Category Archives: Lifestyle

In Balance

Being in balance…I watched the movie “My Spy”, starring Dave Bautista, the other night and one scene came to mind as I was thinking about balance in my life.

The Spy, a hulk of a guy, was on the playground teeter-totter and on the other side of it were 3 girls. Up and down they went. If there was just one girl, no way would she have been able to counter-balance him and enjoy the teeter-totter ride. It would have been impossible for one girl to move the teeter-totter with him on the other side.  It was out of balance. It took adding 2 more girls to the opposite side of The Spy to create a harmonious balanced ride for the 4 of them.

Just like in life.  If we are out of balance with one thing that far outweighs another, there is no way, no matter how good our intentions are, there is no way we can have a harmonious balanced flow.  It takes some leveling out the two opposing sides to create balance.

Here are a few examples: 

If you eat a bowl of ice cream every night, that might not be a problem IF you also exercise enough to balance it out.  But, if you don’t exercise, you’re probably going to gain weight.

If you like to spend money, that might be okay if you have a job that allows you to do that, but if you spend more than you make, you’re more than likely going to end up in debt.

If you have a good amount of fears, problems & dramas and not enough joy, happy & peace to counterbalance them, your emotional health could suffer.  The overwhelm of life can sneak up on you and the next thing you know, you’re in a rut day after day.  Being out of balance in this way could altar your health, your mood and your motivation. 

Do what you can to keep your teeter-totter harmonious & balanced, add what you can to the opposite side and enjoy the ride.

 

xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

The Right Way To Load The Dishwasher

I was loading the dishwasher last night and I thought, I can not wait until my kids know how to load the dishwasher correctly. 

There was mountains of dishes piled on each other and many crusted with old food.  There was a large sigh and then I thought, ‘Aall I want is for them to know how to load and unload the dishwasher by the time they are on their own.’ 

We all know there is the right way to load the dishwasher and there is the wrong way however, this always seems this is a constant dispute at our house.  

Then I stopped and thought about all the things that I want them to know before they either go to college or move on in life..  And then it hit me even harder that my oldest will be graduating high school in two years and I have a lot to teach her before then.  

I want them to know how to definitely load the dishwasher, what about everything else-all the basics of every day life; like doing your own laundry, washing your dishes, making hard boiled eggs. mowing the lawn, making a doctor appointment, keeping a budget, sewing on a button, fixing a flat tire, the list goes on and on. Its all the life lessons that you don’t always learn in school but what others teach you. 

The more I thought about it the more my head started swimming.  I have just been so focused on my kids grades, sports, driving, end of school, prom, etc, I forget all the little things in life which are actually every day life.  

Maybe kids just magically learn these things, but I still remember my dad taking me out and showing me how to change a tire.  I still remember him telling me I always needed a winter survival kit in my car and I still have it in there.  

And at age 47, I still call my mom on a daily basis to ask her a question on how to do something. Usually it’s the same question I have asked her many times before and generally it’s regarding cooking or planting flowers. 

I still remember my mom showing me how to sew on a button.  However, that’s as far as she got with sewing.   My sister and I still tease my mom about the fact that she never taught us the basics of sewing but she’s spent years teaching my kids.

But those are the things that I still use today.

I thought to myself,  I have two years to work on teaching my oldest the things I want her to remember, the basics. That will definitely be my goal.  Yes, we all use YouTube these days, but I want my kids to remember some of the things I showed them.  They might not seem important now and they will roll their eyes but guarantee they will appreciate it someday.  

I want them to be the kids that know how to do their own laundry and make their favorite dinner for someone.  I want them to know how to mow the lawn and change a flat tire.  And if they don’t know the basics, I want them to pick up the phone and call me.  

So, I guess tomorrow we will start with the dishwasher… 

-Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

What Do You Want?

What do you want?

It’s Easter Sunday. It has been an absolutely beautiful day and now I am enjoying the sounds of the birds that live in the marsh across from my house.

Last week I wrote about letting my guard down and opening up to people you care about. It is still a work in progress. My experiences over the last few years have made me become incredibly independent. To the point I’m not always sure what I want.

