Tag Archives: life

Why Is It So Hard To Be You?

How do you just be you? I do not know where to start with this one without sounding like a crazy… I have not never felt more like myself than I do now. I am not sure why… or how… but I finally feel like the person I was years ago. This might be hard to explain..

I was married for many years and throughout most of my marriage I did not feel like I could be myself. I was trying to be perfect. What is it about being perfect and why do we feel we need to be perfect at times… perfect job, perfect body, perfect life…

I loved my life, however I was just not myself. I always felt like I was trying to live up to someone I was not. I felt like I was always trying to please someone. I am not a perfect mom or person. I tried to be perfect for many years.. I mean I tried to make homemade baby food, I tried to make craft projects off of Pinterest, and I tried to throw the best kid birthday parties.. The truth is, none of that is me.. I love my kids and I would do anything for them. But I am not the perfect mom… nor do I want to be.

I was a stay at home mom for many years and I did love it, however I might sound crazy or like a bitch, but I feel you also lose a part of yourself. I volunteered for Sunday school, PTA, field trips, etc ..thinking this is what I should be doing. I was even on the PTA board and it was definitely not for me… After many years and my kids were older, I was bored. I would try to create projects. I felt like I didn’t know what I wanted to do or that I didn’t really do anything important. I was trying to find myself again and didn’t know where to start. I wanted to feel important again.

I have no idea why I thought I had to be perfect all the time. I did not grow up that way, but I think over time I changed to be someone I wasn’t. I think it took years to get back to my old self or the person I am…I have just learn to let things go. I do not get worked up about all the things in life that don’t really matter. I do not feel like I need to make it to every event or have my kids go to every event. Sometimes we just need to stay home.

Slowly, I started to make my own decisions without feeling guilty. I had to learn to just say no to things I really did not like. Maybe they were things I had pretended to like for years. I realized I am more comfortable with a smaller groups. I do not like crafts. I do not like cooking. I do not like home projects. I like music. I like concerts. I like sitting outdoors…. So many of these things I neglected for many years. Mostly because I felt I would just go along with everyone else and not speak up for what I wanted. Or I felt guilty for wanting to do something I wanted. I finally realized that I didn’t have to live up to anyone or their expectations. I was myself.

I have learned that I do not get worked up over things now..I am late for everything and I have accepted it. Years ago, I would be yelling over and over again because we were

late. Then I realized, I have 3 kids and we are just never going to be on time for anything.

I am myself with my kids now. I probably let them stay up later than they should. I do not have them involved in every activity. My daughter wears the same clothes everyday almost, we wash them at night and she wears them again. Why? Because it’s easier and what does it matter…

It’s hard to learn to feel comfortable just being yourself. It’s hard to not worry about being the perfect mom, or wife, or perfect everything. I have learned that I do not worry over as much anymore. Somehow it works out. Maybe not how I wanted it, but it works out. I have learned to let a lot go, and I can be myself.

Thank you for reading…

Megan

Snarkydivorcedgal

Who Has Your Steering Wheel?

God’s got mine. Does the thought of it raise the hairs on the back of your neck? OR Do you welcome the thought and take a deep breath knowing you can relax on your journey of life? I find it to be very comforting.

Especially growing up in a home where all the details had to be explained, all the plans had to be set in motion, all the unknowns had to be questioned. There was no room for spontaneity or last minute interruptions…. without a grumble. There were no wrong-doings, excuses, or changed stories without sighs of anguish & upset. The plan was the plan was the plan.

Somewhere along the way… things changed for me. The rug was pulled out from under me and everything changed. I was humbled that’s for sure. I was sharpened, recreated, and filled with grace. I had a new way of being, planning, thinking and doing. I had created a new reality for myself. It was beautiful & it worked.

There were times when I wanted something, wanted to go somewhere, wanted to plan a the next best thing for myself. And I remembered… I was not driving the bus. I was not at the wheel. God was.

I know that if it is not to BE, doors will not open for me, no matter how bad I WANT it. If it’s not where I’m being led, if it’s not how I’m being molded, if it’s not where I’m headed…. It is NOT happening. And I’m at peace with that.

