Tag Archives: life

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

Life Lessons

Life lessons….

My Mother is nearing the end of her time here, it is the reason that I didn’t do Coffee Chat last Sunday morning as we thought the exit was closing in…it appears now that it will be a journey to the finish line with an undefined amount of time…so as you might imagine no matter what else I am doing right now this knowledge is with me, running under everything that I do.

Every day I am asking myself what lessons God wants to teach me with all of this, what is there for me to see, to learn, to give, to do?  Some lessons have been about boundaries and understanding that I cannot fix or save other people, some have been about carrying on the things she taught me about being a WARRIOR no matter what you are walking through and this morning was a lesson about adding something to my work with people…

She trained me hard, taught me how to achieve results with no excuses, taught me how to tell it like it is, taught me how to stand in the face of a shit storm and not let it phase me….warrior training, my whole life has been that.  She, herself would tell you that the softer sides of things she wasn’t good at—- and so my training in those ways has been from other things and other people.  Of course training also never ends, life continues to train us on the daily.

This morning I shared some thoughts on the FB page about adversity and how to use it — it was an excerpt from something that I had written awhile back— when I went to check the comments I saw that someone had written that I was ‘harsh’ and ‘mean’— after my ego finished being insulted and I deleted the comment which was written in a shitty way— I re-read what I posted and I saw how the person could have interpreted what I had written in a way that was more ‘hard’ than I meant it to be.  It is difficult sometimes to have my personality come through my words, if you know me or watch me you see that I care about people and that I only want to help them overcome things that are in their way.  

In this particular thing that I wrote I was talking about using adversity to make you stronger and not to get stuck in a mode of whining and complaining when things are hard—- the person in her comment had pointed out that sometimes talking about it and venting is needed, it is part of the process…and she was CORRECT.  

Lord knows that my closest friends have been getting an earful daily for the last week as I process my Mother’s impending exit from this world…I have been angry, I have cried, I have complained etc—-so much so that I am sick of talking about it now. What could be the lessons?It feels like a coat that I cannot shed right now and I am not a fan.  Am I wallowing?  NO. Am I processing? YES.  Is that a necessary factor? YES.

I went back and edited the post I made to include a line about how it is ok to vent and process and then just move on from that, don’t dwell in the seeming mess, don’t dwell in the sadness—don’t move in and stay in those places.

I am still learning, learning that helping people to be warriors can also mean showing them how to make room for sadness or despair and not live IN it—- learning that a day of “I can’t” is ok as long as it is JUST a day or two— learning that having space for “i’d rather not” and letting it run me for a day or two is okay as long as I PUSH through it after that.  

Learning also that I have to accept people where they are and be okay with them being incongruent— every one, including my Mother has their own path, their own karma, their own life lessons—it is not my job to judge or evaluate them.  It is my job to heal my own shit, OWN my own shit and take care of ME and to do what I can to be helpful while being true to my own boundaries of what works and what doesn’t.

My Mother and my Grandparents have been my greatest teachers thus far and they continue to teach me daily from this world and beyond….funnily enough my Son is also an excellent teacher of mine and his point of view on recent events has been invaluable to me—- it’s cool to see when you have gotten a job done well.

I am not sure if I will see you on Sunday for Coffee Chat, we’ll play it by ear—know that I am always thinking of you all and sending you love and strength and peace.

XO, N.

What’s The Life Plan?

