Category Archives: Inspiration

PollyAnna, Rainbows, and Unicorns

PollyAnna, rainbows, and unicorns…

Not at my house.

You see….

I was not that girl.  I did not wear pastels never mind purple, green or orange.  Nope.  AND… you wouldn’t have found any lace, doilies or ginghams in my closet, never mind anywhere in my house.

I was that gold Lamé girl in the 80’s.  The stilettos, blingy dress and BIG hair.  My girlfriends and I… oh we turned it on!  Always all dolled up when going into the city to dance the night away.  We challenged each other to see who would be asked first to dance.  And boy did we have fun!  I remember one night we ended up in a limo on our way to the most glamorous party we’dever been to.  Another time, I remember when we’d go to our favorite dance studio, the bouncer would say… “Here comes the Blonde Cloud.”  It was true & a little bit funny.

Over the past 30 years I have changed drastically.  I no longer own gold Lamé, sequence tops or hot pink suits.  My closet and personality have tamed.  I think as a result of me being more grounded in who I am, having more confidence, falling in love with my personality and ‘being with’ what I’ve got right here, I’ve mellowed out.  I no longer need that kind of attention, have to be the leader of the pack nor be in charge of it all.

In my humble abode, I live in jeans, earth tones, simple lines, a lot of halters in the summer and big cozy sweaters in the winter.  I still pull out an elegant look and heels for a night out, and when it’s all said and done…up goes the hair in a messy bun.

As for PolyAnna, Rainbows and Unicorns, they visit once in awhile and bring out a side of me I never used to let show.  I gotta say…I am glad when they do.

xoxo

Your God-girl

Tracy

I Need A Reality Check

I need a reality check…

As I write this as I do every week I am listening to music this week it’s NEEDTOBREATHE “Banks.”

One of the lyrics is “baby  you don’t have to do it by yourself. Want be there when darkness closes in to make the truth a little clearer.”

While I am an incredibly independent person. I keep quite a bit of my life private.

I have moments.

Especially right now in the midst of all of this. I gesture broadly. I begin to wonder as I watch the tenth  romcom on Netflix and  say I don’t want it, but really I do. If I ever will. Have it. That elusive kinda all or nothing relationship and maybe that’s a deep dive for another time.

I have moments where  I feel less than. Where the littlest thing feels like the biggest thing. Where I absolutely can not see that light at the end of the tunnel. Where I second guess everything.

Then the guilt comes. I have so much. More than a lot of other people especially right now.

But in this I have gotten to live in my head a little.

Ok, a lot.

I need a reality check.

There are so many things I wish I could take back. There are so many things I wish I could say. There are so many things I wish I had done.

I am heading into my fifth month of essentially wearing outfits that can be work or nighttime wear as I rarely leave the house.  I really can’t stand seeing my face on ZOOM anymore.

I started out with a pixie and now have graduated to a shaggy bob.

I’m really not sure if I will be able to wear shoes or jeans again.

Meanwhile, I am doing that thing you/ I should never do. I’m comparing myself to these women who are baking the banana bread, teaching their children French and look immaculate everyday.

I might be exaggerating a little.

We’ve been put in this fishbowl and now things I normally don’t see or wouldn’t see or don’t care about.

There they are.

In my face.  All the time.

But then out of nowhere while I am writing this very blog, having a gigantic pity party.

My taller than, me thirteen year old asks if she can have a cuddle.

She gets a pillow and puts it in my lap. She gets quiet. I ask her what’s wrong.

She gestures at the air.

“This.”

I hug her.

Suddenly I really don’t care that I have been living in t-shirts. I can’t imagine how she is feeling. Her school year ended abruptly. She couldn’t celebrate becoming a teenager with a big party like we had hoped. She sees her friends sporadically and when they do see each other it’s six feet apart with masks because we are in the part of the country where cases are spiking. Her new school year will be virtual. She won’t get to play the only sport she loves.

She has only seen her Dad once.

And in all of this you know what SHE did? She took my phone and put daily reminders telling I’m beautiful. I’m loved. She put post it’s on the mirrors with positive sayings.

She always says I love you. I get all the hugs I can handle.

Even during all of THIS.

THIS is something I continue to struggle to put words to. But I’m incredibly thankful for the amazing human that keeps it real for me.

My reality check.

No more pity parties. I am not less than I am someone’s Mom and that is definitely more than enough.