What is enough?

Maybe right now what I have is just fine

Remember when you were going to college and people would ask you what your major was?This question for me feels like that. Which speaks to the type of relationships I have had. No one has cared to ask. What do you want? Am I enough? Do I make you happy? But then it says who I have become. Not projecting out to the person I care about…that I care. What I need. Want. That they are all the things.

It also speaks to how much more work I have to do. 

I have spent so much time the last couple of years building a life for my daughter and myself. The few times I have dated since my divorce…It’s hard to give myself space to want more than what I have. 

I’m going to be blunt.I am almost fifty years old and I never thought I would be married. Have a baby. Own a house. I just didn’t. I had all the things I thought I’d never have and watched them slowly change, disappear and be taken away outright.I’m still dealing with the aftershocks. 

I’m scared.

What if I screw it up?

I first and foremost always think of my daughter.I don’t know if I have it in me to rebuild again.So…now you know that.It’s tricky being a guarded person who believes in happy endings.

So what do I want?

To not be afraid. 

Much love and be safe Mommas 

💚 Caprise

Permission Slips

Do you remember permission slips from school?  I remember them from High School.  I would get a permission slip to be excused from Math class so I could work in the Principal’s office.  I’m not sure if it was because I was an ‘A’ student in Math or because I was the Principals favorite, but nonetheless, it was always fun.  I would go get kids out of their classes, because the Principal wanted to see them, file piles of documents that the secretary couldn’t get to and eavesdrop on grownup school conversations. 

Today, though, I’m talking about giving ourselves permission slips.  I have been doing that a lot lately.  I give myself permission NOT to finish something I’m working on, or to take a day off from working in the garden, or most recently to go home ‘sick’ from work.  I was brought up with the old school attitude of “If you need something done, do it yourself”, “the only way to be accomplished is to DO-GO-BE”, “I am woman hear me roar”.  

I’ve noticed as I get older that I don’t always have to be DOING, ACCOMPLISHING, FINISHING.  I don’t have to be the best of the best, every day.  My favorite saying when I was in my 20’s was “Do you want to be the steamroller or do you want to be the pavement?”  Back then, I was the steam roller.  And back then, I was proud of it.

Now, I don’t sing that song at all.  I’m learning that my health is more important.  Taking care of me and stopping halfway through a day in the garden because my back hurts is plenty enough reason to call it a day.  I still need to give myself permission to stop so I don’t feel like a failure.  Quitting was not an option when I was younger and changing that conversation takes me paying attention to it and giving it up to a new conversation.  Again.  My success looks & feels different these days.  It takes practice to give myself permission to slow down, stop & rest.

One day it will be habit.   And I will no longer have a need for permission slips.

Xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

The Transformation Of The Chrysalis

Transformation happens in the chrysalis.  The caterpillar changes itself into a butterfly.  If the amount of time in the chrysalis is not perfect for this to happen, the insect can become very weak, not be able to fly or lay eggs or live a very long butterfly life.  It must grow and change and push itself out into the world on it’s own.   It cannot be forced.  It cannot be coerced.  It cannot be manipulated to fit the master plan of a butterfly life.  It must go through the process.  

Some caterpillars take 5-21 days and others can take up to two years.  The environment must be perfect for that particular caterpillar to metamorphosis into the butterfly it is meant to be.

Same goes for us.  If we do not go through a transformation process from childhood into adulthood so that we can BE who we are meant to be, it may not turn out so well.  We may not be as strong as we need to be.  Not as smart, not as compassionate, not as loving.  

You can’t wish your way to be a grown up.  There are things you must learn along the way.  If you refuse to learn them you’ll have a difficult time holding down a job or even making friends.  As you age, there are ways to act and like a child is not one of them.

It’s kind of like education.   If you don’t learn everything you need to learn in Elementary school, you will not do well in Middle School.  And if you don’t learn all those subjects and pass all those tests, well, you’ll have a really hard time in High School.  And so on.

So with your emotional, mental and spiritual state of being as a child, you must learn all you can from books, workshops, people and grow into being an adult.  Wherever you can learn something so you’re ready for the next phase of your life with passion and purpose.  Stay in your childhood for 18-19 years and have a blast, and slowly as you break out of your Chrysalis, adulthood will be waiting for you.

Xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

Anxiety, Let’s Take A Break

Dear Anxiety,

Let’s take a break, should we?

I have suffered from anxiety my entire life, when I was a child it was deemed as me being dramatic or odd but as an adult it manifested into something bigger. I got to a point where I was scared to drive, I couldn’t handle a change in my routine, and I started having daily panic attacks over minor things. It was scary, but I reached out for help. I met with my doctor and established a relationship with a therapist. Things got better but I still have this little anxiety monster inside of me that, a few times a week,I let out to play. Then I decided he needed a vacation, and so did I. So, I met with my therapist and we decided to take a break from anxiety and do something crazy!!

I applied for a life changing scholarship, I knew this scholarship required me to travel alone, meet new people, and step way out of my comfort zone. But I applied. Applying was a brief break from my anxiety monster and I figured that was the end of it. Fast forward weeks later and an unfamiliar number calls me, and I chalk it up to a robot caller and ignore it. I then realize I have an unread text from this same number. It was a brief message explaining who she was and that I needed to return her call. I sank in my chair and looked over at my trainee and said, “Either I won a scholarship, or they are super nice and calling all the people who lost.”

I called her back and all I can remember of the short conversation was that I won, and I kept informing her I had never flown. Classy, so classy on my part, but I was nervous! I called my boss and verified I could take time off and let her know I won. I called my parents and boyfriend and finally called my point of contact back and let her know I could go and would love to! Then the anxiety monster showed up and filled my head with doubt and uncertainties. I cried. Oh, did I cry. I cried tears of happiness, but I also cried because this was life changing and was I ready for this? 

Did I deserve this? Was I really the best choice? 

I decided to meet with my therapist again and lay out a game plan for how this was going to go. During the session we wrote down every one of my fears(I’m an addict for lists) and then at the end of the session we broke those down to categories and I realized all my fears could be broken down into three categories so really at the end of the day I had three fears.

Traveling alone.

Flying.

Fighting my anxiety during the trip.

Suddenly it seemed easy. If I could get past these three fears, I could successfully manage my trip. 

I decided to tackle traveling alone and flying first, and I met with my doctor. I explained to her the situation and my fears of an anxiety attack mid-flight. We decided the best course of action would be to take a medication before the plane took off that would calm my nerves more than my daily medications would.

Boom. Done.

I tackled two fears!!!

Next was the biggest of them all. Fighting my anxiety monster. I’m a huge fan of self-talk, so I decided to have a little self-talk and talk to my anxiety and inform him we were taking a break. I scheduled my flight, packed my bags, planned my trip, and researched DC. Slowly I felt my anxiety drifting away I was probably the most informed person on DC without stepping foot on the ground yet. 

Fast forward to the day of the trip. My incredible boss offered to drive me to airport, and I took my medication and sat in the terminal waiting to fly. I was a nervous wreck and began shaking, I was worried I wouldn’t be allowed on the plane in my condition, so I decided a visit to the bathroom and Starbucks was in the cards. I washed my face and with it I washed my anxiety away and pulled myself together while enjoying a cold brew. I then boarded the plane and sat back. Soon we took off and I felt at peace I smiled to myself. I had done it. I had conquered two fears already!! I made it on the plane and was traveling alone. My flight to DC was an hour and fifteen minutes and I basked in every second. I’m not sure my face ever left the window. 

I finally landed in DC and I did a little dance in the airport, Ya girl made it!!!! Stay tuned for the next blog on my wonderful week in DC! 

Serendipity

Needing That Feeling Of Purpose

I think I lost some of my purpose in my job and home life over the last couple of years.  I just feel like something is missing that used to be there.  I have been trying to pinpoint what it exactly is and think I finally figured out that it is that feeling of purpose or accomplishment. 

When my kids were younger, that feeling was always there, they needed me all the time.  It was constantly tiring, but rewarding.   But as my youngest is going to be entering the teen years soon, I could tell I was losing that feeling between all of them.  