I’m grateful every day that I don’t have to have everything all figured out. That I don’t have to have all the answers right now. In the storms and in the sunshine, in the trials and in the triumphs… I turn to Him for answers and trust His Ways are far better then mine…. any day.

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and mirrors…

I spent some time – (can I add a big hooray to that by the way) with one of my favorite humans this weekend helping her find a dress for a wedding. We started talking about relationships and appearances.

We are both on the later and earlier side of our 40’s and 50’s respectively. She was sharing conversations she had with another group of girlfriends all in different phases of relationships and how their partners talked to them.

If I’m being honest – this is fascinating to me. We live in a society that definitely plays both sides. Pinterest is FULL of inspirational quotes around loving yourself. When a magazine cover features a model who isn’t a size two, it’s revolutionary. YET the backlash is REAL. Even from those who love you.

Little comments… you’re going to wear that? That’s an interesting color. All those tattoos make you look tacky.

I have written about this before but I was picked on. A lot as a kid. I was the smallest, had problems with my teeth, glasses, and a skin condition. So even though I’m not that little kid anymore, I’m always going to be that little kid.

Which makes me super sensitive and very aware of how I look.

Throw in a marriage where EVERYTHING about me was picked apart. Followed by a long term relationship with a guy who scrutinized my appearance.

The internal struggle is real. I am a big hearted person who wears my heart on my sleeve. So unfortunately at 47 I’m still putting bandaids on some hurts.

But you know what? It’s unfortunate but it’s ok. We all have our stuff.

Here’s mine:

I am the lady who only recently started wearing leggings in public. I just bought my first pair of sweatpants. I also, always at a minimum wear lipgloss and mascara when I leave the house.

I realize as I typed that it’s pretty crazy pants. You want to know the even crazier part?

I don’t push any of this on my daughter.

Thankfully she doesn’t read these because I’m about to truth bomb…

Showering – umm do twelve year olds feel it’s not necessary? She has BEAUTIFUL hair, which she refuses to even put in braids! Please let your Mom style it? No. Ok. Doesn’t want earrings. The last time she wore a dress was for a play. She loves lipgloss however- ok that might be me a little. She has only mentioned her weight once and it was never mentioned again when we talked about how it’s about being healthy. She is so tall. Her favorite thing to do is show anyone and everyone she is taller than me.

She is solid in who she is.

And it’s magical. I love it and want to bottle it and spray that on me.

So even though inside I’m continuing to fight the age old battle of not feeling like I’m enough

because of how I look or even sometimes who I am, yes I realize how ridiculous that is. The smoke and mirrors are working and I’m somehow magically showing my daughter she is more than enough. No matter what she looks like, because that is absolutely not what it’s about.

Sidebar my magical creature recently had a birthday and donated almost all her birthday money to charity. And FYI this was the first year she got birthday money but felt that strongly she needed to help.

#proudmom

Mommas we are more than our outsides. We are Moms. That’s a hard job.

On my end I’m trying. I have a magical twelve year old who can get things off shelves for me looking at me and how I handle things. I gotta show her I really am the badass I pretend to be.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

No One Has It Together

I have a big fat, mind blowing, earth shattering, life changing reality check for you. It’s something that took me a long time to realize and even longer to embrace. It’s also something I have to remind myself of on a regular basis!

Are you ready for it?

Really ready?

No one has their shit together. Not me, not you. Not your pastor, banker, mayor, doctor, librarian or hair dresser. Not your neighbor across the street whose entire yard and house make the homes from the latest edition of Home and Garden look sad and pathetic. Not the president of the PTA who is on every committee, and at every bake sale. Not your college roommate who just landed their dream job. And not even your brother’s, girlfriend’s, cousin’s, neighbor’s uncle that just won the lottery.

