of trusting the process, by this time in my life I had seen enough things turning out well to know that if I was living my life right things ultimately would work out for me. To me trusting that life has a process means trusting that God is always working things out for the good and I can rarely see the whole plan at any given time.

That means that I have to let go of my burning wish to control every freaking thing and TRUST that things are lining up and occurring the way that they are meant to. This also means understanding that my way is the inferior way…my will and my way are simply the means that my mind uses to try and control every thing…I have come to understand that there are a LOT of things that I cannot control and I have exhausted myself for almost 5 decades trying to make things bend to my will.

Not anymore, after the car accident last year in August I clearly came to see that there is very little that I can control—-HOWEVER what was meant to harm me in all of that turned out to BLESS me—-every, single aspect of it. I learned so much from that reckoning. (For those of you that don’t know, I was driving along minding my own business when a construction truck and trailer jumped their lane and came at me head on…I saw it coming and I was able to swerve and avoid a head on, however they completely sheared off the entire drivers side of my brand new car including the wheel…by the GRACE of God I was able to climb out my moonroof and I made a complete recovery, replaced the car etc). That incident taught me truly that I had no control over some things.

What I learned was really how to trust the process, at the time that all looked like a terrible mess and as I said it turned out to bless me in every way and really, truly changed the game for me—-I learned so much about certain things—- it was a process that in the middle I could not see—-yet now a year later I understand what God was doing.

That incident, moving back to VT and leaving my corporate job are all situations that have schooled me in “trusting the process” in ALL of those things I could not see to the end in the middle, in ALL of those situations I did not understand the entire plan—I had to step moment-by-moment trusting that everything was working as it should….and it WAS…

My message to you…TRUST THE PROCESS…you are being led where you are supposed to go even when you cannot see…in these situations you must walk by FAITH and not by sight. Keep breathing, keep moving…better things are coming.

XO,

Noelle