Much love Mommas

Be safe

<3 Caprise

Cleaning Out The Fridge

Cleaning out the fridge…

Last Sunday on Coffee Chat I started to talk to you about how thoughts and habits that no longer serve you can be just as toxic as relationships and behaviors that no longer serve you. The issue is that toxic thought is harder to see, it is not as obvious as the other stuff. Thought patterns that no longer serve you are usually hidden deep beneath the surface and we think so many thoughts in a day, who has time to do a forensic assessment of every thought?

Yet thoughts become patterns and when we do not clean out the stuff that is not working, we can’t truly manifest NEW good that will stick around.

My best analogy for this is your refrigerator — if you have hidden rotting food in the back of your refrigerator or in the drawers and you don’t clean it out then the fresh food that you put in will become contaminated. The rotting food will literally poison the fresh food.

It is like this with your thoughts, habits, relationships, behaviors etc— if you don’t clean out the old stuff that isn’t working then it will contaminate the new good that you are trying to bring into your life.

Getting rid of toxic thought patterns and behaviors is hard—suffering the consequences of not getting rid of them is harder. Pick your hard.

Personally, I would rather choose what to work on than to let it choose me—life is meant for learning— continuing to work on yourself is progress and no matter what progress is a good thing.

Most people stop working on themselves, or they never start and that is how they end up stuck in lives that they don’t LOVE.

Let’s NOT be those people—let’s be the people that keep reinventing ourselves in better versions— we are a lifelong project, time to embrace that concept.

Join us on Sunday’s Coffee Chat to talk about creating NEW habits that serve the life you want.

XO, Noelle

No Negative Thoughts Today

No negative thoughts today.

When I’m blogging about the negative thoughts that are sometimes in our heads, I might write about:

Change your mind – Change your life

Write a new story

Have a different conversation with yourself

ReThink THAT thought

Re-Wind & Do-Over

Not Today Devil – Not Today!

All of these ways to recreate our thoughts are very powerful, on purpose and can be a driving force for a new way of being..… BUT… you must first address any underlying emotional baggage, upset, trauma, etc, that you’re dealing with. I don’t care how many times you tell yourself the most amazing, most powerful, most mind blowing affirmations….. if you have any underlying trauma attached to what you’re trying to change…. it might change temporarily, but as soon as a trigger comes along… you’re right back where you started.

Let’s just say, like me, you have body issues. You’re repeating amazing affirmations. Affirmations that would make your momma cry. Affirmations that rock your world. AND you’re working on loving yourself, loving your shape, loving your femininity, loving your weight and a big one for me – loving your scars and the bumps that come with them. You’re feeling GOOOOOOOD and you’ve got some peace going on.

And THEN…..

You’re invited to your girlfriends lake house with your 6 besties. You want to be bold and wear your 2-piece on the pontoon, but you’re not sure. ….WHAT?! …Not sure? These are your long- time girlfriends! What are you even second guessing yourself? Remember the peace you had as you were packing your bags? Where’d that go? These are the girlfriends who’ve shared the good, the bad & the ugly. As tears try to pool up, you stand strong, remind yourself you’re amazing, look in the mirror & repeat your list of affirmations. The girls are yelling your name reminding you…. “7 minutes!” AND You RALLY!

You put on that 2-piece and give yourself a thumbs up for making it through another episode of No Negative Thoughts Today.

xoxo,

Your God-girl

Tracy

What About YOU?

What about you…..On Coffee Chat last Sunday morning we talked about making sure that you are taking time to take care of yourself and I pointed out that you can’t help someone else if you are not well.  I reminded you all that there is a reason on an airplane they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first and then help others…a poignant way to illustrate my point.

The first thing that happens when you have a lot of toxic relationships or situations in your life is that you stop checking in with yourself about how YOU are because of course you are waaaayyyyy too busy caretaking and enabling to be worried about your own well-being.  In addition to drawing lines in the sand about what is acceptable to you and what isn’t you also have to start looking at what you need to do for yourself that you are not doing.  Can be as simple as taking 15 minutes for yourself everyday with no distractions or as complex as sticking to a daily workout schedule— only YOU can say what you need to function optimally.

Some of you may not even know the answer to the question, “what do I need?” —if that is the case then it’s time to find out.

What do you require to feel centered and happy and peaceful?

Who do you need to start saying NO to?

What new habits do you need to acquire for taking better care of yourself?