Newsflash! Everyone has something in their lives they want to be different. Just because their lives look great on the surface, doesn’t mean they have it all figured out! That neighbor with the perfect house may be struggling with overwhelming anxiety and OCD, and their spotless home and yard are how they cope. (Or may be a sign they AREN’T coping!) The PTA mom might be throwing herself into volunteer work because her marriage is falling apart. Your college roommate may have gotten their dream job, but also just got diagnosed with cancer. And let’s be real here, when has winning the lottery EVER actually solved all of someone’s problems?

It has taken me YEARS to get to the point where I no longer have to fight the urge to laugh in someone’s face, when they tell me that I inspire them or that they look up to me. My internal reaction is still “Oh honey, if only you knew!” Now, however I am able to step back and see what they see. A strong, capable, single mom with special needs kids, who works full time, finds time to volunteer, goes to church (albeit irregularly), gets to the gym (also irregularly) and manages some semblance of a social life. What they don’t see are the days that my anxiety is overwhelming, the times I lose my temper on my kids, the fact that my housekeeping style is best described as “there appears to have been a struggle” or the fact that I quite literally live on caffeine and carbs most days because I honestly can’t remember the last time I woke up feeling rested.

The more you start really connecting with other people, the more you realize that their lives aren’t as perfect as they appear on the surface. The stronger the person appears the rockier their past usually is. What you see is someone strong, and brave. What they feel is broken and defeated. Every time someone tells me they finally feel like they have their ducks in a row, they get hit with a life changing curve-ball. Heck, the entirety of my last few years has been one huge curve-ball after another!

Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I saying not to try! What I am saying, is cut yourself some slack. Stop comparing your journey to other people’s, and start appreciating the life you have. Stop striving for perfection and start being proud of your progress. If you aren’t satisfied with a certain aspect of your life, find a way to change it.

So, go out there. Grow. Heal. Learn. Embrace your beautiful disaster of a self. And most importantly, remember no one really has their shit together. We are all just winging it.

Embrace your perfectly imperfect self,

-Charli

https://thechroniclesofchuck.home.blog/

Keep It Simple Sweetie(K.I.S.S.)

Keep it simple, Sweetie. When most of us try to move forward, make a change, or start our soul journey, we may tend to over complicate things. We can make things harder than they need to be and leave ourselves in a confused distraught mess. 

Not to long ago I found myself in an anonymous self help group.  I am a co-dependent, my addiction is people and problems. I didn’t know why life and functioning healthily didn’t just click for me, and the majority of the people in my life were addicts and alcoholics, who displayed similar but different dysfunctions as me. 

My overthinking drove me into the ground, I would reach out to others in this group, and they would tell me Keep it simple sweetie, and let go and let god. It was hard for me to understand how could I just let go of this complicated mess ( that I thought I needed to fix most of the time) until realized I was the one making it complicated. I was usually trying to bend the situation or outcome to what I desired it to be. Letting go and keeping it simple helped me keep my head above water.

Other times I found myself going stagnant, I found boat loads of wisdom in the phrase Easy does it, but do it damn it. If it means you have to take a slower pace to work on certain things, that may be pain full so be it as long as you are moving forward, and not getting complacent.

When things turn upside down and i’m not sure which way is up, or things seem just a little too rough I use these two phrases as checks and balances. Am I keeping it simple? Am I continually pushing forward? Am I letting go of the things that aren’t meant for me?

On our journey it is good to keep ways to check and balance ourselves and our path, so that even when we wander we will never be lost.

Learning, Loving, Growing

Ali

You Don’t Need A Cape, You Already Have Wings

I am here to tell you that you don’t need a cape, you already have wings…I am sitting in a silent house after a week-long spring break trip that I haven’t taken since “The Trip” back in April 2016. One would think that I would feel rested, recharged, rejuvenated. Well…. I was. Sort of.

