Tag Archives: happiness

Sometimes You Just Have To Make Joy

Joy or no joy, happy or unhappy…that choice is yours and yours alone.  Contrary to what you believe, things and people and circumstances can’t make you ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy’, only YOU can do that.

Granted being happy for no reason or being joyful no matter what takes skill and determination, however it CAN be accomplished.  You can be happy and joyful no matter what, whether you are shoveling crap out of the cat’s litter box or dancing at a ball with a gorgeous partner…the choice is yours and yours alone.

To be happy and joyful no matter what requires you to develop the skill of making something up out of nothing, generating pure unabashed enthusiasm for no reason what-so-ever.  This CAN be done and I know this because I was trained to do it…when I was about 14 or 15 I wanted to go to the mall with my friends and my Mom wanted me to first help her wrap some presents.  Being a cooperative teenager (NOT) I did not wish to wrap the presents first, I wanted to go to the mall…

My Mom said that if I could wrap the presents with her displaying an attitude of joy and enthusiasm, I could then go to the mall, mind you now the wrapping of the actual presents could have taken about 30 minutes if I had been more willing…instead it took all night…

I said that I would wrap the presents, however I was angry and sullen and if you know my Mom that was just plain unacceptable…we had a swinging door from our kitchen into her office and she said “go into the kitchen and come back through that door with enthusiasm”….so the sullen, angry teenager went through the door stomping her feet and came back through with some pathetic version of “happy” to wrap gifts….Mom said, “NO PASS” —do it again.

Keep in mind now my Mom is a Prosperity Teacher and a Results Coach so my whole life was a classroom and this incident was no different…back I went madder than ever through the damn door…back again I came, madder…”NO PASS, do it again”…

Back I went, complaining that I WASN’T happy, so how could I generate ‘happiness and enthusiasm”, my Mom “just MAKE IT UP, do it again”…

Back I came crying about how MEAN she was and how none of my friends mothers did this crazy stuff, blah, blah, blah….”NO PASS, do it again”

This went on for several hours, back and forth through that silly, damn door and then FINALLY I got it…I had to just CHOOSE IT, I had to MAKE IT UP OUT OF NOTHING.  Was there a “reason” to be happy?  NO!  Was there evidence to support my enthusiasm???  NO!  Did that matter??? NO!

I just had to generate something out of nothing to get the damn job done and in that moment I mastered it, I got it and I came flying through that door the happiest son of a gun you ever saw!  Mom said “PASS!!!!!”

That was one of the defining moments of my life and one of my greatest lessons, my Mother knew what she was doing, she still does…she was and continues to train me for excellence, she trained me that day that it doesn’t matter what is happening all around you, you CAN CHOOSE to be joyful, happy and enthusiastic no matter what.  That choice is yours and you simply make it up.  You can do this whether you are sitting in traffic, waiting tables, cleaning toilets, parenting kids or sitting in the sun on a tropical island.

Life brings to you what you bring to it, if you bring complaining and despair then life will bring you more of that…if you bring happiness and enthusiasm then life will multiply that for you.

So today….run through that swinging door with CRAZY JOY AND ENTHUSIASM just because you can…I dare you!

XXOO,

~N.

My Friend Bill

I would like to tell you about my friend Bill. You may know him. He’s made a few movies. Big sports buff. Very quirky and he got his start on one of my favorite television shows.

When things in my life were feeling their lowest I started looking for positive outlets.

Me being me I needed them. It couldn’t be a glass of wine that would easily turn into a bottle. It couldn’t be a beautiful pastry my sweet tooth doesn’t ever seem to know when to stop.

It couldn’t be a trip to Target because it would mean a cart full of things I have no budget for.

It couldn’t be a night out because it can’t.

So…

I listen to music.

I read.

Watch movies, but I will be honest I am also easily distracted. 

I began digging deeper.

Looking for those things that would fill the gaps but wouldn’t lend themselves to my somewhat self destructive old habits.

Dear friends, I’ve sugar coated them. My bad habits.

Maybe a blog for another day.

