Tag Archives: lessons

The Right Way To Load The Dishwasher

I was loading the dishwasher last night and I thought, I can not wait until my kids know how to load the dishwasher correctly. 

There was mountains of dishes piled on each other and many crusted with old food.  There was a large sigh and then I thought, ‘Aall I want is for them to know how to load and unload the dishwasher by the time they are on their own.’ 

We all know there is the right way to load the dishwasher and there is the wrong way however, this always seems this is a constant dispute at our house.  

Then I stopped and thought about all the things that I want them to know before they either go to college or move on in life..  And then it hit me even harder that my oldest will be graduating high school in two years and I have a lot to teach her before then.  

I want them to know how to definitely load the dishwasher, what about everything else-all the basics of every day life; like doing your own laundry, washing your dishes, making hard boiled eggs. mowing the lawn, making a doctor appointment, keeping a budget, sewing on a button, fixing a flat tire, the list goes on and on. Its all the life lessons that you don’t always learn in school but what others teach you. 

The more I thought about it the more my head started swimming.  I have just been so focused on my kids grades, sports, driving, end of school, prom, etc, I forget all the little things in life which are actually every day life.  

Maybe kids just magically learn these things, but I still remember my dad taking me out and showing me how to change a tire.  I still remember him telling me I always needed a winter survival kit in my car and I still have it in there.  

And at age 47, I still call my mom on a daily basis to ask her a question on how to do something. Usually it’s the same question I have asked her many times before and generally it’s regarding cooking or planting flowers. 

I still remember my mom showing me how to sew on a button.  However, that’s as far as she got with sewing.   My sister and I still tease my mom about the fact that she never taught us the basics of sewing but she’s spent years teaching my kids.

But those are the things that I still use today.

I thought to myself,  I have two years to work on teaching my oldest the things I want her to remember, the basics. That will definitely be my goal.  Yes, we all use YouTube these days, but I want my kids to remember some of the things I showed them.  They might not seem important now and they will roll their eyes but guarantee they will appreciate it someday.  

I want them to be the kids that know how to do their own laundry and make their favorite dinner for someone.  I want them to know how to mow the lawn and change a flat tire.  And if they don’t know the basics, I want them to pick up the phone and call me.  

So, I guess tomorrow we will start with the dishwasher… 

-Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Living Life On Life Avenue

Living life on Life Avenue….the disappointment that we incur as a result of an unmet expectation is usually our fault, our problem, our unrealistic view.  Now that does not mean ‘don’t expect anything’… what it means is… Don’t let it ruin your day.  Don’t get disappointed about it.  At least not the kind of disappointment that keeps you in bed with a tear-soaked pillow or the kind that keeps you  returning to the fridge for yet…. another scoop of ice cream.

Especially if it was an expectation that YOU put upon someone else without even telling them that you expected it.  In my younger years in my dating life, I had sooooo many unspoken expectations in regards to ‘him’.  AND it ruined much.  If the man I was dating didn’t line up with my expectations of him, if he didn’t act the way I expected him to….. he was out!  Gone!  Done!

What WAS that!?

1) who the heck was I to be so brutally cold ?

2) where in the world did that attitude of mine come from ?

3) who on earth did I think I was ?

I remember one time I was dating this great guy.  I’m talking GREAT.  He made me laugh all the time.  We grooved together.  It just worked. Until one day…we went to a party and he got so drunk that I had to drive us home.  That was it.  We were DONE. It was over.  I was OUT!  He did not know what hit him. He had no idea that his behavior would end US… as he told me, “I would NEVER have done that, if I knew this is where I would be now.” He figured in his own mind that it was no big deal….since I wasn’t drinking it was safe for him to get toasted and I would easily drive. WELL, that’s not went on in my own mind.

Only when I was older did I realize how messed up that was.  Now I know I have the power to say what I like, what I want, what I hope for in a mate.  To actually have a grown-up conversation about how to make the relationship work, for both of us, so it would actually last rather than be DONE because of unspoken expectations.  

Ohhhhh the lessons we learn while on Life Avenue!