What’s the plan….
I wouldn’t say that I am a very wise person, especially considering my young age. I do, however, believe that I am often very observant when it comes to the topic of living life. It might sound strange, but I find myself getting lost in my thoughts whenever I think about how truly interesting life is.
Many of us make a plan regarding what our future could possibly look like, when in reality that plan doesn’t always work out. I used to get so frustrated when things didn’t go my way, and I always wondered whether I could have done something differently to change the eventual outcome. I know that I can speak for many people when I say that it’s really easy to lose hope when you’ve experienced so many bumps in the road. It happens to all of us! Not only do we end up feeling discouraged, but we also tend to live in the past and focus on the “what if?”.
“What if I had done better?”
“What if I had never met this person in the first place?”
“What if…”.
I’m here to tell you that everything happened for a reason. I know this is a statement that is thrown around quite often, but its’ meaning is incredibly true. Every person and experience that you have come across on your life journey, was put there for a reason.
Unfortunately, these interactions and experiences haven’t always been positive, and we’ve left them feeling genuinely hurt. However, after thinking about those events, I believe they result in us learning important lessons that we can carry with us throughout our lives.
I also like to believe that whatever is meant for you, will find its way of happening. It might not always be what we had planned for our futures, and it might take us a couple different routes to get there, but “what is meant to be, will be”.
-Dani <3

Divorce Did Not Ruin My Child

I have heard it many times… “My divorce ruined my kids lives”… False. Changes that happen in your life, do not ruin your kids lives. We all experience changes that will affect the lives of your children. And sometimes throughout all those changes, we all come out better.

Getting divorced does not ruin your kids lives… Before I decided to go through with my divorce, I struggled with how it would affect my kids. It was the number one thing that was holding me back from going through with my divorce. I would constantly worry if they would be ok and make it through all the transitions. Would they be upset, mad, angry, or would they act out… all of these worries raced through my mind over and over again.

But 5 years later…I can tell you that I did not ruin my kids lives. Yes, Their lives are different now. But they have adjusted to the changes. Yes, we have had some struggles through the way. However a lot of the struggles that we have faced, are just growing up parenting struggles. It has not always been a party…

However, I could not stay in a loveless marriage.

All of us worry about how divorce will affect our kids. I don’t think we would be human if we did not. But my kids saw everything and they picked up on so much that I don’t even realize.

My youngest was 4 when I got divorced. He often replays scenarios to me of his dad and I fighting in the last stages of our marriage. He will also mention how nice it is that dad and I don’t fight anymore. I am always so curious because his dad and I did not have loud arguments, but obviously to a 4 year old at the time.. he picked up on a lot more than we thought. It is also how a 4 year old interpreted our relationship and marriage.

I believe its how you handle all parts of your divorce, from the beginning, through the process, and all the years after…

There are things that I have done that have helped the transition over the last few years.

I have been able to tell when my kids needed a little additional support. All 3 of my kids have gone to counseling separately at different times in their lives. Each one faced different challenges at different ages and just needed to work through it. Alot of it was the changes in households and different parenting styles. I knew they could use a neutral person to talk too and work it out.

I continued counseling throughout and after my divorce. I did this because it was my outlet to let out my frustrations and emotions. It helped me control my emotions with my ex in front of my children. Counseling kept me grounded when I really just wanted to tell my ex what an idiot he was at times. Or it taught me to refrain from sharing my true feelings about my ex’s decisions in front of the kids.

My ex and I have also stayed very informed in their lives. I have learned to have conversations with my children and my ex all together, so there is no miscommunication between any of us. It gives my kids a chance to voice their opinion in front of both of us. And it has taken a lot of the pressure off me as always being the one having to speak for my kids.

I am very open and honest with my kids, even more so now that they are older. My girls are teenagers now, so their dad gets under their skin all the time… just being a dad to teenagers. I have always tried to keep my comments and negative thoughts to myself, and I still do now even more. Its hard. Many times I would love to tell them what I really think, but I want them to have a very healthy and positive relationship with us both. Its so hard to keep all my under my breath comments to myself. I also want my kids to form their own opinions and not be influenced by what I think.

So, no my divorce has not ruined my kids. I do not think it has ruined anything in any of our lives. My kids see how happy I am now, plus I can tell that they are happy. And they see how much love and support they get from both of their parents, just separately.

 

-snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

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

Lean In

Lean in…when that catchphrase first came out I’m pretty sure it was meant to be used for powerful situations.

Not trying to maneuver your new normal during a world that everyday feels more surreal.