Around this same time I watched the Razor’s Edge and Stripes. Two decidedly different movies from Bill Murray.

I mentioned to a friend how amazing I thought Bill Murray was. He suggested I read The Tao of Bill Murray.

My new friendship was born. Bill just doesn’t know it.

I also started digging into some amazing quotes from his.

As silly as it sounds these quotes have me some perspective I needed.

Here’s one:

“Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that you’re stupid and make bad decisions.”

Welp… lol, yes.

But this one, this is the stuff.

“Don’t think about your errors or failures, otherwise you’ll never do a thing.”

That is exactly what started happening. I got so bogged down by all of the things that went wrong, I either didn’t do anything or did WAY too much.

I always looked for the other ball to drop. The bad.

I keep saying this but not only is 48 my year of no filter it’s also the year I work hard at happy. The year maybe I can give that happy to other people too.  As it has been to me in so many ways. One in particular a picture of one of my Chewbaccas with the man himself. It’s my screensaver and it makes me smile.

There are still going to be bad days, but to paraphrase my friend Bill… maybe it will be a day that a slice of pizza and cold beer can make feel better.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

The Hardest Time Of The Year

The Hardest Time Of The Year.

The countdown til the guy in the red suit is officially arrives is on.  It also means I must start planning on how I will spend my Christmas alone. I am working. As much as I can. It means tense emails and texts about where my daughter will be and with who.

Some of which has been dictated by a  judge and lawyers who don’t know us.

Some of the decisions I have caved to, to avoid a fight with my daughter’s Dad.

After almost nine years of this- at my daughter’s Grandpa’s urging I asked G what she wanted.

She is twelve. I feel like in the midst of thinking I was doing the right thing I did a lot of the wrong things over the years. She missed out. I should have fought harder for her to have more of a Christmas, instead of being so afraid of her Dad.

So … like I said, I asked her.

My girl is a diplomat. I think a lot of kids of divorced parents are. She insisted she hasn’t felt slighted, she enjoys Christmas but she has not waffled from what she wants either.

This year she wants Christmas Day at both our houses. I know I can manage it, but her Dad will put up a fight. He will have dates and times and examples. He will make threats. He will make this hard on me.

I will take it for my kiddo, and stand my ground. This time of year isn’t about me.

It’s about her. Like it is everyday all year long.

When I told her I would figure it out for her because it’s what she wanted, she smiled and grabbed my hand. Said” thanks Mom”, and gave me her twelve year old smirky smile that I live for.

That will be my  present over the next few weeks.

Being a Mom is tough. Being a Mom during the holidays can be downright bananas. It’s hard. But at the end of the day we have these amazing incredible humans who love us.

I am wishing you all so much joy and happiness over the next few weeks and into the next year.

<3 Caprise

Feel The Sadness Not Fill It

I’m sitting in my backyard reading “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” by Lisa Terkeurst for inspiration to my life, to my healing,  to my blog.  She speaks about disappointment and how easy it is to fill the sadness with nonsense.

I have found myself filling my disappointments with shopping.  In hopes that those sassy shoes or that amazing outfit would bring me the happiness I longed for.  Anything to not be IN my sadness.  And they did !!  But only for a little while.  Only temporarily.  Only on the surface.  When the excitement wore off, the sadness  re-emerged it’s ugly head, shouting it’s lies of deception and ridicule.  Reminding me of my faults and disappointments.  And not caring one iota of how it left me feeling.  THAT my friend, is the enemy.

I have learned over the years that the enemy is a liar, looking for the weakest place, in me, to attack.  And the enemy doesn’t come to just harm us and make us feel bad, oh no…..the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy.

As much as we might try to fight off the snearing and sneaky ways…we can somehow be captivated by it.  Wanting to hear what else needs to be said, what other lies exist.  But if we’re not careful the sweet taste of knowing one more crumb, might lure us back in to the sadness we so long to escape.

So you ask, what do we do with the sadness left after disappointment?  I’ve learned to walk through it, to embrace it, learn more about me from it.  Then see where am I REALLY weak and does it matter to me and if it does, what can I do to grow stronger in that area?  If it truly is a lie to keep me tied down, then to find the TRUTH there and proclaim it over and over and over again.  I’ve seen the disappointment turn into a valuable lesson.  Again & Again & Again.

I hope you do too.

xoxo
Your God Girl,
Tracy

Let Those Grudges Go

Grudges. The old me…circa 2016 and back…100% held grudges. It’s all I knew. Or maybe it was what I was forced to know. What it did was cost me my first marriage, and countless mistakes after that. Then one day my wife (new marriage) told me it, along with my bitterness for life, it was one of the things she hated most about me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Along with the wondering why she married me to begin with, so many questions flooded my existence. Circumstances had made me that way. The many years of continuous hurt and betrayal from so many people I had given my heart to had turned me into stone. What a reality check and more importantly an awakening.

And so I committed to myself, and those I loved, to change. And I did. I absolutely changed. I let all the negative that had been drowning me go. And slowly I fought my way back. I learned to forgive. And I did it. But along the way of forgiveness, somehow I ended up with a broken heart all over again. Was this how it was supposed to be? Really? I had fought an internal battle to change my hardened heart, all for it to happen all over again?

Over the past two years I have fought through some of the darkest days of my life. Places I never thought I would be, I have been. I don’t think I will ever understand the reason, the why’s or the how’s, nor will I ever run out of tears when my mind wanders back in remembrance. They flow uncontrollably. What I do know is that I have to stop questioning it, and somehow find the strength to leave all of it behind once and for all, let go of the grudges. My life has to have some kind of purpose, and while I may not know what that is right now, I have to believe that one day I will find it. I will not revert back to being bitter. And when it comes to two people; as far as forgiveness goes, it will never work if one person forgives and the other does not. I know what side I was once on, and more importantly I know what side I was on in the end. All that’s left for me is to close the door and never walk through it again.

Keep on keeping on!

Virtual Hugs,

BLag

Know Your Worth

When approaching 51, you end up doing this sort of involuntary assessment of your existence up to this point…it’s not like a planned thing, it just happens…you find yourself thinking through the decades that have passed and you start looking at what you learned.

If you are me you also think you need to share the things you could have done better because perhaps you will keep someone else from making those particular errors.

Here’s one of my biggest “I could have done betters” career wise — not realizing my worth in the workplace and conducting myself accordingly.  Up until about 3 or 4 years ago I undervalued myself and allowed other people to undervalue me as well— I also did a fair amount of enabling people disguised as being a power performer.  I was talking this morning on the FB Live about how we end up just putting our heads down and moving toward the goal without really giving much thought to how we ARE in the process.  What happens in the workplace is the same…we behave in the same way, we take our –badass single parent, we can get anything done– attitude and we apply it everywhere—without much thought to how we are being treated in return.  We may tend to undervalue ourselves in a work environment by doing this…

For me that showed up for years as me doing everything I was asked, pushing through to get the result no matter what, always saying yes, not asking to be compensated for doing many different jobs, trying to please everyone and make everything easier for them…I trusted that people would treat me the way I treated them…often that was not the case.

Looking back on it all now I see that I did a lot of enabling others because I just always made everything OK and handled it…I was so worried about keeping the bills paid and a roof over our heads that I never once stopped to think about if I was being compensated for what I was WORTH.  In hindsight I could have done so so SO much better—if I had understood how much value I contributed I would have understood how to ask for things in relation to that—instead I just took what was offered and kept doing more…

I am so very grateful for all that I learned in these last two decades and for all of the opportunities that were extended to me, I simply wish that I had taken better care of myself in the process and that I had valued myself as much as I should have.  I would like to see you ladies avoid this – value yourselves, ask for what you deserve and don’t be afraid to walk away if something isn’t working—take care of you—you are worth far more than you think.

 

XO, Noelle

 

The Ice Cream Dance

Hey Mommas… you may be reading the title of this blog, The Ice Cream Dance,  and thinking has Caprise been spending too much time in the sun? She’s overheated.