Let me tell you about the flight home after an amazing trip with my two favorite teenage humans. Picture this, tribe… 3 solid hours of turbulence. I even considered if the pilot was on his maiden flight. This was enhanced by one terrified teenager who has a legit fear of flying and one teenager who does what all teenagers do best, slumped – passed out cold… the entire flight. Mix that in with several (and I mean SEVERAL) sick children who were projectile vomiting from the turbulence (Yep, you are absolutely correct – there is NO fresh air on an airplane) and the overwhelming and recycled stench of kiddy vomit… Is this real life? Yes. It was. It happened, and I lived through it this past weekend. Eventually, I ended up getting home and feeling like I needed a vacation all over again. Please do not get me wrong here… I am 100% grateful that I got this experience and quality time with my kids, and that I had the means to go on such a trip with them. I am blessed beyond measure, and I do not take one of those moments (or any for that matter) for granted.

Wait, wait, wait…. You’re wondering what I meant by “The Trip” that I mentioned above back in 2016. Ah. Yep, That. Well, I think its time to get over my paralyzing fears, stare it directly in the eye and decide today is the day that I keep looking forward, and quit looking back to see if the past is still there. It’s there. It hasn’t left. I can still feel it. I can still see it. I can still hear it. I can’t unsee it, unhear it or unfeel it. It’s now part of who I have become.

It was around this time three years ago (almost to the day) that my world completely fell of its axis. No, literally. My entire personal world that I lived in completely blew up. In an instant. It was the day I became a working single mom.

I’m not going to dig into any of the details, much of which even after three years are still very fresh to my heart and soul, and the cuts are still very deep and still bleed on occasion. I can tell you with 100% certainty that I was absolutely blind-sided and was not in any way, shape, or form ready for what was going to happen to my life. It was never something I had signed up for or wanted. EVER. After all, I had been the living fairytale. I married my high school sweetheart and at that point had spent 20 years of my then 36 years of life with him. We had been married for 13 years at that point and had two beautiful children. Was our life glitter, rainbows and unicorns? Absolutely not. Was it perfect? No way. But, it was MY version of perfect. It was my world. My life. My everything – – until it just wasn’t any longer. I came back from spring break with my kiddos (he did not join us on this trip) to my then hero, lover, best friend, my person, and love of my life… telling me he no longer wanted to be in our marriage. He wanted out, and he left me. MIND BLOWN. EARTH SHATTERED. To make it worse, I was told in public. In a bar. Yep. That happened.

Let’s take the 35,000 foot detour for a second, and get you caught up to speed – and get off the backstory train. I spent three long and painful years desperately trying to hold onto my marriage and save my family. I pleaded with God. I got angry. I got spiteful. I cried millions and millions of tears. I felt abandoned, hopeless, jaded – any feeling you can come up with – I assure you I felt them and I mastered them. I lost weight and shrunk faster than washing a 100% cotton shirt in scalding hot water and putting it in the dryer on high heat for an hour. Some days, I literally begged to die – because the pain inside of me was so much, so deep, so hard – I couldn’t stand another minute. Failure was not a word that was ever in my vocabulary – and here I was – the picture of failure right next to the word in good oleWebster’s.

Long story short, we divorced right before this past Christmas – and the holidays, well – let’s just say they were pretty much a blur. Kind of like when you squint and look at the lights on the tree. They are there, but you really can’t make out what it is, but you obviously know.

I have a point here, trust me – and stay with me because hopefully – there is someone out there just like me who was right where I was or is even now. I look at the day-to-day and I still hurt. I hurt when I look at my kids when we are now a party of 3 that used to be 4. I hurt when I go to bed in a king sized bed alone and hover on the far side of the bed – and wake up in the same position, barely had moved. I have good day and bad days.

When looking at it by the “days” or “moments – I have felt like I haven’t moved an inch much less a mile. However, when I look back at the last three years as a “whole” – Tribe, let me tell you – I have moved mountains I didn’t think could be moved. I have traveled so far that I can’t see where I started even though I know it exists. I have grown, stretched myself, and learned more about myself and have undoubtedly proved myself wrong every single step of the way. I have survived 100% of my worst days. TRUE STORY!