What relationships are no longer serving you in their current format?

These are all valuable questions to start looking at.  Often times we are so focused on just surviving that we forget it IS possible to thrive.   You are of no value to anyone if you are not well or barely functioning…as a parent you have to take care of yourself first in order to do what you must do for the kiddos…this whole idea that you don’t have time to take care of you is a bullshit construct that must be left behind.

Too many of us are over doing, over compensating and enabling and it is costing us our health, our joy and our peace of mind…our survival and our ability to be vibrant and thriving is dependent upon us putting ourselves first.  I have news— nobody is coming to save you—- it is time that you saved yourself.

It is our responsibility to start speaking up and start taking the time that we require to get ourselves in order each day so that we can face things from a position of strength.  Your mental and physical health are your most important assets — without them everything else becomes much more difficult if not impossible in some extreme cases.

Begin NOW—start looking at what you need and start carving out the time to make that happen— and start saying NO to the people and things that are stealing your energy and not giving anything back—- it’s way past time to change the game.

See you Sunday for Coffee Chat.

XO, Noelle

Mom Guilt During Covid

Mom guilt during Covid…….I am tired. I can’t kick this feeling that I should be doing more.  I  finally lost it today and hid in the closet and cried.

Anyone else feeling “Mom-Guilt” during Quarantine?  My social media is telling me that I should be playing more games with my kids, going on more walks, cooking healthy meals, and having fantastic bonding moments baking with my kids.  Instead, the kids are tired of my cooking, are bored with walks around the same park, run to their electronics every chance I let them, and we are on our ten-thousandth episode of Naked and Afraid. Also, I am exhausted.   I love my kids and spending time with them, but even “Impactful Parents” need a break. I am not bored.  I am the opposite of bored.  I can’t get enough done during the day.  My to-do list of engaging bonding activities with my kids AND the upkeep on my house AND maintaining the necessities of my children (like school-at-home, 3-meals a day, laundry, and supervision,) AND my work-from-home job, NEVER-SEEM-TO-END.  I fall asleep each night with a feeling of, “Damn, I never got _____ done.”

Yes, the quarantine is wearing on me.  It is time to refocus and give myself grace.   If you’re reading this and you feel like I do, I want you to know that you’re not alone.  The good news, there are two things you can do to help.

1. Prioritize yourself.   This is sooooo difficult but so necessary! To be a better parent, you have to prioritize your well-being; otherwise, you will get grumpier, more tired,and you’re best “mommy-skills” will begin to diminish.  In short, you will burn out, and you’re kids need you.  Prioritize self-care, like exercise, alone time, and mental breaks.
2. Redefine your priorities.  I have been wondering, “Am I failing my children?”  When they look back on this time, what will they remember? In most cases, children don’tremember WHAT you said nor WHAT you did, but instead,they remember HOW you made them feel.  I hope my kidsremember all the love and security.   That is my main goal as a parent during this quarantine- make my kids feel loved and secure. My goal each day is not too be the best homeschool teacher.  It is not to stop my kids from eating ice cream.  It is not to prevent them from playing Minecraft.  My goal is to make sure that my kids know I love them and that they are protected during this uncertain time. When this is all over, I want my kids to have the confidence they need to go back to their routine and the mental resiliency to get through this epidemic without going crazy.  Those qualities are founded on love and security.

What are your goals for today?

Don’t compare yourself to the Jones’ next door or to Karen’s photos on Instagram.   Be the best YOU.  Be the best parent for your children (what-ever that looks like in YOUR house.)

-The Impactful Parent

@theimpactfulparent on social media

It Is Hard To Believe

It is hard to believe that I just celebrated my 47 birthday! It is hard to believe where the time went.. And as the years go by, I am more content spending my time with my friends and family one on one. I do not need be invited to the neighborhood bbqs or wine tasting parties.   And I do not feel like, I need to invite 10 people to do something…. It’s not that I do not want to make new friends, I just am very content being with a few people. And I am definitely more myself.

I have learned to really enjoy one on one time lately whether it’s with my kids, family, or a friend. I am much more content and happy doing one on one get togethers than being in groups. Years ago, I would have tried to get all my friends together to celebrate my birthday and now I would much rather have many one on one get togethers. And I have always dreaded going to a restaurant where they sang and clapped loudly with that famous free ice cream sundae. Now I dread if my kids have to go through that….I am not sure when the transition happened for me.