I have officially been home now for a month. My state has extended its Stay at Home order until May 26th. When I heard the news I was in the middle of my new normal work day. I took my glasses off. Took my headphones off and silently yelled into my hands.

I am what you would call a high risk person. Two heart surgeries I had forty years ago means I can’t leave my house. The fear is if I get this my stitched up heart won’t know what to do.

I am luckier than a lot of people. I have a job. Which I got offered ironically a week before everything went. That’s my term… went.

The last time I saw everyone in person was my job interview. A month ago. Some of them I only know thanks to ZOOM.

And thank goodness for this job, because my previous job would have laid me off. They did. Three days before I officially started my new job I got a lengthy email telling me as much.

My daughter’s school like a lot of yours is now closed for the rest of the year. Thankfully they have really done a lot to support everyone one with distance learning. But she’s in 7th grade. She abruptly had to empty her locker and pivot.

I was a Preschool Director before I got my new job. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my families, my kids…

But I’m leaning in.

I get up. I get ready for work. I try to focus. But I have my moments. Where I have to run to the bathroom and sit on the toilet seat and cry.

I lean in to being afraid of all the unknowns.

I lean in to being late for a meeting because I got distracted by the news.

I lean into cats and dogs and kids interrupting meetings.

And we all smile.

I lean into not really ever wanting to wear shoes again. Leggings are better than jeans.

I lean into Friday nights might be Tuesday nights.

I lean into worrying about my Grandfather who is states away. I lean into reading horoscopes with my best friend.

I lean into hugging my daughter so much. I lean into telling people I can’t wait to squish their faces.

I lean into missing certain people. Which makes me ugly cry.

I lean into waterproof mascara.

I lean into not cutting my own hair. No comment on coloring it. LOL…

I lean into recording my radio show again for the first time in a month and crying because it’s the first time in a long time I have felt normal. Because something that is such a huge part of me is back.

I have no magic words. No sage advice. I am just rinse, lather, repeat, lean.

I am sending you love and hoping you are safe Mommas.

<3 Caprise

Not Just Good But Greater Good

Not just Good, but Greater Good.

Can you imagine what your Greater Good would look like?  Close your eyes and imagine.  Who would be there?  What would you be doing?  How would you be acting?  What would you say?  Where would you live?  Etc, etc etc.  Now, understand and know…. that you have not even come close to the actual Greater Good that is available to you.

God’s Ways are over, above & beyond anything our puny little minds can concoct.  We are one small piece of sand on the Pacific Coast.  We are one minute being in the galaxy of endless galaxies.  We are a blade of grass in a field at full-on harvest.  Do you believe in the grand scheme of life, there is far more available to you, coming to you, waiting for you?  Open your arms & be ready, because it is there.

I am part of the Greater Good of all mankind.  I am an instrument of God’s love in the Greater Good of my life.  I wake up every day expecting the Greater Good to show up.  I see, hear, feel and stay open to every bit of Goodness that is for me.  I’m being used every day in ways I’ve always imagined possible.

May we both walk through life with our heads held high in anticipation for what is next.  May we be ready for it when it comes and handle it with courage and grace.  May we be beacons of greatness to others who are waiting for theirs.  May we move forward, press on, stand tall, dig in, love big, express peace, share joy, give back, believe in more, take it, own it and share it with the world.

Are you ready?

I am.  I’ll meet you there.

xoxo

Your God-Girl,

Tracy

Boundaries After A Divorce

Setting boundaries has made me go from pulling my hair out crazy to  finally having some peace. Boundaries are one of the most important things I have learned since my divorce.  I never thought about setting boundaries until my divorce. I was always a “yes” person.  Many times in my life I never really wanted to say “ yes” to things but I did.. I did it to not cause any conflict or I thought it was what was expected of me.

It took me a couple years into my divorce until I realized that I needed to set boundaries with my ex husband.  Because how I was living now was like having a mosquito constantly buzzing around your head as you are trying to sleep.. you try and try to swat at it but it never goes away.  That is what I was dealing with every day of my life.

