Tag Archives: lessons

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

Life With Trisomy 18

Last night I was thinking about what life would be life if Lillian didn’t have Trisomy 18. I thought back to her diagnosis and how devastated I was that she was going to be sick. I was scared about how our lives would change to accommodate for her needs, and even more scared of the thought of living life without her. I knew that one or the other would be how things played out. It’s been over 2 years since I became the mother of a medically delicate child. So last night when I was thinking about where we would be now if Lillian was “normal” I just couldn’t imagine life any other way.

So many times I feel like having a disability is looked at as a bad thing. We live in a society where different things are assumed to be bad. Being the mom of a medically delicate child has opened my eyes to so much. I, too, once thought that being differently abled or being the mom of a differently abled child would be absolutely awful. Life shook me around and showed me that is not. It’s hard. But it’s also crazy beautiful and wonderful and worth it. Life with Lillian has opened my eyes to an entirely different world—a better world.

The truth is, Trisomy 18 has shaped Lillian, and me for that matter. Lillian IS NOT Trisomy 18, but she does HAVE it. And it does make her who she is. She wouldn’t be the same without that extra chromosome. She is perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t have her any other way. Would I take away the sickness? Sure. Would I take away the short lifespan? In a heartbeat. But would I change anything else about her? No. Having a child with different abilities is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. She has taught me so much about so many things. I could go on all day about it! She is THE sweetest, happiest child I’ve ever met. And I honestly don’t think she would have the same personality if she didn’t have Trisomy 18.

There are many many days that I say I “hate” Trisomy 18. And what I’ve realized is that it’s not Trisomy 18 that I hate. It’s death. And we are all going to die. So I choose her. I choose happiness. I choose positivity. And I choose to live despite the inevitable.

**If you are interested in learning more about Trisomy 18 or following Lillian’s journey, please check out her Facebook Page here https://www.facebook.com/trisomy18princess

 

Written By: Alivia Kraft

Damage and The Inspiration We Can Find Within

Damage….

Generally speaking, I try to focus on finding the good in bad situations…looking inside yourself for strength and finding your own way towards a better tomorrow.  Some days, though, I find myself struggling a little with that perspective in parts of my life.  Can you relate?

At some point, I realized that there are some things in my past that I will likely never fully recover from.

There are things that I have experienced that can’t be erased from my mind…can’t be erased from my heart…can’t be erased from my soul.  They may not affect me every day of my life, but there are certain key times that they rear their ugly little heads and cause me to re-live certain nightmares all over again.

There are certain sounds that trigger these memories…sounds that are common to television, movies and even some events with friends.  There are also certain stories and scenes from the same sources that cause the memories to flash through my mind.  I can’t very well run away and hide from life, but there are, without question, times that I would love to do just that.  I have come to realize that the proper support system in this arena is so very important to us all.

And the beauty in that is this:

I have always tried to reach out to the so-called unlovable.

I have always tried to have compassion for the bully.

I have always tried to hold understanding for those whose stories I do not know.

I have always tried to live my life with a healthy dose of grace.

In these things that have always been a part of my day, I find motivation to be better…a better version of myself…a better friend to others…a better model for my child.

In these things that I have always tried to live, I find a better understanding of my calling to live them.

So many people in this world get to know each other on the surface.  They come to friendship based on surface facts.  And when some life event unfolds in a way that catches them off guard, they run away before ever attempting to understand it.  So many people in this world define their love for each other in spite of things rather than because of things.
What if…what if we could all learn to love each other because of things instead of in spite of things?
What if…what if our pasts could be used to better know and love and look out for each other instead of as weapons and excuses against each other?
And that…that brings me back to the beauty in this all.
There are moments of pain in my life that I cannot avoid.  There are moments of the same that I cannot erase.  But these moments…are moments of opportunity and moments of potential for greatness.  These are moments sitting right in the palm of my hand, for which I fully control the direction. These are moments that I choose to learn from, that I choose to love from, that I choose to be better from.

We all have our moments.  What will you do with yours?

~Tanya

You can follow Tanya at http://sunshineandbluemoon.blogspot.com and, as always, make it a great day!

Finding Benevolence In Chaos

When you are a single mother, most of the time you are fearful that you won’t be able to make ends meet. Trying to hail mary a check at the grocery because your pantry is empty. I have been there so many times. We are constantly reminded, “the struggle is real”.

Lucky enough, I was able to find a job at a local trauma hospital. Watch out local market, here we come!

I saw things that  will not settle in my psyche for a long time. Along with severe accidents, there were things that were amusing. A nice balance of good and bad.

Over time, I was able to somewhat shield myself from the chaos. After this, I realized that I was going to be given a huge life lesson.

Originally, I thought I was not able to feel compassion for others. I was too involved in my own life to pay attention. It was then that my heart opened up and my lessons were about to be learned.

Most of the reps would take the easy cases. They would shy away from the others. Since I had a job to do, I took the ones that they didn’t want. Compassion 101.