Thankfully I have been fortunate to be safely tucked away in spaces with working A/C as the Midwest (my home) and just like much of you is getting hit with heat. I’m not complaining though. While I live in the land of ice and snow, I love not having to wear shoes or layers.

But…. I am going way off topic here. Kinda of. Maybe not.

We here at Working Single Mom do our best to remind you to take care of yourself.

That includes finding your happy. I will be honest, there was a time I way over thought that and of course answered it immediately with a “if G is happy I’m happy.”

Well, yes.

But there is also a reason why there are quotes about if Mom isn’t happy no one is happy.

I believe that. I’m not saying hide your sad. Never. If there is anything I’m learning from my quickly maturing daughter G, it helps her to know if I’m stressed or sad. Case in point we had a morning planned and right before we left I got a pretty important email from work. It stressed me out, I told G. Handled it and we moved on with our morning.

She was elated I told her what was up and told me so. A few months ago I would have been a grumpy troll and put a damper on our morning trying to not only deal with the work emergency but hide my stress from G.

She’s 12, while she can’t handle everything she can handle more than I give her credit for.

And yes for the record she is my happy.

So are some other things and I’m going to share them with you. Now here’s the thing. I didn’t not come upon these revelations completely by myself. I of course have Miss G who finds joy in some of the silliest things and I can’t help but smile.

My family has shown me. My friends.

Of course the amazing community here.

Happy doesn’t have to be a big extravaganza. You do have to work at though. You do. I think the fact I’m writing about finding your happy tells all of us that.

Of course there are quotes about that too.

My favorite which I’m sure I’ve shared here… “misery is easy, happiness you have to work at.”

Happy can be rediscovering how great a hot cup of coffee with milk and sugar is after months of having to limit dairy. This getting old business I tell you…

A open window after months of winter.

A sunrise.

A sunset.

Singing Never Surrender by Corey Hart at the top of your lungs. Don’t ask.

A goofy dance only you and your daughter do.

Five bags of Haribo gummy candy for $5.

Your daughter still wanting goodnight hugs after she told she can tuck herself in.

Your dog leaning against you so you’ll pet him.

Tacos.

Reconnecting with an old friend.

An unexpected text.

Pastries of any kind.

That feeling I get when I’m swimming laps.

Sunday afternoon naps.

Guacamole.

Dancing while you’re eating ice cream. AKA the ice cream dance. One of my favorite comedians does this thing where when she’s traveling she eats ice cream, plays music in the background and dances.

Because she’s happy and it makes me happy watching it.

My point is, it’s so easy and I know this in my bones to look around and find a reason not find your happy. It doesn’t have to be a vacation to a beach, although that would be great. It can be simple, but don’t forget yourself.

Ok?

You are important Mommas.

You deserve that unexpected smile and giggle.

You deserve the happy.

You deserve to have an ice cream dance.

I’m sending you an extra smile in case you didn’t get one this week and bonus want picture me eating a taco, dancing horribly with Def Leppard Photograph playing in the background.

Ok that might make you shake your head.

Much love Mommas.

<3 Caprise

Birds Of A Feather

Growing up I heard birds of a feather flock together. This statement is only partially true, the more you hang around people the more you start to mirror them. Humans are naturally social creatures. The odd duck gets left behind, it’s kind of a evolutionary response to become like the people you surround yourself with.

The top five people you interact with will rub off on you, Including the people you interact with on social media. Actually I am starting to believe social media may have a as big or bigger impact on us than real life interactions. In person socialization for the most part is more filtered unless you are extremely close with that person. On social media there a little to no filters especially on negativity and the dark sides of an individual.

If you would I would like you to take a moment, scroll through your timeline and pay attention. How much of is it negative? I bet a majority of you will be surprised. You may think, what do I do now? I don’t want to unfriend this person I care about. I recommend changing the settings for following frequency and finding positive people and pages to see majority in your social media.

You can still love and be apart of people’s lives without letting their ish influence you.