 

xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

 

My Car My Life

My car … my life

The only thing a rear view mirror is good for is to see what’s behind you.  It doesn’t give you any insight as to what’s around the corner, it gives no enlightenment to the opportunities that lie ahead nor does it give you a sneak peek as to who’s beside you giving you support.  Only what’s behind.  Hence, why it is called rear view.

It is best to have your eyes focused on the windshield more than the rear view.  As you watch where you’re going and see what lies ahead, you can maneuver as you go.  You can look further down the path & decide if you want to turn or go straight.  As the journey of life meanders, just like your car on a long windy country road, you can enjoy the scenery, coast along & be in the moments that surround you.

There will be times that you have so many things going on in your life, you feel like you’re on an expressway and you better be alert throughout the whole chapter you’re in or you could lose focus and end up in a mess that you never saw coming.  If you get that glazed-over look, the one that comes after a long, hard day…you might not see clearly what is right in front of you.

The side mirrors are just as important.  Check in to see who’s beside you, who’s moving at the same rate as you, who’s moving in too close and who just left the scene.  In your life….  Can you trust the people all around you?  Can you watch by their choices where they’re going and if it will impact your path or not? Are you able to continue forward while enjoying their presence beside you or are they a threat?

And always be aware of your blind spots.  Like in a car, you have to be very aware you have them.  Can you see when someone is manipulating, playing or controlling you?  You want to be sure that you have a good sense of your blind spots.  Is one of your blind spots to believe everything people say?  Is it to ignore what they say because you need them in your life?  Is it to wear your rose colored glasses so it appears to look different than it really is because you don’t want to know the truth?  Do not ignore your blind spots.

Be aware of what’s happening behind, in front and beside you…in your car and in your life. Be alert.

 

xoxo

Your God-girl

Tracy

Battle Unicorn

Battle Unicorn….I woke up this morning with the Beatles song Blackbird in my head. I can’t share too much here because of licensing. But the lyric “ take these broken wings and learn to fly…” They are on repeat in my head.

I had about three blogs all set to write.

More about my daughter.

A fluffy one about how I am resisting the urge to cut my hair.

A personal one about how I am trying to maintain my relationship while having to stay home.

Instead I woke up to news my city is on a curfew. Our downtown had 75 businesses torn up.

I can’t speak to much. I don’t know that I should. But I am exhausted.

My heart is broken in a million pieces.

I have said throughout all of this people will show who they are, to believe them.

I have also said we have an opportunity to show people who we are.

This morning I was all set to wallow in this. 2020 is truly the year that can be tucked away in the suitcase I like to reference that holds my troubles and heartbreaks. The one I slide under my bed.

This is bigger than that.

I would like to think I am bigger than that.

I am a teacher by trade. Four year olds. I was until the virus. I was actually in the midst of switching careers but for almost fourteen years I have spent time with four year olds.

They are pretty smart cookies, four year olds.

They also have absolutely no filter.

They love with their whole heart.

Negotiating with a four year old is pretty cut and dry.

They judge you off of how you treat them. Period.

Nothing else.

I worked in Human Resources for a long time and quit to work with kids. When people would ask me why I would say less BS.

I still feel that way.

Four year olds could teach us a lot.

I have two lessons they taught me.

The first is not from my group, but rather an article I read about the unique names children give animals.

I love Rhinos. Apparently a four year old somewhere in the universe decided they are actually Battle Unicorns.

The explanation is pretty detailed but I fell in love with that.

The fact that a Rhino could be something so beautiful and majestic. Pretty fantastic.

I even have it on a T-shirt,

The second lesson was from my kids.

We were reading a story together.

They were all snuggled into me.

My kids came from all backgrounds. All cultures.

What they had in common was me as their teacher and being four.

The book was about family.

We finished and were talking.

As we did.

I was informed that several of them were indeed sisters and brothers too.

They lived together and had slumber parties and watched Frozen.

I told them I’m pretty lucky to be teaching such a big family.

I was informed I could be the big sister if I wanted to be.

Extra credit for that by the way.