While a family was waiting for their person, I checked and offered what could be done to make them comfortable. Tissues? Ice water? A warm blanket? It was only 2 minutes of my time. Later in the night, they had thanked me for being so sweet.

I took the unruly kids to the snack drawer and loaded them with treats. They were thrilled!

Eventually,I scouted out the patient’s that needed kind words or special treats. It was my lesson because I began to see the blessings of kindness. My little ole heart had started to open. Indeed, not everyone was a jerk.

Compassion and kindness are free. Most people appreciate small gestures. Take the time to smile. Practice, practice, practice. Go thru the lesson to get the reward. At the end of the day, embrace your blessing. You won’t be disappointed.

Striving for exceptional – Tristen Ahlsey

Advantages of a Perfectly Imperfect Mom

I am a perfectly imperfect mom. I come from a long line of women like this — women who do their best, women who make messes, women who clean up those messes. Women who KEEP GOING. ​There are advantages of having a perfectly imperfect mom. Here are a few of them:

Perfectly Imperfect moms turn their mistakes into valuable life lessons

Around the time of my divorce, I said some vile things about my estranged husband to my children. I deeply regret having done this. I was in a great deal of pain at the time, and used poor judgement. After beating myself up about this for a (long) while, I decided to take a healthier approach. I apologized to my children. I explained to them that I was very sad and angry and should not have said those things, and that I would do my best to make amends by not doing that in the future.

Not long ago, one of my daughters called someone a nasty name. I said, “You know how I feel about name calling. That is not an acceptable word in our family.” Her retort was, “You’ve called Dad that!” I took a deep breath and was able to say, “That’s true. I have called him that, and I apologized for it. I also have not called him that in over 5 years now.”

Will I win mother of the year for not choosing to call my ex names? No. But in the real world of making mistakes and striving to do better, I am proud of this one.

Perfectly Imperfect moms are funny

One day the toilet in my house overflowed. In the midst of grabbing towels and starting to clean up the mess, I yelled “Shit!” at the top of my lungs. My younger daughter immediately scolded me for saying a bad word. I pointed out to her that I was literally cleaning up poop when I yelled that word, therefore I was making an accurate observation.

She asked if she could yell that word, too. I thought this one over, and said that whenever a toilet overflowed in our house, it was okay for anyone to yell “shit”, but that was the only exception to the rule. My kids both laughed with me and have now explained to their friends that you are only allowed to say “shit” in our house if a toilet overflows.

This rule works for me. It also entertains our guests.

Perfectly Imperfect moms do the right thing (even if they don’t do it right away)

When my older daughter was 2 years old, I once sent her to daycare wearing a perfect outfit — adorable yellow overalls, a new floral top, perfectly coordinated socks and new shoes. She looked like she could have been a 2 year old model. I was ridiculously proud of my feat.

When I picked her up that afternoon, she came out with a painting in her hand and exclaimed that she had made it herself. In addition to the paint that was on the paper, there was paint on everything she was wearing, including the shoes. When I saw her beautiful face grinning with pride, I had the presence of mind to take a breath and exclaim, “Cool! Can you tell me about your picture?”

After that, I sent her to daycare in appropriate play clothes, and expected them to be played in. I also said nothing about the paint to the daycare lady who made my daughter’s days safe and fun so I could earn a living. We both had more important priorities.

So the next time you start to beat yourself up for not being a perfect mom, take a breath and realize that there are no perfect moms​. Think about the cool things that you and your children can both learn from your imperfections. Then hug the stuffing out of them (even if they are old enough to pretend that they don’t like it — because they really do).

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/

Moments…

As promised, here I am blogging again…this is the first in a series of musings as I approach my 50th birthday in August…they will likely be random in nature…enjoy…XO…

In all of our life stories there are always those moments, the ones that alter everything.  The ones that change you in a way that will never be undone.  They are in every story of consequence that we carry with us…often in a wonderful way and also often in a way that we will never recover from.

Bear in mind that I don’t say “will never recover from” in a negative way, I say that in a true way as in we will move on from that moment, we will put ourselves back together, stand up, forgive, keep going…yet we will NEVER be the same exact person that we were before that moment occurred.  We will be more cautious (perhaps), wiser, less innocent, less naïve…most of all we will be DIFFERENT.  Often the people that contributed to those moments will want us to go back to being the same, they will want to erase the damage that they helped to happen…yet we cannot.  We are different now and will remain so.

I think this is why my Grandfather would tell me that once you left someone or they left you, once it was over—do not go back.  He would say that people don’t really change and that eventually the things that didn’t work would reappear.  For the most part, after just about 50 years now, I believe this to be the truth.  I think that there are cases where exceptional people do the work and repair broken things with success, however, I would call that rare…

The moments, they are not always in romantic relationships…those moments can be with a friend, a parent, a relative, a job…the moments that change you, they come from all kinds of places…sometimes they are caused by actions and sometimes by words.  I can recall holding my tongue more than once in my life for fear that if I uttered the words I wanted to it would cause a moment that could not be undone.  I can also recall times that I said those words, the ones I should have held in and I did cause moments that couldn’t be taken back.  I am guessing we have all been on both sides of that coin.