As they get older and more independent, the less I felt needed all the time. I have always been around for them. I pick them up from school, give them rides, take them to appointments, whatever they need, I am around to help them with after school.  I am so grateful that I was able to do that for them.

So, I started to think more about the future,realizing that I did not feel that accomplishment or purpose either at work. Was this what I wanted for the next 20+ years?

Work was changing, there were less pats on the back or even a word of gratitude.  The last year changed a lot with COVID due to how hard our industry was hit.  And I have been in this industry for about 25 years, so it has been a huge adjustment for me.  No longer a feeling of a team atmosphere.  Instead I felt most days of being on an island alone.  I missed being with a team and having co-workers.  I missed getting any praise or approval from all the hard work that we put in day after day.  I realized that I am the person that needs to hear that “pat on the back”. It motivates me and keeps me focused.  

The feeling continuously got stronger at home and work.  I felt like I wasn’t getting back what I needed.… there were no warm fuzzies.   I felt like I was being pulled from both directions but neither one gave me anything back.   

As my kids were getting more independent in some ways, they were also getting so dependent in others.  They were starting to be too dependent  that I could just take them wherever they needed to go and do what they needed for them.  I felt like they took me for granted a lot of days, but I am guessing that is the teen years.  I felt like most days all I did pick up and wash all the dirty dishes. The more I was around, the more I felt like they just assumed we could run here or there without any notice.  

Both work and home were pulling me in directions that didn’t give me any feeling of accomplishment or that feeling of being needed.  I needed to feel that purpose again.  I had to find the self worth again.  I just remember how that feeling of purpose used to make me so much more productive and focused.  

I knew that one might have to give more than the other to start with. I might have to give up a little with one to gain more from the other.  Either way, I knew I needed to gain that purpose back.  So it was either going to be at home or at work.

I decided to take a job in a new industry.  I know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.  However, I knew that I needed to do this for my own self worth. It wasn’t so much about the job as it was about me and what I needed.  I was more about being excited again, learning new things, and feeling a sense of accomplishment.  I needed to find all of that again that I had so missed over the last couple of years.

-Snarky

 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Measuring Stick Opinions

Measuring stick opinions…

Will what you’re about to say add value to my life?  

Is it hearsay or truth?  

Who asked you anyway?  

Did I ask your opinion?

Can you hear yourself saying that?  I can.  These are some of the things that I’d like to say to some people who THINK I care about what they have to say, especially when I never asked what they thought.  When I don’t care, I shrug, I nod, I smile and then I walk away.  

Do we really care what someone, especially outside of our inner circle, thinks of us?  Does it matter in your heart that THEIR opinion of you, matters?   

Are they your measuring stick?  Nobody else holds the measuring stick for you….UNLESS you give it to them.  Now why would you go and do that?!   YOU have got to know how wonderful you are.  YOU have got to see how beautiful you are.  YOU have got to believe how valuable you are.  

That’s what matters.  Not their opinion. 

UNLESS maybe …if it’s your mom, or your best friend or your big brother.  Then maybe it truly does matter.  In that case we should be willing to sit down and listen to them.  As they speak from their heart – because they love you so dang much – AND if they can tell you the truth with kind, loving words…. Then maybe you should listen.  ESPECIALLY when you asked them what they thought!   Right?

Remember…don’t ask for someone’s opinion and then get mad at them for giving it.  

And if it’s someone outside your inner circle, who seems to think that what they have to say about you matters. Nope.  Uhuh.  There is no room for their measuring stick opinions.  Seriously.

Be the You that measures Yourself.

xoxo

Your God girl,

Tracy

Taking The Leap-Making The Hard Decisions

I have such a hard time making the hard decisions…things like..Is it a jean or legging kind of day… or do I have nachos or ice cream are easy to make… but a life changing decision…not so much. 

I have realized that I am an over thinker.  I have to think everything through over and over… and most of the time I am looking for a sign to just tell me what to do.  It never seems to happen… And then I over analyze it over and over again.  But once I make that decision, I know.  And by the time I actually tell someone, I am 100% behind my decision.  And then there is no turning back.  