I am alive to tell the tale. To not only myself, but to my two beautiful children and any one of you that are reading this. I have cried myself to sleep. I have eaten completely alone in a restaurant. I have gone to a wedding solo. I have wondered how I can make it another day. However, I have smiled. I have laughed. I have found strength in the deepest places I never knew existed. Hell, all of this brought me here to all of YOUright here and now. I am walking side by side with you. Our arms are linked, and we are in lock step. I am one of you. We’re a tribe and let me tell you – we’re strong. We’re not going anywhere and despite what you feel (or don’t feel) inside – we got this, and not only do we – we’ll do it twice and take pictures to prove it. (Insert “Amen” here!)

Humor me and consider this for a few moments. I want you to look in the mirror. I don’t want you to worry about the bags under your eyes from the lack of sleep you got last night because your child was up sick all night or because your teenager had their first heartbreak. Don’t look at the extra curves that may surround your waistline because you have been working so hard to provide, you haven’t gotten the chance to get to the gym. It’s not necessary to look at the dry shampoo residue in your hair. What I want you to do is look past the refection staring back at you, and for God’s sake, don’t judge the woman staring back. Only you know what storms she has been through. Only you know where she has been, and where she is going. You’re the only one who has lived her life. You’re the expert of the person you see in the mirror. No one knows her better than you.

Every single day is a new opportunity to start again. Reinvent yourself. Try something new. Spread your wings. I encourage you to do so, even when you’re paralyzed in fear, or have no idea where to even start. If you want to lay in bed all day, hide from the world, and pretend that you are non-existent; go ahead, do it for a day or two. But remember, you don’t live there. You don’t belong there anyway – and it’s not a destination. Here’s why…

If I have learned anything, it’s this. You have smaller humans that are watching your every move. Your attitudes, your composure, your strength, and endurance. They are building their character traits based on your examples. We’re helping shape who they become. Albeit – there is this saying but man oh man is it a good one…. Show your daughters how to be treated by a man and show your sons how to treat a woman. You’re showing them this tribe… and guess what… you’re doing an amazing job. No matter what yesterday’s mascara has to say about it.

Keep chugging the lattes. Keep being that laundry warrior. Be who you need yourself to be for you and for them. We’re all here to cheer you on along the way, and to pick you up and carry you when you feel like you can’t. That’s what tribes do.

Until we meet again…

Jenn

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

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect

You don’t have to be perfect…

Aside from being a Mom, a teacher,  and writing for this incredible page, I also host a radio show.

Once in awhile my daughter co-hosts. We have a strict recording schedule so it’s important we get to the studio on time. As it got closer to going the other morning I went to G who was on her iPad and told her time to go. She didn’t really move.

I continued to round up our stuff. G was still on her iPad. I tapped my watch “ we gotta go”

“Ok,ok…”

We got ourselves together and got to the station with time to spare as we always do.

As we were sitting down getting ready to record I said sorry to G and told her I just hate to be late.

G proceeded to tell me I reminded her of these little robot dogs from her favorite graphic novel series who are always running around.

I freak out about the littlest thing. When I don’t need to, it will be ok.

I said “I just want everything to be good and go smoothly.”

To which my beautiful old soul told me that I need to be more like her and relax. Those little things don’t matter and I don’t need to be perfect.

It’s days later and those words are sticking in my head. I am actually considering a new tattoo.

I’m kinda not kidding. You know how badly I needed to hear that? Especially from her. I have mentioned this before. I have a lot of Mommy guilt. The massive amount of guilt that I have held onto is by no means gone, but I think moving forward I won’t beat myself up so much.

I will work on taking a step back. Slow down. If I’m being honest this is all going so fast and I feel like because I worried so much about being perfect, things being perfect I missed out on things with her.

I worry about her entering her teenage years and being mad. I never thought to think I was spinning around so much tightening corners and straightening crooked pictures (my analogy for my life) that she might not be mad but just breeze by.

That to me would be much worse.

Good, bad or otherwise she is my sun, moon and stars and I was so busy building a perfect universe I forgot to enjoy it.

So every night I go sit on her bed and ask her about her day until she kicks me out of her room.

I let her pick the music in the car so we can sing along.

I found a Mother/Daughter journal so even on those days she won’t talk at least she’ll write.