As I approach 50 in August, I am doing a lot of sorting and reflecting…making decisions about who I want around for the next 50 and who and what I can do without.  We put up with a lot of things…I am finding that I don’t really want to do that anymore.  My time is valuable to me and I want it spent on things and people that matter.

Looking back through the last 50 years, I gained an understanding of these ‘moments’ that I am speaking of.  I think that there is a lot of power in owning these moments and recognizing how they changed us, it can provide us with wisdom for what is to come next.

No matter what kind of moment it was, there was always a lesson…granted sometimes one that I did not learn until long after the moment had passed…really though that is how most things are, often we don’t see what there is to see until we get to the other side.

~Noelle

April 2, 2018

 

Experiences Teach Us So Many Life Lessons

I’ve had a lot of experiences through my life, both good & bad. Time and maturity has taught me to handle things differently than when I was 20 years old. I know that I have mentioned before that when Noelle asked me to start blogging, I was scared to death and very hesitant on if I had anything to offer anyone. I have no degrees in psychology, therapy or anything other than my marketing and the same degree that everyone else receives from living, that degree is Life.

I don’t know if anything I have said throughout the posts has helped anyone or if I expect it to. Writing has helped me, that I can attest to. I like to think I have made a difference to someone, somehow, somewhere. But really all I have to offer is the lessons that I have learned through experiences. And sometimes that’s enough for someone to see that they too can become who they want and know that they aren’t alone.

Life isn’t easy-I use to look at someone and think “if you only knew”..and then I remind myself that what is a walk in the park for me may be the hardest thing they have ever dealt with. That perception came with maturity. We’ve gone down MY”I am a victim” road many times. I have stayed on that road many times, it does no one any favors.  It takes a lot of work to find the balance between life, work, wants, needs, expectations, love, family and the list goes on. I never want anyone to perceive that I have all the answers or the know all to everything because I mostly certainly don’t. My only hope is that I am helping someone in some way.

 

 

Love To All-Kim

Blessings Often Wear A Hell Of A Disguise

“Some blessings wear a hell of a disguise”

So in order to keep my promise of daily fresh content to all of you, I need to pull a blog post out of my ass…and it’s Monday and I don’t feel like it.  Good thing I don’t give much thought to ‘how I feel’ in the moment, I am well-trained to just do what needs to be done…so looking over at my wall of quotes—I see one that sparks a flash of inspiration…it is an anonymous quote that reads, “Some blessings wear a hell of a disguise…”  Well, well, well…now yes they do!

My faith in God has taught me that there is good in everything even when it can’t be seen.  I am of the opinion that you have to trust that even in your darkest hour the good is there and eventually it will come to bless and benefit you.  All of this is easier said than done.  There have been quite a few times when life has whipped me around to the almost breaking point and in those hours it took all my courage to trust that good was there somewhere.   Days, years, months later I could see the blessing…however in those moments I didn’t see squat!

Several people in my life right now are living in those dark moments, one is losing her house from bankruptcy and another is struggling with a stinging betrayal.  It is hard to counsel them that there is good somewhere present in the current circumstances.  I know for them that it is there, however it is hard for them to stay steady now and trust that for themselves.

When our blessings are wearing a hell of a disguise and it seems as if life is against us, the most important thing that we can do is to know that good is present somewhere, somehow…it is vital in the middle of urgent circumstances to keep your head clear and above water…it is imperative to react to things according to the outcome that you want to see– not according to the way it looks at any given moment.   Remember that the miracle doesn’t come unless there is complete certainty and trust on your part.  From what I have read, according to a Hebrew version of the Bible, when Moses created the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, he and his followers had to walk into the sea knowing that it would part for them…from what is written, the sea did not part until they were in the water up to their nostrils—only then did the sea become dry land.  They had to walk into the sea with the CERTAINTY that it would part for them.  As they were walking further and further in, there were moments that it looked like they were going to drown…they kept going because they trusted and they were certain that the sea would make way for them…IT DID!

We must use this lesson in our own lives, every day.   You must be certain that life will make way for you to have the outcome that you desire, provided that it is for the highest good of everyone involved.  Understand that the highest good in a situation is not always what our ego desires.  Some of us try to push ‘our will’ instead of Divine Will…that doesn’t usually work out so well.

When your intentions and desires are pure, life will move heaven and earth to assist you.  Blessings are usually disguised to help us acquire qualities that we may not learn otherwise…hence the old saying “if God brings us to it…God will bring us through it”…this is good news, it means we never get anything we can’t handle.

So the next time life is kicking your butt remember that there is good in there somewhere…even if you can’t see it, trust that it is present.  The willingness to trust for the possibility of good has the power to shift your state of mind and therefore the entire situation.