Tag Archives: challenges

What’s Your Fear?

What’s your fear?

In the recent weeks, I have been shifting back and forth between several novels for entertainment purposes. To my surprise, none of these stories have managed to gain my full attention. It wasn’t until I was assigned the novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker for my English class, that I was truly glued to the pages I was reading.

For a significant portion of my life, I have always been interested in the genres of horror and fear. It is quite strange that I have this fascination considering that I refuse to watch many common horror films that are considered production classics.

Regardless, while reading these pages I began to recall how the topic of fear seems to be such a beloved form entertainment among much of society. What I found incredibly interesting was that so many people could never imagine these genres directly affecting them in the real world.

I soon came to realize that although we might not experience the paranormal and disturbing events that occur within horror novels, we as individuals all have something that manages to instill fear within us.

For example, young children might experience the irrational fears of monsters under their bed, while adults experience different forms of said fear regarding the real world and the challenges it can present. Often times as people, our fears aren’t so irrational at all because they correlate with experiences we are currently going through. Many might have fears of not having the ability to achieve their goals, while other might feel that they aren’t worthy of creating them. It was during this realization that I came to the conclusion that as a society, we must come to terms with the things that frighten us. We must pinpoint the goals that we have set for ourselves, and we must not fear the failure that these goals might result in.

After all, these fears could not compare to those we read about in novels…

-Dani <3

Just A Bump In The Road

Just a bump in the road…

Sunday night seems to come at me much faster than it did a few months ago. I’m trying to decide how I feel about that. Do I miss the days of not knowing what day it is or do I like being very aware with each passing hour my weekend is almost over?

I think a bit of both.

Since August I have been working in an actual office again and those twelve people are twelve of my favorite people. Whether they want to be or not. Because in my part of the world we are on high alert so anything outside of essential anything is pretty limited.  Seeing them everyday makes me happy.

In my group of friends we all have handled this differently.  I was texting a friend and we were talking about how a lot of us are feeling like fireflies in jars right now. For some of us that works, but for a lot of us it really doesn’t.

I have become really close with Netflix and unfortunately Amazon, initially I really thought I was going to do all these DYI products.

I can see them from here. Half started. Maybe my heart is with that Pyrex dish I talked about last week.

Some of my friends have become at  home beauty gurus. Some of my friends are writing novels, taking up new hobbies, adopting pets.

But a few have fallen back into old habits they left behind. 

Rather than tell you what they are. I am going to tell you what I have told them and honestly try to remind myself of.

Especially right now.

First if you are telling someone-you know. “You know you need help.” That in and of itself is powerful. 

Second it may not feel like it but this is a bump. We are human, we make mistakes. Don’t let this be your hurdle,slow you down or think less of yourself.

Third… 2020 is not a normal year is it? There is absolutely no playbook for any of this. So being human, we are all doing the best we can.

Some maybe better than others. 

But we are trying. My dear, beautiful friend this is incredibly hard and I know you are scared and worried but you are doing great. This is just a bump in the road.

Seriously

I know you are tired. I know. But remember two AM feedings and sitting up with that little baby who thought an in depth conversation at four AM was necessary?

You got through that.

I know you feel helpless. But remember when you packed up that moving truck with hardly anything but your baby and some boxes and started over? You did it.

I know you are sad. He has someone new. Your time will come. It will.

Last,most definitely not least, you are a Mom. Mother. Ma. Mama. 

That my friend is powerful and important and you just do it.

So… you will get through this too.

You are stronger than you know and tomorrow REALLY is a new day.

 

Be safe Mommas.

Much love,

Caprise

Making It Full Circle

Full circle… that what I would call the last 5 years.  On December 5, it was exactly 5 years since my divorce was finalized in court.  And I feel like my ex-husband and I have come full circle in those 5 years.  Well, I think most of it was just in the last year.  

What is more crazy to think about is that on December 5, 2020… my ex husband and I were having a conversation on going in “together” to buy our children Christmas gifts.  Years ago, we would not even discuss Christmas.  Everything was separate and there was not even a discussion about gifts.  He would have never had a conversation with me about what to get the kids or even asked for ideas.  And today, we are going to sit down and actually discuss ideas and split costs for our kids Christmas gifts.

Actually, the divorce was the easy part of the last five years.  No one prepares you for all the challenges after the divorce is finalized  I have wrote many times about how co parenting did not work for us, how I had to set up numerous boundaries, and how important it was to stay out of the drama…    

In the beginning, we said we would remain friends and always put the kids first, then over the next few years our relationship changed for the worse.  We did not have much communication, it was very tense, many wasted hours spent in mediation and court, stressful situations with our children, etc…the list goes on.  

I have always wanted to have a good co-parenting relationship with ex-husband.  It was what I had envisioned when we went through our divorce.  Unfortunately, my ex-husband had additional influences in his life, which prevented us from having any sort of co-parenting relationship.  I spend the next four years, developing amazing self control.  

I would have not made it through those years without building my self control and learning to let things go.  Its amazing… that I did not lose my shit daily on the crazy requests… 

So instead of fueling the fire, I learned to stay calm and let things go.  I developed insanely strict boundaries. I would only respond to any communication regarding the children and I stuck to the facts. 

I also learned that as my kids got older, I would initiate them to be involved in decisions and speak their minds with both parents present.   I would refuse to be the middle person between them and their dad.  I wanted them to learn to speak up for themselves.  I would always offer support and input, if needed.  And for some reason, my kids tend to feel more comfortable coming to me.  

In addition, the best advice that I ever received was from a friend..she said, “  When it is your time with your kids, be with them.  Do not worry about that they are doing on their dad’s time.”  I kept to what was important, which was the time that I spend with them.  I did not get involved in any outside drama that did not include myself.  

And as much as I wanted to blurt out my opinions and comments to my children regarding their father, I always kept them to myself or my close friends..  

I know I somehow pulled this off because my daughter, who is now 16, brings it up all the time.  Of course, now having two teenage girls, they have lots of normal venting about their father.  

So, After all those challenges, that I had to experience and muddle through… we have made it a full circle…  

Blame it on covid, but we have even had to celebrate a few kids birthdays and milestones together.  Honestly, it took me a while to actually feel comfortable doing this…I have had my guard up for quire awhile and I still keep my boundaries in place. 

I am grateful that we have made it full circle…I believe that it does take time to get through all the muck after a divorce and the challenges will continue.. however being able to make it full circle, gives me hope.  

-Snarky

 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

A New Beginning

It’s finally happened, the 2010s are no more and the 20s are now beginning.

Since I am only in my teenage years, this decade has taken up most of my life. It has been a decade so interesting, that it’s hard to keep track. In these past 10 years, we’ve experienced major events in not only our lives, but in pop culture, politics, and news. I’d like to say that I’ve learned a lot in the 2010s. Not just academically, but also lessons that I could use everyday.

Most of the things I’ve learned are due to the mistakes I’ve made on the way. Unfortunately, there were times in the past decade that I didn’t learn from the mistakes I had made. With this new decade now beginning, I decided that it was time to change my habits and work on those things that I want for myself and for my future.

For me personally, I figured out that I needed to start challenging myself in ways I never had before. I’ll be working hard to reach my goals, and I’ll never give up on the hopes I have for myself.

This is exactly what everyone should be doing when entering this new decade. You must figure out your weaknesses and work on how to better improve in that significant area.

Finally, I want to stress the importance of having a positive outlook on what these years have to offer. Just as the 2010s were filled with unexpected surprises, the 2020s will not fall short in that category. Be open to new possibilities and to new beginnings.

Happy new year! -Dani <3

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.

Lessons and Changes Within Leadership

I was listening to a T.D. Jakes sermon this morning while on the treadmill and he said that “with new levels come new devils.”  He went on to explain that success and leadership are actually very painful and arrive with a whole new set of things to overcome.  When God has placed a calling on your life He sets out to equip you for it.  This usually involves challenges and circumstances that will bring you to your knees.   When you are in God’s leadership training you don’t actually know it at first, you don’t get a letter in the mail, no email comes, no memo, no warnings.  Life just starts to kick the crap out of you, challenges come at you, people betray you, and relationships disappoint you. You navigate each situation and you get stronger.  Every time you pick yourself up, you keep going and you never quit.  Then one day you look back and see that there was a reason for all of those things

Success is often viewed as leadership.  People in positions of leadership are seen as having ‘made it’ in some way.  They are thought to be the winners, the ones that have reached their goals and achieved some modicum of prosperity.

A lot of people want to be Leaders; they envision that being a Leader is important, filled with glory and has a lot of perks…perhaps they even think that being a Leader is where the ‘money’ is.  The truth?  Being a Leader, is in fact, more difficult than any other task. Being a good or great Leader?  That requires more work than most people can even fathom.

In order to lead you must be able to follow…happily and humbly.  You must be able to take direction and work within someone else’s framework even if you think you could do it better. If you can’t follow someone else then NOBODY will ever follow you, no matter how amazing you perceive yourself to be.  This is an important skill to instill in young people, the act of following happily and humbly.  I promise you that every great Leader began by following someone else first.

To lead successfully you must also lead by example, you must first have done the task that you now wish to entrust to someone else.  You must have executed that task to fully learn how to do it with excellence and to understand what it feels like to do that particular thing.  If you want to order people around then you better be coming from a place that includes already doing that work, otherwise people will not do as you ask and they will resent you.  If you think you are too good to clean windows or toilets or empty trash, then I suggest you remember where you came from and I suggest that you don’t imagine that someone “beneath” you should do those things.

I don’t care who you are or who you think you are—nobody is beneath you and you are not better than anyone else on this planet.  You may be different and you may have more advanced skills and you may make more money, however you are not ‘better’ than any other human being.  God created all of us equal and to be a great Leader you will do well to remember this and to treat people accordingly.

Real Leaders want to build people up and help them get to the next level in their lives; Leaders know that their job is to leave this planet better than they found it.  They make it their business to INSPIRE other people, not make fun of them or put them down.

I see so many people trying to succeed and trying to lead and they just seem to keep forgetting the source of true leadership which is to lead by example.  You must first FOLLOW the disciplines that you wish to teach, you must walk the walk and succeed there before anyone will listen to you.  Sure, you can lead without doing this and whatever you are trying to do will not hold water, eventually it will collapse on top of you and you won’t prosper to your full ability.

You can’t sleep late, live like a pig, be rude, make fun of people, and lack self-discipline and then get dressed up and go and tell people how to be a success.  People may look like they are listening, yet you will lack the authenticity needed to produce results.  You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.  You can even put eye shadow and a dress on it, but it is still a pig.

Gandhi said “be the change in the world that you want to see”, that is really good advice.

Be authentic and don’t try to teach people things that you haven’t already walked through.

~Noelle

Change Your Life in 10 Minutes!

10 Minutes Per Day; Change your Day, Change your Life

Do you believe you can create your best day today? If you don’t, why do you feel that way? What could possibly lead you to believe today is not worthy of being your best? Are there no incredible exciting events scheduled, fantastic things to do, there must be for the day to be your best right? With that in mind how could we possibly create our best day, especially in about the same amount of time as it takes to make coffee! Just 10 minutes per day really can change your day!

First let’s not get hung up on time, let’s be realistic. Time management is somewhat of a silly concept isn’t it? We cannot manage, make, stop, resist, add to, save, or anything else with time. There are 24 hours in every day, 12 months make up a 365 day year, so the question is what do we do in the time we have? We are going to drill down to 10 minutes to begin (or near the beginning) your day and make it your best!

10 Minutes to Change Your Day

Minute #1

Breathing exercises can nourish your body, cleanse your soul, change your state of mind, and open every cell of your body to be vitalized.

Here is just one breathing technique to do for 1 minute:

Breath deeply and slowly in through your nose for an 8 count, then slowly exhale through the nose for an 8 count. Eyes open wide as you breath in, slowly close as you breath out. Nourish your body with as much oxygen as possible through taking deep breaths. Nourish your mind by letting go of everything before you began breathing, and now creating a new vibrancy for today. Do this for 1 minute.

Minutes # 2-4

Emotionally speaking there are two dominant reactive emotions that can mess with our day, fear, and anger. I am not going to dwell on these, let’s just agree that they linger in the heart of many people and most other “negative” emotions are from these roots.

Minutes 2-4 we focus on gratitude, just gratitude and nothing else. Focus on the simple things we are grateful for, the little things, like the smell of freshly brew coffee, the incredible scent waking the house before anyone every takes the first sip, a sunny morning walk enjoying the warmth of the sun, and a breeze on your face. Focus on these types of thing during this 3 minutes.

Minutes # 5-7

During this 3 minutes think about the people closest to you, give thanks for them, acknowledge them in your thoughts, and say something of thanks to them in a whisper. Give them a blessing over their day, lastly speak a blessing over your day. Give yourself a quiet thoughtful encouragement.

Minutes #8-10

In these last 3 minutes we are creating the state of mind of being thrivers, not survivors. Visualize every problem, issue, or challenge as it is resolved, and as you want it to be, not simply it will be. To thrive is to live the outcome, rather than see the outcome. Once you finish your 10 minutes, your day is ready now for you!

Now enjoy your coffee!