Tag Archives: decision

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

Split Decision

Split Decision…

**Disclaimer – I am very much aware of how fabulous most dance dads can be, often shouldering burdens (literally and figuratively) to lighten the load on their families.  I love watching them get dressed in studio gear, enthusiastically embracing the role of their child’s loudest cheerleader.  I also acknowledge that the situation can be reversed (Mom is just not into it), although I myself have not encountered that situation often. This is written based on my own personal experience of being a divorced dance mom, nothing more.  Kudos to all of the engaged, supportive dance dads (and moms!) for all they do!

B. C. (Before Children)

When I was pregnant with my twin daughters, I had their dance studio picked out before I had chosen a name for Baby A (true story).  When my girls were in utero, I actually visited the dance studio where they would take their first class less than three years later.  On the “About Us” page on my website, I explain how I was once a coach/choreographer for a couple of dance teams, and that studio was where a few of my dancers had gone.  Before I became pregnant with my girls, I was taking adult classes there.  I just knew that my daughters would at least try dancing at some point, so it made sense that I would enroll them in the studio I was most familiar with.

A. D. (After Divorce)

My husband (at the time, let’s call him “Morty”) knew that dance was a huge part of my life; it had been before I even met him, and our first real trip together was to Orlando for the Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships (my team wound up winning 1st place for the third year in a row that December, so he knew I was heavily involved in it).  When talk of extracurricular activities came up during my first pregnancy, Morty firmly proclaimed, “No dance!” We had a split decision. His cousin’s daughter was heavily involved in competition dance at the time, and Morty was, well, mortified at how much traveling, time, effort, and money had to be invested to sustain that lifestyle.  He relented when the girls were about two and a half, allowing them to take three years of preschool classes and one year of competition.  After their third recital, he said, “You can really see how confident and strong the older girls (in the company) are.  I want our girls to be like that.”  He also noted how his cousin’s daughter never got into any real trouble; she barely returned the boys’ attention because they just weren’t important enough to warrant her time.  Although he was never thrilled with their involvement, he at least developed a begrudging acceptance of it.

Then we split.  Life goes on, and I wanted my kids’ lives to remain as unchanged as possible, so they continued with their respective activities.  Naturally, the girls’ commitment to dance grew over the years, and Morty grew more resentful and angry towards their passion.  He reversed course, claiming that he never wanted them to be involved with dance in the first place; this theme reared its ugly head during our lengthy, contentious divorce (which spanned many more years than I would have liked).

Even now, he continues to lecture them about how they are wasting precious time and money because they shouldn’t make a career of dance.  He goes as far as to suggest (directly to them) that they are not talented enough to truly be standouts in the field, and that they should quit to pursue other activities.  Awhile back, he showed them graphic pictures of a young woman that broke her spine during a gymnastics event, emphasizing that she will most likely never walk again, and warning them that they could meet a similar fate because of all of the tumbling, leaping, and jumping they do.  They were petrified, but didn’t tell me because they didn’t want me to get upset about what he had done (I just learned about it a couple of months ago, and am still furious over it).  He does not always bring them to class on his parenting time, and has gotten into verbal altercations with the studio staff.  Last year, he did not come to a single competition (despite all of them being within an hour’s drive from his residence).  My girls are understandably angry and disappointed, and often cry out of desperation and frustration.  There is so much more, but I’m already tearing up.  

We’re Not Alone (Unfortunately)

I know we’re not the only family that deals with this dynamic.  In competition dance chat groups, I often read comments from moms that are fretting over how their husbands or partners will react to the dance bill, relating complaints from their children’s father about how much they have to travel or that he needs to watch siblings while Mom and the dancer are away, and other issues.  Some of these concerns are valid, of course, but clearly mom and dad are on different pages when it comes to the role that competition dance plays in their family.  If the child senses this discord (and they often do), it can shatter an already fragile sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

The Importance of Self-Reliance

If you are facing a similar situation, the best advice I can offer is this:  Encourage your children to dance for no one but themselves.  They need to learn how to find intrinsic motivation within their own hearts and souls so their passion is real and genuine, driving them to overcome obstacles and face challenges with confidence and strength.  Relying on external validation is putting their self-worth in the hands of others, which is a dangerous strategy to use on the path to becoming strong adults.  I teach my girls to expect disappointment in life, but not to seek it out purposely.  Expecting support from their father on their dance endeavors is a fool’s errand, and at the age of eleven, they are coming to terms with it.  It still upsets them, and of course it always will (it would be unrealistic to expect otherwise).  But teaching them to protect their hearts and minds through self-reliance is like giving them a suit of armor to shield them from the onslaught of negativity they are sure to face from the outside world.

Being identical twins, I pray my girls will always have the other’s love and support.  Each is a built-in best friend to her sister, and they draw on the other’s strength and affection to get them through tough times.  My wish is that they continue to remain this close throughout their lives, encouraging each other to find her inner spark when they can rely on no one else.  But if that isn’t possible, my hope for all my kids is that they can find everything they will ever need within themselves.

~Work Hard & Have Fun,

The Dancing Mom

http://thedancingdancemom.com/

Searching For Peace

I have been searching for peace… since March(ish) whether I’ve wanted to or not I have been forced to think about how I have lived my life.

Who I spend my time with. What I want. What I need.

For the longest time I thought I was not a social person. I am still pretty sure I’m not. I have no desire when I’m able, to sit at a bar. That has never been my thing. But I miss my friends. Even though I am usually the friend who cancels or leaves early.

I am shy, but I miss walking into work everyday and saying hello. I miss chatting with people in stores that I went to frequently.

I thought I was confident in my skin… but the more time I spend online those doubts that I was pretty good at batting creep up. Sadly online has become a twisty lifeline. Not my favorite. It wasn’t before, it isn’t now and it won’t be after.

Although, comparing myself to anyone is silly. We all know how easily you can mold yourself literally, to be a completely different person online than you are in person .

I am always taken aback when I meet certain people in person and they look decidedly different IN PERSON than they do online.

I continue to say this. We have some huge opportunities here. As much as I lament about certain things. I am searching out the things that give me peace.

As I like to say. Like it’s my job.

My newest thing is windows wide open listening to the wildlife that live in the marsh across from my house. Really listening. They are a chatty group, but they are also my favorite lullaby.

I try not to look at this time as being alone but time to focus, or at the very least slow down. Although, I am not going to tell you I don’t get incredibly, painfully lonely sometimes.

I’m not going to hide that.

That’s the other thing. I’m learning to be honest with my emotions.

I wear my heart on my sleeve but if I think how I feel may hurt you or cause a burden, I do what I do. I go quiet. I might even run. That helps nobody.

I’ve started taking a step back. For the longest time because of some of the hurt I’ve had, I had a bad habit of assuming the worst. Of everything. Of everyone. I would look for cracks that didn’t exist. It was easier to self sabotage than get hurt.

Now you know that incredibly dirty secret.

I am forcing myself to still be me but be ok with me.

Which is probably the hardest thing for me.

I am not perfect, but as I say that is ok. And ok is a good start, because it leaves room for good and even great.

I am sorry I don’t have the magic elixir Mommas but as I also say…I hope me sharing helps. It helps you know, however you’re feeling… it’s ok and you’re not alone.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Asking For My Children’s Input

Yesterday I was painting our living room finally, it’s been a 2 month project at minimum.  Once I was almost completed, I thought maybe we should change the furniture around, so I asked my daughter to come help and get her input.  Of course, she was more than excited on moving things around and putting in her own style.

Then it hit me… This is why our family works….I actually ask my kids their opinion. I ask them for their input.  I do not just make decisions on our lives without getting their input.  Over the last 5 years, I have learned to really ask my kids and listen to what they have to say. And I have learned that sometimes they are actually right.   They can see things in a different way that I can.

Maybe it’s different for me because I am single and divorced, so I like to get another person’s opinion on home improvements, dinner choices, movie selections, vacations, etc.  But I realized that this had made our family so much more enjoyable.  My kids have learned that I value what they say and I listen to them.

In the middle  of the week, I usually ask them if there is anything they want to do on the weekend.  Of course, I will usually run down the list of activities we have scheduled due to sports, but then I will actually ask “what do you guys want to do?”.  I love to get their opinions and input.   They are now 15. 12. and 9 so there is a lot of discrepancy on what is suggested.  Sometimes it’s as easy as all they want to do is go starbucks and target..without asking I would not have known that is all they want to do.  And really… I can handle Starbuck’s and target. That is kinda like a dream date.  Other times, I get can we go to a waterpark.

I do not just tell them what is going to happen or what we are going to do, I ask them what they would like to do on the weekends, I ask them if they need anything for school the next week, I ask them for dinner ideas, I ask them if there are any movies they want to see….. I think I have realized that by asking them their opinions I have learned so much more from them.  I do not just say “no” to say no.

Last year, we started our “ you pick dinner Thursdays’ which means that each week a different kid gets to pick where we eat dinner.  Thursdays are our busy sports nights so dinner is always late or rushed, this helps with us still getting to eat together.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some complaints from the others usually, but they get over it fast.   They are excited about being the one to pick the dinner place and the others are always curious on where they are going to pick.

On Sundays, we normally go to church and I have learned that by asking them the time that they want to go, makes them not complain about going.  They actually will get up and go.  Sometimes they pick the earlier time because they want to do something fun that day and other days they will want to sleep in and we will go later.

But the end result is the same, we all go to church together.  And since I asked them on the time, I think they actually feel that they made the decision.

And in return, they have learned that I actually listen to them. They feel comfortable coming to me and asking to have a sleepover, or how to use a tampon, or go to a dance with a boy, or that they have a boyfriend.   They feel that I actually value them and treat them with respect.  They have learned that I am not just going to tell them what to do. I make them think about things a little bit.  I might say no to what they are asking, but what is most important is that they feel comfortable actually asking me.

 

-Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/blog

How Do I Pick Out Curtains?

Who knew of all the different types of curtains that are available these days… seriously.. .All I know is that now I am picking out these things all by myself. I had rented a house with a million windows and all I needed was curtains. ughh… seems easy doesn’t it.

I spent months in the divorce process and then its final. Where do you start? What do you do with your life now? So many questions running through your head.. For months I had lived in a bubble, just getting through the day and not thinking anything else. What do you do first after your divorce? Many you have never worked or even lived by yourself, but now at age 40 you are on your own. You get to pick out your own curtains or your own furniture. You don’t have to ask anyone’s opinion, which can be exciting and scary at the same time. Or the other side is now you have no one to ask the easy questions too.. I did not know of all the small decisions I would need to make by myself.

I had lived in a bubble for so long. Going through all the emotions and then when the divorce process starts It takes over your life. And once its final, you have to stop and think what do I do now. I think we all get ahead of ourselves and want to build this new life so fast. I think the best advice I can give anyone that is starting over after divorce is to take it slow and learn about yourself. It’s hard for me to remember the days or months right after my divorce, I think I was in such a bubble or daze throughout the process that it’s hard to remember all the changes. It was being on constant autopilot and no time to process the changes that I was going through. We all want to put our kids first and make sure they are happy, however its so important that we are learning to be happy also.

Take time to really learn about what you now want. Some days will really suck, you learn you need to do things all by yourself. You might have never picked out your own curtains, so this is new to you you and it might take you a day to make that decision or it might take you months…either way, it doesn’t matter because you did it. Some days you might want to lay in your robe until 2pm and do nothing, and you can… You can take the time and do what you need. Start figuring out what you want in your life for you.

You might make one decision by yourself and you should celebrate. Something that seems so small might be your biggest accomplishment. Take the wins!!

Snarkydivorcedgal (www.snarkydivorcedgal.com)

Battles In Every Day

Battles. There are battles every day for you to face. The most powerful one is the battle in your mind. You could be happy one minute and sad the next. Joyful one and mad the next. On track one minute and falling apart the next. AND…. there may not be any rhyme or reason as to why except- it just is.

Can you see it coming? Can you feel it as it’s showing up? Can you name it and claim it and do something about it? That’s the key. Can you do something about it? With God you can for sure!

Then the next questions is, do you want to? Do you want to live for your higher purpose? Do you want to live the life God has planned out for you? Do you want to take on the Battle in your mind and make it right?

The enemy is sly. And a liar. So you’ve got to ask yourself, why on earth are you listening to that!!!? Jesus has more power in His baby finger than satan has in his whole army. Seriously! The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy and God came so that You may LIVE. So the next time there SEEMS to be a battle going on, remember you have on the armour of God and NOTHING can penetrate that.

My WORST day with Him is far better than my BEST day without Him.

My goal is to finish what God started.

Do what’s right even when life isn’t right.

Not only saved from something but saved for something

Created by God, Built for a purpose

Where are you looking?

“The grass is always greener on the other side, but it still needs to be mowed.”

Your God Girl,

Tracy xoxo

Take Your Cat And Leave My Sweater

In the spring of 2017, my ex and I observed our eleventh wedding anniversary.  Not long after that, we decided to end our marriage.  It was the hardest decision that I’ve ever made.  Divorce is such an ugly word surrounded by negatives.

I make no secret of my love of Pinterest.  Like, most of my life guidance comes from Pinterest and country music-haha.  It is easy to find exactly what you are looking for, whether that is good or bad.  Do you want to support the despair of divorce?  Done.  Do you want to find hope in what’s to come?  That can be done, too.  One of those choices keeps you bound.  The other gives you wings.

I had to get through the sadness of it all before I could get to the blessings that came from our decision to split.  That’s what I want to focus on here.

The hardest thing (for me) about ending a relationship is wondering what you could have done differently.  We exhausted every avenue.  We prayed.  We went to counseling.  We medicated.  We tried to be different people.  We kept arguing more and more.  We love each other very much, but we are very different people.  We kept trying to make it work for the kids, but the kids weren’t happy.  We weren’t helping them anymore.  We were hurting them.

We made a lot of adult choices that weren’t rooted in feelings.  We decided that no matter how we felt towards each other in those first days, we were committed to one thing.  Making this transition as easy on our kids as possible.  We didn’t make schedules.  We showed them that no matter what was happening between us as a couple, we were still committed to them.

When I stopped focusing on what divorce was taking from us, I started seeing what this separation was gifting us.  Solace.  Breathing room.  Peace.  I love Thomas with all my heart.  He is one of my very best friends in this world and I know without a shadow of a doubt that he always has my back.  All of those things were true when we were together, but they were lost in petty disputes.  Fights about everything and nothing at all.  Arguing because we didn’t know how to be happy anymore.  It took him moving out for me to be able to just love him again.

Does this mean we are getting back together?  No.  We would go right back to the same old patterns.  Does this mean we are seeing each other or dating or a couple in any way?  No.  That part of our life is behind us.  What it does mean is we have a new commitment that has nothing to do with anything but doing our best by our family and each other.  It means the court doesn’t have to tell us who can see what child when.  We are capable of deciding that all on our own.  It means that we will be sitting beside each other at sporting events and graduations and weddings.  It means that our kids don’t have to decide where they are spending Christmas, because we are welcome in each other’s homes.  It means our kids can enjoy having two parents who aren’t at each other’s throats all the time.

We are working hard, together, to teach our children valuable lessons during this time.  We are teaching them to be kind and fair and compromising.  We are teaching them that homes are only broken if the people inside them are.  Once those people find the strength to heal, it doesn’t matter what their addresses are.  We are teaching them that love and commitment doesn’t have to be conditional.  It may change over time but what really matters is how you handle those changes.  We are teaching them resilience.

~ LA

You can read more from LA at https://sweeterinthesouth.blog/

Father’s Day is a Tough One

Father’s Day is a challenge for me. Every year. I am, however, getting better at it. In my family, I am the 24 x 7 single mom of two teens. My children’s dad moved out of state during the divorce process. This is a long story best shared with a close friend — perhaps over a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate … but I digress. For my dear blog readers, I would like to share how I have coped with Father’s Day, and the blessings that have come from this.

For the first few years after the divorce, I made a big deal out of talking to my daughters about Father’s Day for a couple of weeks in advance. I would tell them that their dad loved them, and ask what types of handmade gifts they would like to make for him that year. Then we would go craft shopping, create personalized gifts and cards, put together a care package, and mail it off to him.

The problem with this is that I was not only telling my daughters what they should do, I was also telling them how they should feel. My daughters are different people with different life experiences and different developmental levels. Some years they both wanted to make gifts. Other years one would want to make or buy a gift, and the other one would find any excuse to avoid the whole thing.

Now that they are 13 years old and 16 years old, I wait for them to bring up Father’s Day. I think this is healthy. If either of them wants to get him a gift, I always support that and pay for it. Now that they have their own phones, they are welcome to communicate with their dad on any day however they choose, but I don’t dictate this. I no longer answer the phone and call out, “Your father loves you and wants to talk to you!” I am less stressed out, and so are they. In an attempt to be a “good mom”, I was not always authentic. I whitewashed things, and they knew it.

I’m not sure what each of them will choose to do for Father’s Day this year. My guess is that my younger daughter will want to buy her dad a carefully chosen gift from Amazon and my older daughter will take a pass. Whatever they choose is okay. Their relationships with their dad are theirs, not mine. Respecting this is a lesson that took me a long time to learn, but it has helped to make our lives better.

I will be extra sensitive to my daughters’ needs on Father’s Day, knowing that most of their friends will get to spend Father’s Day with their perfectly imperfect dads. I will also hug the stuffing out of them. I like to do this on the other 364 days out of the year, too.

I wish you and your children a happy and peaceful Father’s Day.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.

Liz Possible ​is a Writer and Single Mom Extraordinaire. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. “Possible” is her attitude, not her legal name — but then you knew that. Follow Liz at her blog at www.lizpossible.com and her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/MySingleMomLife/

Correcting Karma…

Continuing the countdown to 50 and the soul searching that goes with it…

I put a post up yesterday on FB, asking if you could give yourself advice 20 years ago what would it be?   My answer was “take better care of people’s hearts and your own.  Some damage you can’t undo.”

My God– the damage that we can do to other people when we are broken and don’t know any better.  I am famous for saying that people do the best they can for who they are in that moment and I believe that even when it’s me making the mess.  I don’t make messes anymore –of people’s hearts or my own, at 50 I am smarter, wiser and more understanding of what is actually possible and what is not.  However, I was young and stupid once and broken and bouncing off walls and making messes of people’s hearts and my own.  Those were darker times…when I was broken and didn’t even understand that…my childhood was more something to ‘survive’ than something to ‘celebrate’ and that left its mark which wasn’t something I recognized until so many years later…

By the Grace of God many of the people that walked with me during those times are still my friends…I have a good collection of ‘lifers’ in my mix…and without them I would not even be here typing this to you.  They steadied me when I was floundering, they took me in, they loved me, they tried to direct me, they stood with me in my crazy and they never judged…

When I had my son I stopped the crazy train, I made a decision that I was not going to wrap him up in my dysfunctionalism and so I took him at 2 years old and moved away from everything and everyone that I had known for 36 years…we went South to TN and there I learned how to be stable and solid…I didn’t take child support, I had no family around me…just me and GOD and the friends that I made into family…and there we resided for 12 years until 2015 when I came back to New England, but that is a story for another day.

Last week I had the privilege of apologizing to someone that I devastated almost 20 years ago…by the Grace of GOD we are still close, yet I had never really had the opportunity to say how sorry I was for the way that I had left for no good reason…except that I was impatient, young, stupid, careless and broken.  This person has always taken care of me, protected me and helped me to be a better person…he certainly did not deserve the havoc I wreaked on his life all those years ago…to his credit he has never held it against me.  Yet I have never forgotten it and funnily enough (because karma never loses an address even when it is mine) a few years ago someone did the exact same thing to me in the exact same way and when it happened I knew it was karma coming to say “hey”…and so I took that hit as gracefully as I could and it taught me that there are some things you just cannot take back…

What I did learn, in all this, is that if you are blessed enough to be given a chance to repair karma, take it…that is a rare opportunity and I believe that it creates an immense amount of goodwill.  It takes a very self-aware person to realize when they have done damage to another human and then to apologize for it.  I think that it creates healing for both people and good things always come from a place of healing.

 

 

 

“What If?”, Doesn’t Change Anything

I don’t like to think about the “What-If’s?”, it doesn’t change anything. ..not saying I don’t think about them, I just don’t like to get too caught up in them. I use to spend a lot of time wondering and thinking “What If?”…What if I stayed married to my daughter’s dad…What if I continued my education immediately after high school….What if I had never met him…what if my dad never used….and then I realize that with all those decisions I did make the best moments and things of my life would never of happened. I have learned and realized worrying about the What-if’s do cost a lot of energy.

So do those “What if’s?” matter? Are they worth the time worrying about something I cannot change? I occasionally finding myself rolling those around in my thoughts and have trained myself to counter those what if’s by thinking of the things I have to be grateful for. Which is many.

In the end dwelling on the past doesn’t change a damn thing, whether it’s a good or bad. You can waste a lot of time worrying about what could have been, I would much rather enjoy the moments I am.

 

Love to All-Kim