My point on sharing this…

I am sad and angry and there are days I want to wrap up in a blanket and cry.

A lot lately if I am being honest.

But my Battle Unicorns taught me better than that.

They taught me to love with my whole heart.

Take people for how they treat you.

I will however be using a filter.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas.

<3 Caprise

A Death of a Guinea Pig

There is nothing like the death of the family rodent to teach a kid about life & death. In our case, our guinea pig, Odie, stepped up and took it for the team this past weekend. He was only 2 years old, so we’re all a bit shocked…

My oldest daughter, who is 9, took the news quite well. She even discovered him, and calmly asked me to confirm his status. I was sure that I could just quietly remove the remains and the cage and all that a guinea pig implied without my 3 y.o. son even noticing, but after last week’s escapade of moving the water cooler to another room, and his epic meltdown because of it, I shouldve known better. Unbenounced to us, though, my son was lurking just out of view while we did a pulse check, poke check, and the rattle-the-cage-wicked-loud check. And when I pronounced him officially dead, he made his entrance with as much drama as an episode of All My Children. I was completely caught off guard, and the right words to console this child had left me high and dry.

So…after little time to come up with a plan, I sent Cara off to find a shoebox. I gave clear instructions to decorate it any way she wanted to, and that we would use it to put Odie in it and give him a proper funeral in the morning. There were stickers and markers everywhere—suddenly the guinea pig had become a family hero, and the box became its shrine. All around the NIKE Swoosh there were stickers of red roses, and written above it in magic marker read the words “R.I.P Odie Our beloved Guinea Pig”.

BELOVED Guinea Pig? He wasnt very BELOVED when it was time to clean his cage. He wasnt very BELOVED when he took a chunk out of the neighbor’s finger. He wasnt even BELOVED when he was squealing so loud even the dogs left the room….

At any rate, I helped them write it. And they werent crying anymore, so hey…if it works, its true. Whatever.

On Sunday, My husband took the little thing out to the woods and buried it, further confusing the youngest child. It was my fault really….I was the one who announced his intent and both kids were just curious enough to insist on going with him. I didnt know they’d do that…sorry, Hunny.

But for days now, the story of this traumatic event as told by my 3 year old son has taken on a life of its own. It began when my 3 year old niece arrived at our house for a visit on Monday morning.

I heard her enter the house with her mother, and I heard the boy begin to spill the gory details of the previous days. I raced towards the room in an attempt to spare her the details, but before I could, there it was. All of it within 30 seconds…
Odie died.
He’s in a box.
With a paper towel bed.
We buried him.
Angels will pick him up…

And when I rounded the corner, there stood my innocent little niece clutching the last of her bagel. I braced myself, and waited for her response. And there it was…
“Ok. Want a bite of my bagel?”
And with that, they were off sharing a bagel and picking through the toy bin.

The questions are still coming.

“When will he not be old?’
“When are the angels gonna drop him back off?”
“Where is heaven?”
“Is he still stiff?”

But with each one, I know his curious mind is learning something new. He merely trying to grasp something no one has yet to understand.

With that, RIP Odie…Our BELOVED guinea Pig.

Toodles.

~Lynn

Happy 51st Birthday!

Tomorrow…51st Birthday?!?! WTF? How did that even happen???? I was literally just, like 30! The kid is 18 now too, going on 60 or so he thinks…he’s moving out soon, looking for an apartment with his friends as he works full time as a Sous Chef and tells me it isn’t “cool” to be a Sous Chef and living at home….he says it is ruining his image….pardon me while I roll around on the floor laughing. I am ruining his image???? HAHAHA—-what do you think he did for mine all these years???? (Continues to laugh until she snorts)

So now what? Here I sit at 51 and soon the kid will be on his own…so what now? It strikes me that I don’t even know who I am without having to be concerned about the boy 24/7— I support him moving, I was on my own at an early age too—-so I get that. It’s just that a moment will catch me and I am like completely undone for a flash. Composure is regained and I keep moving…I am not sure how I will sleep at night not knowing exactly where he is or if he got home safe from work…and I can’t always be asking…he will just say I am being a “helicopter parent”. I don’t think regular people GET what it is like to give up everything to pour yourself into the job of raising a child ALL on your own and having to pay for EVERYTHING and then all of a sudden it is complete…at least this phase because of course we are always their parents….that is a lifetime position….lucky us:)

Then there is the whole 51 issue…damn if I had $5.00 for every lesson I have learned…honestly it seems like the first 50 years was just training ground…sometimes I wonder how the hell I made it!! Also what is with the lines in my face all of a sudden??? Like where the F did those even come from??? UGH!

So let’s talk about some of the “biggies”—-lesson wise that is—-

I learned to watch for behavior patterns as well as actions…words I have discovered mean little….actions are important and patterns will tell you even more. Patterns show the history of someone’s behavior and that is SO important.

-I learned how to walk through fire and hell and come out the other side and I learned that the fire refines me every time and every time I come out stronger and wiser. The fire seasons are hard, yet they are the biggest gifts. Truly. When you are IN them, they are hellish—-when you are out the other side you come to appreciate their value to your growth.

-I have learned patience…mostly…:)

-I have learned how to set boundaries and how to say NO

-I have learned that I cannot fix people and I cannot save them….no matter how much I love them or how much I want to…only they can save themselves.

-I have learned and seen first hand that no matter how long it takes, karma NEVER loses an address.

-I learned that I am not for everyone and that is OK.

And lastly I learned to understand my worth and to value that…this one took almost the whole 51 years to get…

There are SO many more…however those are the BIG ones, the ones that came as a result of walking through fire seasons. Life really is a work in progress and change is what keeps pushing us forward…the kid moving will be its own season for me, not quite a fire season yet some sort of reclaiming…

Reclaiming parts of myself that I had to put aside in order to effectively be his mother and make it work…it will be interesting to see who I become now that I can breathe a little…I look forward to sharing this coming season with you.

I will say that I am grateful for ALL of what came before and that I have also learned to have GRACE for myself and for others as well as I learned that everything really IS working together for good even when I cannot see.

Talk next week.

XOXO,

Noelle

Everyone Has Soulmates

Everyone has soulmates of all different shapes and sizes of them. Soulmates are levers for change and growth, for learning in our life. Not on the same scale as twin flames, but still very important.

Best friends, lovers, family. People who have had large impacts on your life, views and feelings.

Each one has a single lessen for you, and most of the time even though they are dear to you once that lesson is learned they get removed from your life.

They are simply a catalyst for change, and growth. Some stick around, and they end up playing a huge roll in our life after we have learned what they were send to teach, but majority leave soon after. When you try to hang on to a soulmate that tries to leave it can be painful and the relationship can become very toxic.

This lack of permanency in our life does not affect the value and important of soul mates they are a crucial part of our lives and should be cherished.  If you know someone who keeps going in and out of your life take a look and see the difference in yourself during those times and I can almost guarantee you’ll find the lesson that you haven’t completed.

Always be unapologetically yourself,

Ali

Growing Through Hard Times

Everyone it seems is going through some sort of hard times right now, the government shut down, or just the universe being out of wack, it seems everyone is going through something. A lot of people are showing their worst side in reaction to their personal struggle. I was drawn in to is as well. I had to take a step back from everything going on around me. Hard times are meant to make you grow. Especially if you’ve been stagnant in an area of your life for a while. If we get negative, woe is me or lash out we lose our lesson.

Difficult times and situations are a way god or the universe puts a proverbial boot up your tuchus.

Its your wake up call and most of us need a few before we snap to attention. We cant change other people or what happens around us, so the thing we need to change is in us.

It helps me during these times to organize everything I’m doing to appointments to work to even structured time with the kiddos. I also do a gratitude list, and manifestation list to put things in perspective and to attract the things I need. This opens up my focus and attention to see what I really need to look at and work on. Then step by step I get to where I need to be.

Always be unapologetically true to yourself,

Ali

One Year Later

What’s the most important thing you’ve done this year? For me…it’s that I survived. One year ago today I sat in the garage, put the keys in my ignition, turned it on, and sat there screaming in sheer pain. Calling out for her, but she never came. I sat and pounded the steering wheel, grasping at my chest because it hurt so bad. The physical pain…it was just too much for me to take, and I wanted it to go away. This was my only answer. But as I sat there, uncontrollably crying, something made me turn off the ignition and open the garage door. It wasn’t that I wanted to live, but whatever it was, it was stronger than me or the pain.

For me that night…I was desperately trying to end the pain and conquer my problems. I could not bare to live my life without her. It was simply unadulterated desperation.

Depression. It’s living in a body that fights to survive, with a mind that wants to die. The suicide attempt(s) have become a trauma that I have had to learn to deal with. Some days it’s a battle, some days it’s ok. I suppose there should be no shame in fighting the war, because at least I’m here to fight it. I won’t say there haven’t been days when I haven’t revisited the thought again, but then I remember I promised myself never to allow someone to have that much power over me again. And at the end of the day I need to remember to celebrate the courageous person that stares back at me in the mirror and all that she has overcome. Because in the end…long story short…she survived!

Keep surviving!

Virtual Hugs,

BLag

It Could Be You

It could be you….Picture it.  You’re late for work and the driver in front of you is going…so…slow.  I mean – molasses in January in Maine slow.  You want to honk.  You want to scream.  You’re literally losing your mind. Am I right?  Why are people so self-absorbed and inconsiderate? You just want to get where you need to be!

Now imagine you’ve had a super long day and you’ve run into the grocery store to grab a few things.  You’ve beat the crowds and you’re next in line, when some lady saunters up and sets her stuff down in front of you.  Did she really just cut in line?  What do you say to her?  How do you feel?  Wow.  The audacity!

Typical stuff in modern life when out and about.  We’ve all experienced one of these things – or something like them.  And we probably all felt a little outraged, angry or indignant.  Maybe you even said something to the person – a cutting remark meant to remind them of their horrible behavior and put them in their place.  “Hey buddy – gas pedal is on the right!” or “What the hell?” C’mon – we’ve all done it.  They deserved it, right?

Maybe not.

What do you know about the slow driver or the line cutter?  Truly.  What do you know about them other than the fact that they seem to be oblivious to others?  Probably nothing.  You don’t need to know anything to know that they’re rude, do you?

Actually, you do.

That slow driver might have just said goodbye to their mom or dad for the last time.  Maybe they’re driving home after having just received a terminal diagnosis.  Perhaps that line cutter was distracted because those pads she’s buying are because she’s currently miscarrying.  Or maybe she’s in the middle of a divorce and rushing home to her kids who are home alone for the first time.  You don’t know.

Maybe you don’t care.  I mean after all – they’re still being rude, right?

But here’s the thing.  They could be you.  Someday you’ll be old, and you might struggle to drive.  Someday you will lose a loved one and, in your grief, you might do something you didn’t intend to do.  Someday your world may come crashing down and you will be them without even realizing it.

I tell you this from experience.  I’ve run a stop sign during a time of grief.  I’ve snapped at a cashier during a miscarriage.  I’ve lost my shit during a divorce and I’ve been the slow driver after I was told my baby might not survive.  But do you know what?  If you ask my friends and family, I probably say please and thank you more than anyone I know and I’m typically pretty considerate.  Those actions were not me.  One less honk, one less middle finger and one more wave of “it’s ok – it happens to the best of us” would have meant the world in those moments.

When things happen we often jump to conclusions, assuming the worst motives and assigning blame.  But that doesn’t make the world a kinder place.  Maybe those people are just rude.  But maybe they’re not.  Maybe they’re sick, hurting, distracted or afraid.  And maybe, in a year or five or ten, they will be you or your loved one.  And when that time comes, I guarantee that you will be grateful for the stranger who gives you the benefit of the doubt.  So please, be kind.  Judge less.  Care more.  Remember what you don’t know.  And never forget that someday, it could be you.

 

~Cassandra