This was one of my best birthdays in a long time. The kids and I went to our cabin and spent it with my parents. We had a terrific day of just hanging out, tubing, and having chicken wings for dinner. I did not even let my mom make me a birthday cake… which I’m sure drove her crazy. Haha… The kids and I picked up our favorite pie on the way up to the cabin. It was just perfect. There was not a lot fuss and I really just wanted to sit and enjoy the day. I loved the peacefulness of it all.   I have learned I do not need a fancy trip or even a weekend get away, I just need a few people to make it special. It does not need to be planned months in advance, it was more of how I felt for the day.

This summer I have just enjoyed spending time one on one with my friends. We have not been rushing to do a bunch of activities and plans, so I have been able to golf with a friend or go for a hike with a friend. I have had the time to do all that one on one, which I have learned to love. Nothing crazy, just hanging out.   In the past, we were just always rushing or invited to so many events for the kids. This summer I got to be the only to decide what we did because there were not a million plans being made by my kids activities, sporting events, or get togethers.

Sometimes I feel guilty for not including everyone to do everything. I just feel more comfortable doing things with just one.   And I still always make time to see all my friends, but I like the small get togethers. I don’t mean to exclude people, but I just feel more comfortable with one or two people. And most of the time, I do not even realize when I do not include someone. I just always feel like I get so much more out of it, than when I stuck making small talk with a group of 20 people. I have learned that I just do not like the chaos of larger groups and it seems no one can ever decide on anything.   With just one or two friends, we can just really talk and I can really give them all of my attention.

Maybe I have just learned to love the calmness of my life. The non chaos and learning more about what I love…. finally at age 47!

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

The Unseen Hero

The unseen hero…Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Everyday I get to come to work and do great work, I get to share my passion for caring with my coworkers, callers, and road officers. I am the calm in the storm when the public is having a bad day. I am your dispatcher. I am the unseen hero.

Most people will tell you they came to dispatch because it was a calling, I am here to be honest and say I stumbled into this profession on accident. After years of being a cake decorator I felt stuck in my career and felt I wasn’t moving forward as I wanted to. A friend posted a job advertisement with a local agency and it felt like a sign of change to come. I was nervous to start over in a new career but felt dispatching was the fast-paced job I was looking for, and on my first day I knew for sure I was going to stay. I came in my first day and watched as two senior dispatchers handled a call of a young child that was struck by lightening was not breathing. I was hooked. The way they processed information, handled radio traffic, and calmed down a hysterical caller was so impressive I knew I wanted to stay and become a well-trained dispatcher. It turned on a passion inside me that I never knew was there.

That passion turned out to be much needed when I took the worst call of my career so far. There is nothing more heart wrenching than taking a call from a desperate mother, to hear a mother call out for help reference her child not breathing could shake anyone to their core. Its one reason I answer the call every day. I took a call from a mother advising her child was not breathing, we began CPR as my partner dispatched but I knew in my heart it was too late. I stayed on the phone with the mother the entire time doing CPR until first responders could take over, I then hung up and sobbed at my station. My heart was broken. I walked away that day defeated, feeling as if I had failed my community, I had failed that mother. I made the decision to return to work after a long night of holding my own children a little too tight, but with a new sense of passion. I know as mother how scary it is to not have control over a situation and to have to reach out for help in a desperate situation. I felt the pain this mother felt, I too had lost a child and felt for her even long after the caller ended. I wanted to be the calm in the storm for mothers. I take each call and I handle it with care, I always picture myself on the other end of the line and talk to my callers accordingly. Whether it’s a simple crash or a missing child my passion to care is always the same. Callers deserve our very best day in and day out and I am honored to share that passion with my team as well as callers.

911 dispatching isn’t for the weak and I’m proud to come in everyday and show my passion for my career. Everyday is a new experience and I’m proud to be a part of a team that’s ready and willing to help our community and be better than we were yesterday. You may not see us, but you hear us, we are the calm in the storm.

Serendipity

A Little Help From My Friends

A little help from my friends.

Captain’s log it is day ninety of this can’t do much business.

Wait… that’s not how I start these blogs for you.

This week’s background music is Foo Fighters and covers of various Foo Fighters songs. Right now the Color Morale is doing a very punk version of Everlong.

My ears are happy. The magic elixir is working.