The last couple of weeks I have had to make a hard decision that would change my life in many ways.  I had to decide if I was ready to leave my current job.  And it was not just my job, but I would be starting a new career in a new industry.  And I have worked in my current industry for about 26 years…Yikes!!  

But I have known for awhile now that this is not where I want to be.. I have many working years left in my life.  And I want to feel that passion again in what I do.  

I had started to make it a priority in the last year.  I spent time devoted to researching different careers that were easily transferrable.  I spent time updating my resume to fit into a new role.  I researched different job titles and qualifications that I wanted and what I needed to get a job in that industry.  And I spent 3 months doing volunteer training so I would gain some knowledge of the actual industry.  

And I spent time doing deep soul searching on what I really wanted to do.  I had to think about what really makes me feel good and what I wanted from a career.   What was important to me…And I spent time praying and writing down what was important.  Having lots of faith that I would actually figure it all out.  Plus I have so many years left to work.. 

And then it happened… but then I had to decide if I was ready to make the leap…  All I could think about for the last few months, was starting something new… and now it was almost here in front of me…But then reality sinks in and I started to doubt myself… and wonder how it would all work out.  It’s amazing how fast the doubts get into your head and take over.  

Was I ready for this change? Or should I just stay where I was?  Would my kids be ready for a new schedule? I had been working from home for almost a year, would they adapt to my new schedule? Would I be able to work it out with my ex husband? Would the money be enough? And benefits? And vacation?  All those questions kept popping in my head…over and over again…

But I had to stop… stop doubting myself.  And not overthink everything.  I had to go with what I felt and what I had worked hard for over the last year.  I had to stop over analyzing all of the “what if’s”.

I needed to feel like I was accomplishing something again in my career. I needed to feel like I had a purpose in my job.  I had lost that over the last couple years and it was just a job.  This was important to me. I wanted to start something new and take that chance.  If it didn’t work out, then so be it.  But I knew that I needed to try something new.  Take the leap…

I know it will be an adjustment for us all.  My kids are used to me being around a lot and they will now need to be more independent.  They are really used to me being able to drive them everywhere.  They would have to help me with more.  I will probably ask more from them.  

And then when I told my kids, it seemed like it was no big deal to them. They were like, “sure mom we can help you.  Now them saying it and them doing it is actually two different things…That’s the funny thing about kids.. The things we worry about as parents, sometimes doesn’t even worry them…but just hearing them say that , makes it feel so much better.  

But I also know that this is just an adjustment period…it’s the scary unknown period that we will get through together.  We would get through this together…

 

-Snarky 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Coming To A Crossroad

When you’re in the middle of a journey and you come to a crossroad, a good thing to do would be to stop and contemplate.  Think about the choices.  Do not react or go on a whim and definitely do not hold the hand of doubt. 

You know, doubt, right? 

The space of uncertainty.  The place where there are no answers.  The voice that makes you stop in your tracks and maybe even quit.  Yes, THAT doubt.  DO NOT take its hand.  I don’t care how familiar it looks, how pretty of a manicure it has or what kind of cute mittens it might be wearing.  Go it alone on a whim if you have to, before ever inviting doubt along for company.

It might be a good time to pick up the phone and call a friend you trust.  One who will tell you like it is. That no matter how tough it might be for them, they’ll tell you straight up.  Truth.

Actually…. Did you know, that you already know the answer?  You already know which way to go.  Deeeeeep down inside your decision is made.  Is your answer coming from a place of comfort and complacency?  Or a place of renewal and recharge?  Sit quietly. 

If you’re not even sure of that.  How about writing a pro and con list.  Just write.  Don’t think about the why’s or the how’s… just write.  Think through what each choice would offer.  Write, write, write away.  You can pick it apart and cross off the unimportant factors after.  But at the beginning, just write.  Sometimes getting thoughts on paper helps create more clarity about a situation.  Can you see the clarity coming toward you?  It’s jumping up and down and waving!

When you’re done with your pros and cons and you’ve seen right there in front of you which decision has more pros about it, but you still don’t feel committed to the result.  Wait, wait, wait away. 

And then call a friend!

 

xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy