Category Archives: Lifestyle

2021-The Year Of Tweaking

Here it is.. 2021…And here I am wondering what am I going to do this year???  What is going to be my big resolution?? What is going to be my new goal? 

I have been trying to figure what is going to be my big goal or resolution.  I am a big advocate for working on yourself, making plans, setting goals, and striving to do better year after year.  I am all for that…I am like a sponge when it comes to working on self care and self reflection.  I live for new books, podcasts, journals, affirmations, etc.  I have been knee deep in it for weeks, thinking about 2020…Trying to prepare for the start of 2021. I went back and forth on what was really important to me for next year.  I think I was stressing myself over coming up with that one thing.  

However, do you ever get to a point where you just feel like enough is enough.. Why can’t I just be content with who I am?  Why can’t I continue to concentrate on what I love?  Why am I always searching for that one thing that might make this year the best yet.  

So then it finally hit me…what if I just concentrate on everything I have already been working on… continue tweaking and sticking to what is important to me.  Maybe I wont be the girl with the big list of goals this year.  Many I wont do epic things…but maybe I will get farther ahead with everything I have already been working on. 

I want to continue learning to just be content…  Ya, I should lose 5 lbs, but I probably wont.  I exercise daily and I am very active, but losing those 5 lbs is not that one thing that is going to make my year the best ever.  Mostly because I like nachos and wine.  I do not always need to come up with something bigger and better.    

I just want to continue being more content with just getting as much done in a day as I do.   I know my limitations.  I know when I get to the point of when I feel stressed and overwhelmed.  So, what if I listened to myself more and stuck with that.  

I want to continue moving forward down the path that I have the last few years.  I want to concentrate on not taking on too much.  I want to concentrate on just being happy.  Learning to just let more go.  I also want to remember to make that time for myself.  

The last year has been a up and down rollercoaster.. And what if I took 2021 to just stand still for a bit.   Stand still to regroup and focus on everything that has been important to me the last few years.  Remembering that less is sometimes more.  Remembering to take that time for myself.  Remembering to spend more time with my family.  Remembering to not rush through the day. And Remembering to say no when I want too…  

I think I got thrown off the track many times in 2020.  I would take on too much or become overly stressed about all the happenings in the world.  I forget what was important.  I would forget to let many things go, especially what I could not control.  I would worry to much about my kids, family, work, and figuring it all out.    

So It might only be a few things this year, but I am fine with that… because that’s what’s important to me.  Maybe this will just be the year of tweaking…taking the time to go through all that important to me… and tweak it.  

-snarky

Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas.  I love the meaning of Christmas.  I love Christmas music.  OK, well SOME Christmas music.  And I love traditions.  

A few I grew up with on Christmas Eve;

Hang stockings on the mantel, put cookies & milk out and open one gift.

Which always ended up being pajamas to wear that night.  Years later I learned it was so our Christmas morning pictures were of me & my sister in pretty PJ’s rather than our old time favorites.

I carried these traditions on with my son and added a few of my own;  

Scavenger Hunt.  His big prize was always at the end of a Scavenger Hunt. I’d start with an object, let’s say an apple.  He’d have to put the apple where it belongs.  When he got to the fruit bin, there would be, let’s say, a tube of toothpaste.  When he brought that to the bathroom there’d be a bag of chips or something out of character.  He’d put that away and find yet another item that didn’t belong there until at the end….. was his BIG gift from momma.

Homemade Ornaments.  We’d string together popcorn, cranberries & marshmallows and make ‘bird seed & peanut butter pine cones’ for the birds.  We made macaroni angels, puzzle piece wreaths & button snowmen ornaments.

12 Days of Christmas Gifts (my favorite) No not 9 ladies dancing and 5 golden rings.

I would give him gifts for the 12 days and he’d sing the song after opening each gift.  

The song might go something like this:

On the 12th day of Christmas, my mother gave to me

12 lunchables

11 dollar bills

10 pairs of socks

9 packs of gum

8 yogurt squeezes

7 go-pack snacks

6 english muffins

5 books for bedtime

4 boxer briefs

3 tonka cars

2 pepperoni sticks

and an ornament for the Christmas tree

 

I hope your Christmas is full of happiness & joy!

xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

Taking A Time Out

It’s ok to give yourself a time out… the other night I had hit my breaking point with everything…

My kids had been bickering and fighting all day about who was going to take the dog out.  Everything that I seemed to ask them to do they ignored.  They had left a million dirty dishes all over the kitchen.  But they constantly wanted things from me…

One was texting me her latest list of “essential” items to order from Amazon, which included new light switch covers.   One had decided that today,  he needed to have his milk poured for him and he is 10.  And the final one who is still on quarantine thought I was going to wash all of the 14 days of dishes and food piled up in her room… and side note, I now know why we have no food in the pantry.  As I write this, I think about how minimal t it all sounds, but how it all just adds up to your breaking point.

I think at times they forget that there is only one of me and 3 of them… Besides the parenting stress, there is just the daily overload of work, changing school schedules, and the holidays.

So, I decided to grab my own snacks (from my hidden stash), wine, and head to my room.  I shut the door and turned on one of my favorite christmas movies, the Christmas Chronicles.  It took them about a half hour before one barged in and asked for something.  And my response was that I was watching a movie by myself and I was in a time out.  Shockingly, they must have know I meant it because none of them continued to both me.  They let me watch my movie in peace.  The one that could not even pour his own milk, had even figured out to make his own dinner in that period of time.

I kind of felt like a toddler throwing a tantrum, but it felt so good.  We all need time outs just as much as kids.  We need that time by ourselves to regroup and regain control of ourselves.  And it is totally ok to take time for yourself and even tell your kids you need a “time out”.

And as much as I wanted to blame it all on my kids, many times I am just as much to blame.

Besides the kids that day, I had overloaded my schedule way too much.  I had taken the day off of work to have a relaxing day and instead I had planned way to much.  I had once again packed way to much into a 24 hour period.  So, I needed to regroup and replan the next few days of my vacation.  I definitely did not want the next few days to go like that day.  I wanted to enjoy my time with the kids, but also have time to get a few things done.   I  did not want to turn into that raging lunatic mom again.

The beginning of the holiday season always makes me anxious because it the endless list of things that need to get done…from decorating the house, shopping, cookie making, lights outside, etc…. I need to remind myself that everything does not need to get done that day.  That I need to take time and enjoy it all.

I also need to remember that sometimes it is ok not to do everything.  In the last few years, I have really cut my “to-do list”.  I have learned to turn down many invitations and just make it as simple as possible.  Also, my days never go as planned, I have 3 kids and there are always unexpected things that come up with them.  As they get older, they all have new things they want to do over the holidays.  And I have to compromise now because they have their own agenda on what they would like to do during the season.

So, I have tried to take more time to notice the signs.  The signs of when I feel like I am taking on too much and need a break.  I am not always the picture perfect mom to my kids, I want them to see that some days as hard.  That I also need time to myself and to just go take that “time out”.  And that its ok for moms to have tantrums just like toddlers…

-Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Parenting With Depression

Parenting with depression..single parenting has its challenges. Especially when the other parent is completely removed from the picture, the pressure to be everything for our kids can be overwhelming. We must remain steady, managing our emotions well so we can help our children learn to manage theirs. Even with help from family and friends, we are the sole parent. The responsibility of rearing falls squarely on our shoulders. The weight can seem all that more overwhelming when you are dealing with depression.
Depression may come in waves, it may linger beneath the surface, or be a constant thorn in our foot reminding us of our weakness. It comes in forms of sadness, irritability, tiredness, or a wide range of other emotions. The variability of it makes it an unpredictable chaos. Single parenting with depression could be a perfect storm. It could be. Unmanaged, it could embed anxiety in the hearts of our children, as they struggle to find consistency and stability. It could. Unchecked, it could feed off our parenting guilt, drowning us in the reality that we can never truly be all are kids need. It could. Unsupported we could find ourselves with our heads just above the water, unable to do and provide all we desire. Under those circumstances, it will be a lose-lose situation for us and our children. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
In my household, there have been really good “mental health” days, but it took time to learn how to get there. Before I did some weekends were filled with emptiness. Everything would be quiet, except the sound of the television or tablet from the living room, as I lay bed unable to will myself up. “Mommy doesn’t feel well,” I would say when questioned. I desperately wanted something else for my son but didn’t know how to get it. Through prayer and counseling, I began to learn to brace myself for the waves. I thank God on a regular basis that He has helped me learn to parent beyond my depression. Now my son and I get movie and book days where we sit together in our pajamas and only venture out of bed for snacks. When journeying to the park is too difficult, the back door stays open and we blow bubbles, I count his jumps on the trampoline, and let him splash around with the water table. When I am irritable, I embrace ample opportunities to model the complexities of apologizing. A greater blessing is the ability to show my son (and remind myself) that we all mess up, but God’s forgiveness never runs out. On days where even the sound of breathing grates my nerves and being touched makes my skin crawl, I have been blessed with friends and family that will let me come over and rest while my son plays. While I see a counselor, it wasn’t until I stopped waiting to be cured that I could care for my son better.
I would rather not be a single parent that struggles with depression. I would rather be able to have a spouse that can pick up my parenting slack, but that’s not my reality. There will still be lots of Door Dash orders and laundry that piles up. There will be screen time and sometimes it will be more than recommended allotment. Those are the facts, but I can minimize the inconsistency and lack of presence that existed before. In all honesty, we can never be the end-all and be-all for our kids. Instead of rejecting that can learn our weaknesses. Instead of promising ourselves we will never face depression again, we can plan how to parent around it. Before it is needed, we can get help so our kids don’t become casualties of the silence and emptiness of depression.
Shon W

It’s Scorpio Season

It’s Scorpio season, at least that is what I am seeing on social media. I know this season as Fall and this month as November. Which means Thanksgiving, a holiday I adore. Food and family. What it will look like from a family perspective this year is hard to say.

It is also my birthday month. This month I turn forty nine. I don’t really have any strong feelings about it. My forties haven’t been the worst. But let’s be honest since March I wouldn’t say things have been great.

My normal birthday celebration is a yummy dinner, an adult beverage or several with friends and some sort of splurge.

Tattoos. Piercings. Fun hair. A long weekend away.

Yup, nope. That’s Midwest for none of that is happening this year.

I actually QUIT drinking at the end of March. Altogether. Not that I drank a lot but I just thought rather than practice yoga I would maybe get rid of some vices. 

Not really but I did.

My daughter turned thirteen in June. My Dad had his birthday last month. I think we’ve collectively decided we all get do overs and they will be over the top.

It’s not the stuff I am missing. Or the celebration, but my upcoming birthday continues to put focus on what is going on and how I hope beyond hope I am making it manageable for my daughter.

I guess if I am being honest- that’s what I want for my birthday. 

I want all of what’s going on to not hurt her so much. To stop having so much taken away from her. I realize this is not realistic. I realize there is probably more to come. I realize I am maybe being dramatic but I want to bubble wrap her until the dust settles.

Is it going to settle?

I guess that would be the other thing I would want for my birthday. To at least give the appearance to my sweet, beautiful daughter that I have it together when inside I am kinda freaking out.

I have said this before. I do not do well with unknowns and not having timelines.

And here we are.

I bought a 2021 planner and I chuckled  when I did because I have a lot of doubts.

I hope I am wrong.

I guess that would be my last present.

To be wrong. To get some of my  rainbows and unicorns attitude back. I was a much more positive person back in March. I fought for that optimism. Hard.

Lately I don’t want to.

So I guess I do have my birthday figured out. At least my wishes. Now to figure out the cake.

Be safe and much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Just Say No

 Just say “no”…

A couple weeks ago, I was with a friend and she mentioned how overwhelmed she felt in the last week.  I asked what was making her feel that way and she said all the running with kids, plus having extra activities at night.  She was rambling off all the commitments..book club, golf, movie night, happy hour, boating with a friend… I was honestly worn out just listening to all of the activities.  I know they all sound terrific, if you are overloading your time, you will never enjoy it.  You will be too busy thinking about how stressed you are to even enjoy the moment you are in.

Of course, my question was why are you doing all that. I asked ‘if you are feeling overwhelmed, then why don’t you just say no?’

And she looked at me like she had never thought of that before…  

I said, “ you know you can say “no”.  You do not have to attend every book club or wine party or movie night.  Just say “no” if you do not feel like going.  If it is making you feel overwhelmed and stressed by constantly being that busy, then just say “no”.   Decide what is most important to you.

We all only have so much time in the week, as much as we all want to do everything we just can not.  I know many times the idea of fitting everything in sounds great and then life happens.  Unexpected things come up throughout the week and we get overwhelmed.

I used to overbook myself all the time, I would have an activity every night of the week.  I write about this a lot because I feel so many of us overbook ourselves to a breaking point. I would get to a point where I would be so stressed out and didn’t want to do anything.  Finally, I just learned to say “no”… If I do not have an interest in going to something, I just have to say ‘no”.   

My friends know me by now, I can just be honest and tell them “no”.   Your friends should understand and support you.  My good friends can tell when I am at my breaking point. I know in the beginning, I would fear hurting someone’s feelings by saying “no” or declining an event or invitation, but eventually I just had to stick with it for me.   

We all have those certain friends that try and drag you to everything, but I have learned to just say “no” to them also.  If I am having to talk myself into something by telling myself that it”s going to be fun or its only 2 hours of my life, then I know I should say “no” in the first place.  

I had to learn what was really important to me.  If I only had a certain amount of free time in the week, what was the most important? I knew that I could not do it all nor did I want to, so I had to start realizing what I truly enjoyed.  For me, its making time to hike alone.  So, the things that I truly love, I schedule and then I leave myself enough downtime.  Some weeks there is more downtime than others.  

For me, the downtime is just as important as all the other activities. Taking that time for yourself to unwind and relax is just as important as making it to book club.   I try to save a night  with nothing or a few hours at least, then when the unexpected happen in a week, I still have time to handle it without getting overly stressed and overwhelmed.  

It is hard to realize that you can not keep doing it all. That sometimes you have to pick and choose what is important.  It’s hard to realize that you can not say “yes” to everything… and then it’s even harder to decide what has to go.

-snarky

 

www.snarkydivoredgal.com

Starting To Take My Life Back

I started taking part of my old life back…

In March, working from home, felt like a dream… I had always wanted to work from home or have the flexibility.  Then in a matter of weeks, we were all home.  Trying to manage it all, work, school, household duties, plus trying to avoid catching a deadly virus.   Not knowing what to do and what not to do…and soon it was 6 months later and we were all still home.  Yes, I had learned how to adapt to the new normal and the constant changing of the world.  

At first, I would get up and stick to a routine, working out, putting on real clothes, planning ahead for my workday from home… I have even wrote about it a few times and the importance of sticking to a routine.   But over the next few months, things started to slip… less getting up early, less putting on work clothes, less planning ahead… it had turned into getting up 10 minutes before I turned on my computer. I quickly brushed my teeth and put on my same clothes that I had worn for the last 4 days.  No make up, no hair brushing, and maybe a pony tail.   And I am a routine person.  I love routines and I live for them… they make me feel accomplished.  

After about 4 months of being home, I just felt like I had no motivation.  It was beginning to get harder and harder to concentrate on work while I was at home.   I was constantly bombarded with interruptions from my children.  I could not stay on track with any tasks.  I would try to be the supermom with doing it all, but then I felt like my work was slipping…the thought of another zoom meeting makes we want to throw up.

I could not get back on track.  Being at home everyday was not as fun as it started out to be…. It did not feel rewarding, instead it felt depressing and unmotivating.  I noticed that I was also working all the time, whenever I had a free moment I would hop on my computer to respond to an email.   

So here we are in October.. wondering if Halloween is cancelled… wishing for 2020 to just end.  I am pretty sure the majority of us are wondering what next year will bring.  We are just waiting, we are in limbo, trying to figure out how this will all end.

Honestly, I was tired of it all… and I dreaded spending another long day at home, so I decided to start going back into the office a couple days a week.  I could not wait any longer.  I never thought that I would be choosing to go into the office, instead of working from home.  Working from home was my dream.

6 months later, I was setting my alarm for 5:15 am to go workout, come home quick and get into the office by 8.  I had to dig out my “work” clothes which were buried in the back of my closest..hoping they still fit.   I was packing my lunch and remembering to grab my Diet Mountain Dew as I headed out the door.

It was amazing, how after the 1st week, I felt so much better about myself.  I felt like I had a purpose again.  Just the feeling of laughing and joking with a few co workers in person, was rewarding.  I felt like I could actually accomplish and complete things. It was an exciting feeling, and a feeling that I have not felt in months.    

It also felt like I took a little bit of the old life back…the life before March.  It felt comforting with all the challenges and obstacles that we have overcame in the last 6 months.  It also opened the doors for us to start adding in other parts of our “old” life.   So, the kids and I started to attend church in person again.  What a feeling.

Even with all the changes this last year, I am learning to live a different way, along with trying to adapt to all of it, and doing it without losing our shit, somethings can still bring you back to how things were before…the old life.

-Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

How Do You Find Time To Juggle It All?

How do you find time to juggle it all?…sometimes, you just don’t.

My son’s birthday is this week and I have felt stretched all week. There’s so many things that I wanted to do for it.   I can feel that my anxiety is rising the closer it gets to the end of the week.   And then I needed to remind myself that it doesn’t really matter what gets done. His birthday will still be here and what is done is done.  I know many times my to do list is longer than I would ever have time for in a week.  

We all stretch ourselves to the max but when do we know enough is enough….How do we let things go and just be content with whatever gets done. How do we know when to just stop before we get completely overwhelmed.   

There is always piles of laundry, dishes in the sink, counter tops to be wiped off, kids to be picked up, binders to be signed, and projects to be done.  My list never ends, I am always juggling, there are days that I think I do not have much to do and then it all comes back to me.  

Besides everything that I want to get done, I also feel like my kids always need something from me.  One of my kids will walk in and talk to me… Minutes later, I think to myself  that I have no idea what they said because I am completely preoccupied with something else.  They sometimes ALL want to talk to me at the same time and I feel like my head is going to explode.  

Right now with working remotely, I will be completely engrossed in work and I will not even know what I agreed to with my kids… for all I know, I could agree to getting another cat at times.  It’s an overwhelming feeling, when you are trying to get it all done…and give everyone the attention they deserve.  Its this constant juggle between what I want to get done and what they want me to get done for them.  

I have now learned to just stop and tell them,” Can we talk about this after dinner or after school tomorrow”.   I want to give them the time to talk to me and discuss what is on their mind, but I also know that I can not give them the attention they deserve right then.  And in return, I am trying to teach them that I can not always just stop in the middle of everything.   

My middle schooler is famous for trying to talk to me about buying something after 9pm at night, I now have to tell her that we need to talk about this in the morning.   All summer she would wait until late at night to ask me about her plans for the next day or about me buying something…the list is endless.  My brain can not function and make smart decisions by that time at night… 

My son said to me last week, “You promised to read to me at night and you haven’t done it all week”. And I thought to myself that he was right…every night before bed something else came up… And the things that came up, were so not important.  They were unloading the dishwasher or folding the laundry, which can obviously wait.  

So this week, I have made it a point to read to him every night. I have stopped whatever I was doing and read to him. For that 20 minutes, I was completely committed to him and his ninja fart book… that he has spent every night laughing at hysterically.  

I have looked at my to do list this week many times and just started to cross off the items one by one that I would never complete… like who really cares if the house is cleaned or the guinea pig cage is cleaned.  Honestly, the only thing that matters to my son is that he gets Dominoes pizza and his special chocolate cake.  And the rest can wait….

-Snarky

 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Masculine Femininity

Masculine Femininity…I was reading my devotional this morning and it talked about the drive, the doing, the go-go-go that we can easily live with every day.  I am realizing, as I sit here, how different my life is now, than it was a few decades ago.

Growing up in the Boston area, I was surrounded by that mentality.  Go. Get. Do. And I took it on like a tight leather glove.  I had a FT job working 9-5 in Corporate America.  Working my way up the corporate ladder, stepping on whoever I had to step on, getting where I was going and being dang proud of my success.  I learned at a young age that if I wanted anything in my life I had to grab the bull by the horns and go get it.  

I also had a PT job a few nights during the week and on the weekends working at a local restaurant/bar.  I raked in the money as the bartenders acknowledged…I was one of the best.  They called me BoomBoom, as I zoomed around the bar selling more drinks than 3 other waitresses put together.  I got it done AND had soooooo much fun in the process.  The PT job brought out the joy in my heart while the FT job brought out the drive in my blood.

As I sit here today, 900 miles from Boston, now living in Fort Wayne, I can clearly see how the personality of Boston molded me into a woman on a mission, with tenacity, discipline, and gumption.  My masculine energy took over as a single mom.  The masculine essence of being organized, goal oriented, accomplishing, doing, etc. is what allowed me to raise my son on my own.

But that girl changed over time.  I realize now that it was necessary for me to survive.  I do not live to survive now… I live for love and heart felt moments, and happiness surrounding me.  I live with feminine essence engulfing me, the soft, wild, captivating energy.  The relaxed life with a space full of giving and receiving light, joy and radiance.  I still have masculine tendencies which help me get the lawn mowed and the pictures hung.  But it’s my feminine tendencies I love most.

xoxo

Your God-girl

Tracy

Time Is Valuable, Use It Wisely

Your time is valuable… Its one of my favorite sayings…  And I have to remind myself of this because it is valuable.  You will never get that time back…

As I was talking to my friend the other day, she was mentioning how she had just met her friend Ryan.  It took me a few minutes to remember who Ryan was and then it hit me… I said, “ Isn’t he the guy that you went on a few dates with and then never returned your texts or phone calls, why are you meeting him for drinks”.    I still shake my head, but I have been guilty of it too…

Do not fill your time with emptiness.   It took me a long time to figure out that I could choose my time. I could choose who I spent it with.  I could choose what I did.

By emptiness, I mean do not fill your time with activities and people just to fill your time.  Be choosy about the dates and friends that you keep in your life.  Your time is valuable and it does not need to be given to those that do not appreciate you.  It does not need to be given to events that you really do not want to attend.  Or people that do not encourage you in your life.

I used to say yes to people and gatherings, just because I did not know how to say no.  I was many times let down due to the group of people that I was with.  Or I did not really have any interest in attending the event.  I had to really start thinking about what I got out of it for me.  It might sound selfish but its true.

Do I want to attend a party with 20 people that I do not know well and would end up making small talk?  Or would I rather go for a long walk and watch a good movie…  I had to start thinking about what I wanted in those times. Was I talking myself into going or was I excited about it…

About 6 years ago, I was completely committed to a weight loss program.  I was 100% focused and was working my butt off to reach a goal.  When I first started, I had to decline going to a lot of events or going out to dinner with friends.  I wanted to succeed.  I knew I was not strong enough to say no to all the temptations.  Unfortunately, I had friends that did not understand and would try and talk me into still going out to get my favorite nachos or drinks.  The “ohh come on its only one night”… It was incredibly hard to resist.  I had to say no and some friends did not understand.  The ones that did, offered other suggestions, like going for a hike or a walk.   Those are the friends that I want.  The friends that stuck with me and supported me to the end.

You should want to spend time with people that give you the encouragement and confidence that you crave.  The ones that back you up when you need it and support you throughout life.

Its hard to get to that point in your life, where you are ok choosing what you want.  Think about what you really want to do in your time.  Think about who you want to spend your valuable time with.  I am totally good saying “no” to something and in return doing something by myself that I really love.

Are you saying “Yes” just to fill the emptiness?

Do you really enjoy being with that person or are you just saying “yes” to be polite?

Does that person make you feel good about yourself?

Are you talking yourself into attending that event?

Do you want to go to a movie with Tony from accounting that has a huge crush on you? Or are you just doing it because you have no other plans on a Friday night?

I have to continuously ask myself these questions from time to time…because I know my time is valuable.

 

-snarky

 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com