Last night I hit my ceiling and crawled right into my head. I am a person who lives by timelines, even though I’m pretty laid back I like deadlines. This upside down world has ravaged that.

I had some pretty big dreams for this summer and they aren’t happening. 

I am over seeing my face on a computer screen. 

All that aside, I did something I don’t do obviously enough of. I reached out. I am part of an online Moms group. The two big things we have in common, we are Moms and we all have  a seriously wicked sense of humor. 

That’s it. We are otherwise all incredibly different. I posted this morning- how I was feeling. I was raw. I was true. My heart very much on my sleeve.

Within minutes messages , than another, than another. Each one with words of encouragement. Support. Humor. 

So… emboldened by that. I posted on another group this time not to talk about the fact I was feeling like Eeyore but to talk about my favorite group. The distraction of conversation about how we all collectively were bummed their tour got canceled but excited about possible new music – was what I needed.

Feeling really brave, I group chatted a few women I have gotten to know through common interests. Again, we are all remarkably different but they have lived lives and the words, what I needed. 

I found a quote that I am holding onto tightly during this: “a diamond is chunk of a coal that did well under pressure.” When I shared this with one of my oldest friends she said her husband says “some days are diamonds, some days are coal.” Then she told me there is no shame in being a coal miner some days.

We have a tendency as women to say we are ok when we aren’t. To apologize when we’re sad and think that’s somehow a mark of weakness.

I’m not sure where we learned those lessons but they’re wrong.

When people care about you, they want to be there for you.

Let them.

You take care of everyone else  Mommas.

Let people take care of you.

Be safe

Much love

<3 Caprise

Time For A Change

Time for A Change.

If you did not catch my FB Live this past Sunday morning (7-5-20) then I suggest that you go and watch it or listen to the podcast recording of it.  It will give more power and meaning to this blog post—judging by the response the video is getting over the last several hours I would say that my topic choice hit home for a lot of you.

Let us start by defining “toxic”…

Toxic is defined as – very bad, unpleasant, or harmful.

There comes a time in our lives when we need to start looking around and acknowledging what is stealing our aliveness— most of us are so busy and so bogged down that we don’t even look around to see why we have less energy, why we are eating too much, why we aren’t taking care of ourselves—we just think “oh that’s just my life” or “that’s how it has to be”— I am calling BULLSHIT on all of those excuses.  The truth is if you are anything like me you have said yes far too many times when you really wanted to say NO or you have done something when you didn’t want to because you did not want to deal with what came from not doing it.

We go along to get along A LOT of the time and we think that we are doing ourselves a favor by causing less headaches in the moment—however at close to 52 and after running many businesses and raising a kid for 19 years all on my own, I can honestly tell you that I am not sure we are doing ourselves a favor by not standing up and speaking our own truth even if people don’t like it or want to hear it.

Every time that we shrink ourselves to suit someone else, we DULL our own edges and then before you know it we turn around and we have become some shadowy version of who we were.  When we do that, we don’t like ourselves much because a part of us knows that we are saying yes to avoid conflict or going along just to keep the peace etc.

Yes, there are times we when we will have to do things we don’t want to do and times that we will have to suck it up—I get that.  What I am mostly speaking about here and on the live this morning is how doing this can become a daily habit instead of just a “sometimes” occurrence.  The pain that we think we are saving ourselves from in the moment actually is nothing compared to the suffering that we cause ourselves by not speaking our truth and drawing lines in the sand when things are not acceptable to us.

I don’t believe in regrets—however I do believe that there are things that I could have done better so far in my almost 52 years and one of the biggies is that I could have made clear boundaries instead of trying to keep everybody happy at the expense of my own self-worth.  I am much better with it now; however, it is an active project for me—making sure that I am saying what really works for me and what doesn’t.

The biggest place that this one catches us is with toxic family situations or toxic relationships—often in these situations it can cause so much temporary drama to speak our truth and stand up for ourselves…

The cost though for not doing it is your energy, your joy, your ‘aliveness’—I am asking you this week to start looking into your life to see what is unacceptable, what isn’t ok with you, what you have been putting up with to keep the peace.  The first step is to bring it to consciousness and then start thinking about what needs to be done to shift it.  It will not happen overnight, and it will be a process—however you cannot wait one more minute to start saying what is really so for you.

It is time that you mattered to you—it’s time to see what is not working and it is time to do something about that—go watch the FB live.  See you Sunday for Coffee Chat.

 

XO, N.