I myself love to surround myself with people I aspire to be like, it keeps me on a path of continuous growth, and protects me from getting comfortable and sliding backwards. There are a few people I still talk to that I used to talk to everyday, once I started working on myself I outgrew them. It’s ok to outgrow people who are important to us. There have only been a handful a people that even though I loved them dearly, I had to let go and cut them out completely. This is because once I started healing and growing I realized they were a toxic influence on me. These people weren’t, and aren’t bad people, they had just become toxic to the path I had started on, and they would have pulled me back down before I would have ever been able to pull them up.

Surround yourself with the success, joy, love, and anything else you want to become. Find those qualities in others and find your soul tribe.

Learning, Loving, Growing

Ali

Happy New Year To Me

Happy New Year, Happy New Year, Happy New Year….

That’s what I’m hearing from lots of people, from every direction, all day for the past few days. I get it. But I feel like it’s more of a traditional salutation than a real heartfelt one. Although some people may seriously mean it… from the bottom of their heart…wishing others a HAPPY new year and all. While some may deeply long for something new in their own lives and really want to spread the vibe to others. Some may long for happiness at every level. And some may not even realize that their wishes are empty because their eyeglasses are just too rosey. Some, like me are excited for what God has planned.

“Lest Not Judge” Right…… so let us not judge the proclamations of others but instead look internally at our own longing for a Happy New Year. A Joyful New Year. Or how about a Glorious, Vivacious, Stupendous, Blessed New Year? I like the sound of that!!

We get to make it up in our mind. We get to say how it is for us. We get to move in that direction, trusting that we have what it takes. We will walk our walk while talking our talk and we will live through those thoughts that WE proclaim. Easy right? Not so much?

Start somewhere. Claim the adjectives that you’re going to place on your new year. Wrap your mind around them. Maybe even make a Vision Board full of pictures that speak to those beautiful adjectives that you’ve chosen as yours. Talk about them, sing about them, brag about them. Use these new words in conversations. Get so damn comfortable with them that they fee like fuzzy slippers on a cold day. And watch. Watch your life begin to move into the direction of something NEW for YOU. I’m choosing “Glorious, Vivacious, Stupendous, Blessed. What are your new words?

Your God Girl,

Tracy xoxo

When Mom Is Happy Everyone Is Happy

This post is really geared towards mom, but I suppose it could hit home for just about anyone. I want to talk about the importance of self-care and the feelings of guilt that come along with that care. How often do you do something for yourself…say go to the gym or get your hair or nails done, and then feel guilt for leaving your kids with a sitter, at daycare, or even with their other parent? If your answer to this is never, then please teach me your ways I beg of you!!

I’m currently sipping on a latte with color processing in my hair at my favorite salon, that I drive an hour to get to in Providence. I know you are probably thinking I am nuts, but I haven’t always driven to Providence. I’ve been seeing the same hair stylist for just over five years now and two years ago she headed to Providence to open her own salon so of course I followed her. I’m just trying to keep it real here…finding a stylist that just gets your hair is like finding a good babysitter!

Do I feel guilty for getting my hair done today? You bet your ass I do, but not just for leaving the girls but also for spending the money that I should be saving. I try to save as much as I can these days, going from two incomes to one is definitely an adjustment. Yes, there is child support so I’m one of the “lucky” single moms, but still an adjustment. I thought about cancelling my appointment on more than one occasion, but it had been booked for three months and it was honestly starting to become impossible to brush through my hair. See what I just did there?!? I made an excuse for myself to lessen that ever present guilt.

You must do things for yourself that make you feel good on the inside and on the outside. Maybe you want to hit the bag at the gym, get some eyelash extensions, or God forbid take a damn nap! You are entitled to do these things, enjoy these things while doing them and still be a good mom (or dad). Getting my hair done and going to the gym are things that I refuse to have to give up. They make me feel good about myself and when I feel good about myself I feel like I can take on the world. Let’s face it, sometimes being the parent of small children, you already feel like you are taking on the world. You might as well look good while doing it <3

 

Remember, hugs are always free!

xX Tamara xX