Tag Archives: challenge

Practical Changes

Below is my piece, Practical Changes, from 2007 when I was a contributing columnist to The Southern Ledger newspaper with my Practical Changes column, the night before my son’s birthday…as you all know my son graduated from High School early and will be 18 this coming May.  I wanted to share this old blog because it speaks to parenting and how it was for me back in those days where many of you are now…enjoy and hope everyone had a great holiday season.

XO, Noelle

WOW…I am writing a night early…Mr. Southern Ledger will surely fall out of his chair from shock tomorrow morning when he sits down to write that ‘friendly little reminder’ to the bloggers and notices that my column is already posted…HA

Six years ago tonight I was in a hospital in Plymouth, MA in the midst of 30 hours of HARD labor waiting for my son to make his first appearance…tomorrow he turns six and we have been counting down the days since Christmas…everything he sees goes under the ‘ I want this for my birthday’ category.  Those of you that know me well are now saying to yourselves, “just like his mother” and I can hear you.

In retrospect, I believe that was the hardest night of my life…I won’t bore you with the scenario of 30 hours, but trust me when I say it was FAR from pleasant…it taught me that if I could do that and endure that, then I could certainly do anything…what a good, smart, handsome little boy he is and funny and stubborn…sometimes I feel like the kid got a raw deal, all I do is work and it seems like some days I am always yelling…I have two modes loud and louder…it runs in my Italian family, we talk too much and most everything is loud.  Then there is that whole emotionally unkempt thing, which runs in my family too.

Sometimes I feel like I am doing such a bad job at all this…I think I should be nicer and more patient, yet someone or something is always pulling at me and I just have to keep moving because I don’t see anyone else around here paying for anything…granted this was my choice, to get a divorce rather than live in a situation that I was finished with just for the sake of security…I’m pretty sure the kid is normal, whatever that means anymore…I mean he goes to private school and has the best of everything and he is with me all the time…I have a great staff that helps a lot and without whom I would fail to function.

I think that no matter how smart we are there are always those times when we are second guessing ourselves, wondering if we are good enough or if we are doing it ‘right’…we must be doing okay around here though because we are starting year number six and that feels like a huge accomplishment.

As I sit here tonight I think back to who I was six years ago and I realize that so much has changed…I think that I am gaining some insight and wisdom as I go along…that’s a good thing…I am learning how to let things go, how to let someone else have the last word, how to walk away instead of react when someone is unpleasant, how to trust God and not be so scared all the time about everything turning out ok…I am learning how to take deep breaths and learning to remember that it will all still be there tomorrow.

I have also learned that I am too old to be blond anymore.  Recently, I had my hair highlighted and a lot of blond put in—it has been that way for about two and a half weeks and I have felt off the whole time—I kept looking at myself in the mirror and thinking how not like myself I looked, too washed out, too old and then finally this morning I wondered why I had done it, what was I hoping to prove?  In my other life I could carry blond, this life requires dark hair and ‘on purpose’ behavior—tonight my hair has been returned to a darker state and I recognize the chick I see in the mirror…  She has a messy desk, is emotionally unkempt, is a workaholic, is probably starting to wrinkle and sag, drinks too much coffee, shops too much and is not currently working out as much as she needs to, however, she knows how to get stuff done, she has a great kid, she has incredible friends, she is generous beyond measure, she knows how to laugh at herself and she understands that life is really about who we are and not what we have…I like that chick, she has dark hair and she’s not afraid to tell it like it is.

It’s good to mark time, to look back and see how far you have come…it makes us grateful for progress, grateful for all the gifts that we have been given…most everyone is always rushing through birthdays, Christmas Days, Mother’s Days, Father’s Days…how many times do we stop and remember the years past, how much do we acknowledge how far we have come?

We should you know, we should make a practice of acknowledging how much advancement we have gained over the years.  It is virtually impossible not to gain wisdom as time passes…life itself is such a profound teacher.

I will take my leave of you now as I have gifts to wrap in Spiderman paper and tomorrow there is a trip to Chuck E. Cheese in my future…I know y’all are jealous.

Relentless And Thirty-One

Thirty was brutal.

It was brutally honest and unapologetically raw. It was a beautiful mess with parts I would not wish on my least favorite of human spirits.

Thirty was the year of sorry’s, and sighs, and throwing my hands to the skies. Thirty was the year of aging mentally and physically. Thirty was the year of allowing myself to be lost and not wanting to be found by anyone but me.

Thirty was letting go and a series of hard choices–the kind of decisions that prove your character. The kind that ache, bleed, and scar. It was self discovery and starting new.

It was hitting reset, rinse, repeat.

Thirty was the year of unrelenting chaos, followed by uncomfortable calm.

Reset, rinse, repeat.

Thirty was wanting to run away and never come back. Thirty was wanting to disappear. Thirty was wanting to be seen. Thirty was wanting to be held. Thirty was the paradox.

I looked around the house and just wanted to burn it down more than once. I looked up airline tickets for three out of the country more than twice. I second guessed my decision to leave my marriage…zero times.

I redecorated. I made new recipes. I cooked a lot of food. I lost ten pounds. I gained ten pounds. I gave zero f&*cks. I grew out my hair. I bought $40 foundation for the first time ever. I painted my first and last room. I told some of my best jokes. I did some of my best writing. I had some of my worst parenting moments. I had some of my lowest lifetime moments. Thirty was angry, and it was sad. It was a 24/7 adrenaline rush and it was exhausting. Thirty was adult dating, and school girl blushing. Thirty was laughing like I hadn’t in years, even when it was at my own life or expense. Thirty was saying hard truths out loud. Thirty was letting myself grieve things I’d been missing. Thirty was accepting good things when they presented themselves and not feeling guilty about it.

It was letting go of things I had already long lost. It was closing doors to rooms in my heart that made me cold and sad. It was opening windows to trust new faces and unfamiliar spaces within my new life.

It was a year of allowing myself to cry at green, yellow, and red lights. In conference rooms, in the shower, at daycare, at the doctor’s office, at the dinner table of friend’s and in the doorways of their homes without warning.

I left a dozen chapters of my life behind, and in my husband’s hands, hours before someone else’s wedding. I forced myself to spit out razor blades of truth at the person I said ‘forever’ to. My head had to forcefully tell my heart to leave my husband and be completely unwavering in that choice.

It was the year of asking for help and of saying ‘yes.’ It was a the year of the king size bed, an ironic choice for a person with one less body next to them. The year not for the bucket list, but the f*%ck-it list.

Thirty was love at its most genuine, whether it was for me or from me. It was finding out who really is in my corner and who deserves to be put in one.

Thirty was dancing in the rain, crying in the rain, jumping puddles in the rain, kissing in the rain. I made the most of it, but thirty is what made me. Thirty taught me to spit in fear’s face, to say goodbye to people and things that don’t add, but detract, from my life.

Thirty gave me a glimpse into what I am really made of.

I am braver and stronger than I thought. I am more loved than I realized. I am capable of much more than I gave myself credit for.

The year turning over only proudly reinforces two things: this is my circus and these are my monkeys.

This is relentless and thirty-one.

~Jessica-Awesome Single Mama

Fear Of Not Giving Into It

As I have said to you recently over the last few days, it would seem that everything is particularly challenging right now and that I am having to work harder not to give in to worry, fear, etc

So I have been doing a lot of praying and reading to keep myself on track and I wanted to share something with you that I found this morning in a book by Florence Scovel Shinn called “The Magic Path of Intuition”…in the 8th chapter she talks about how ‘every test is a purification process and that when we are unmoved by the tests we will no longer attract them’.  I found this very insightful because even though I have been studying spiritual and success principles for a long, long time there are still some seeming circumstances that can really drop me to my knees and to me that means I still have work to do.  True mastery comes when you cannot be moved by anything, when no outside element can shake your equilibrium and to get to that place takes work and the ability to discipline your mind.  You have to be vigilant with your thoughts and when fearful, crazy, worried thoughts come into your mind you must push them aside and replace them with their opposite.  This takes practice and then more practice and then still even more practice…I have been doing this work for 36 years now and these last few weeks I have had to really work with myself daily to keep my thoughts focused on what works.

Start working on not letting appearances rock your inner boat, start replacing one fear-based thought for one positive one…it’s a practice and will take time, however this practice will change your whole life and return you to your own power—so start today, just replace a thought for a thought…xoxoxo

And here is the link to Florence’s book for anyone that is interested…

https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Intuition-Florence-Scovel-Shinn/dp/1401944159/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481039746&sr=1-1&keywords=the+magic+path+of+intuition