But most importantly I heard her. I hear her. I listen.

I don’t have to be perfect, the most important person in my life said so.

And neither do you Mommas.

<3 Caprise

SNAP-Mood Change!

Did you know there’s a connection between the condition of your living space & your surrounding environment WITH your mood & your stress level? The connection happens unconsciously. You may not even realize WHAT it is that has you feeling OFF. A cluttered environment saps your energy, robs your creative flow, sucks out your positive attitude & steals your precious time. It slows down your productivity & outcomes and fills your mind with emptiness. And you ask “How’d THAT happen?’

Your living conditions could very well be the culprit to your boredom, upset, complacency, etc.

Living in, working in or just being in physical chaos… it changes your mood ** SNAP ** like that !

You don’t wake up and say, ‘my day is going to be havoc today’…it just happens. As you go about your morning you find yourself asking…. ‘Where are my keys?’ ‘What did I do with that letter?’ ‘Where is Johnny’s other sneaker?’ And before you know it, you’re behind schedule, talking to yourself and walking around in circles. You woke up in a good mood, ready to take on the day and ** SNAP ** like that you’re going down the rabbit hole.

And Sometimes it’s a lot harder to deal with the negative mood than the actual task of organizing your space. BUT the chaotic space will keep you there and make it even harder. Do you feel overwhelmed, burdened and stuck? If you can step out and start with one small drawer, one closet, one counter….. it very well could – if you let it – snowball you into another and another and another. And the next thing you know, you’re space is inviting, it flows better, and you’re happy. Allow clarity to replace clutter. Create a place for everything and put everything in it’s place Guess what…that’s better than half the battle…..it demolishes the battle. You find things in a *SNAP **.

It’s time to get back on track with a more efficient, harmonious space AND the next thing you know… you have a more efficient, harmonious life!

 

Your God Girl,

Tracy

XXOOXXOO

Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

Age ain’t nothing but a number…

One of my favorite quotes is from Coco Chanel

“you can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.”

I have riffed about aging before and my struggles, really more my gripes lol.

I have now sat firmly at 47 for three months and I’m still trying to figure out our society’s fascination with aging.

And not necessarily in a good way.

Articles about what women over 40, even 30 should and shouldn’t do.

Cover your gray, don’t cover your gray.

Memes about aging punk ladies – yup that one stung.

Cougars(!)

Friends,

Can I tell you a really big secret? Like it’s huge?

I was a moron in my 20’s.

My 30’s so much change, crazy, crazy change.

My 40’s. I’ve landed.

I’m comfy about 80% of the time.

20% I wish I was 21 sitting next to Eddie Vedder at Lollapalooza.

Yes, that did happen.

But then I wouldn’t have my daughter, my friends, a job I love.

Also, milestones are different for EVERYONE. I have friends who adored high school. I didn’t hate it,but my happy memories were built in college.

I have friends who were BABIES when they had their babies and I have other friends who decided to wait until their 40’s.

I guess where I’m trying to go with this, is aging is a beautiful thing. If you all could see how much my haircuts alone have improved, you’d say “yup Caprise, you’re onto something.”

Each wrinkle and gray hair is a memento of a memory, a battle won.

You know what else age has given me?

A sense of calm.

I recently had a very scary situation with a group of girlfriends and I was able to diffuse the situation.

21 year old of Caprise would have broken out in hives.

47 year old Caprise was cool as a cucumber.

Again, this is just me- but I’m gonna be real. I like me so much better now. I still can be wobbly now and then- but a few cycles around the sun and motherhood have given me the ability to see I can handle a lot more than I ever thought I could.

As for those articles and memes…

I’m gonna wear leopard print as a neutral.

I’m going to keep getting tattoos until I run out of ideas or skin. Sorry Mom!

I am going to continue going to concerts.

Have dates with my friends.

Love on my daughter.

Buy the shoes.

Eat the pizza and as Coco said be irresistible or pretend like I am.

But most of all remember age ain’t nothing but a number.

 

As always much love Mamas.

<3

Caprise