There are many reasons for needing boundaries, but mostly I needed to set boundaries to have peace of mind and live my life.  As I mentioned in some of my previous blogs, my ex did not have much input in parenting of our children when we are married. I made most of the decisions regarding finances, parenting, and basically most decisions in our life.

Soon after our divorce, that changed.  I would receive numerous text messages or emails from him regarding my parenting decisions.  He would text and ask “why I would let our kids stay home from school when they were sick”.  Or texts on reminding me to have them shower or asking when they went to bed.  He would argue back and forth on why I made that decision.  Basically any decision that I made regarding the children, he would question.

For years, I engaged in his texts and emails.  I felt that since it involved the children that I needed to respond and explain my decision.  He never agreed with me nor did what I say every make a difference.  He made me feel like a failure as a parent and I also started to question my decisions.  (Let me remind you that I stayed home with our kids for 8 years and pretty much made all the parenting decisions for 3 kids, I am not exaggerating)

Then finally I realized that this was affecting myself and my children.  I was starting to change how I parented my children.   I  would not handle situations like I normally would, in fear of having to explain myself to him… I would start to think “ ohh I can’t do that because your dad will get mad”.  I would not let my kids do things in fear that I would receive a text from him. I know crazy right..  And then it finally hit me, like what the hell am I doing.. I have never questioned my parenting decisions in the past.  And I would cringe anytime I received any communication from him.. the worst part was that my kids could tell how It would affect me.  I would not say anything to them directly, but they would see how my moods and body language would change.  I would become instantly irritated by the text from him.

I finally decided to just not respond or engage.  Unless the text or email directly affected the schedule of the kids or their well being, I did not respond. I disregard any texts regarding discipline, sick days, what the kids wore to school, remembering to have the kids shower, remembering to have the kids bring their snow clothes… the list goes on.  I started to set boundaries in many areas that included him.

I would only respond to emails that required a response by direct input like schedules, shared finances, children’s activities, or school.  Anything that was communicated to me by text, I did not respond. I did not engage in any texts or emails that were worded with assumptions or belittling towards myself.  If the text to me was worded with “ I know you will do it anyways but..blah blah blah” I did not respond.  Anything that was not a direct fact, I avoided.  I avoided those texts because they were sent to get me to engage with him.

It did actually work, I received less text messages from him.   Sometimes I would receive 3 or 4 in a one night and I just learned to not respond. I did not let it bother me and I went about my business. Sometimes I would just turn my phone off.

I would not respond to any text that included an assumption on myself, children, or parenting.

I keep him on “do not disturb” in my phone so if he does text me I am not immediately

I keep all communication short and direct.

I tried to send all correspondence in an email during normal working hours.

I do not discuss anything involving the kids without them present so we are all involved and there is no he said/she said.

Setting these boundaries was the best thing I could have done for myself and my family.   They helped me gain confidence again on my decisions.  I did them for myself and to get past

There was no reason to have interaction with someone that made me question myself and my decisions.  And you eventually realize that as much as you explain things, some people will never hear what you are saying.

It took time to get to where I am today…  It takes a huge amount of self control.  I’m definitely not perfect with it and sometimes I have set backs with my reactions.  But,  I love my life with my kids and I really feel that limited communication with him is the best for myself and my family.   And that is the most important….

 

Thanks for reading!

-Snarky

 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

Numbers Don’t Lie

The numbers don’t lie…

If you have been following along on the FB live Sunday Morning Coffee Chats and on the blog you know that I have been playing an effectiveness scoring game with myself since Jan. 12th.  This is a game/ measuring tool that I have invited you all to join me in—with every week that goes by I gain new insight into what stops me and how I am really showing up in my life.  It is proving to be quite telling.

After last Sunday’s Coffee Chat I decided to get a weekly average and graph it—so I added my daily score from each week and divided it by 7 to gain the weekly average.  The graph looks like this:

Clearly you can see that I am averaging 50% which is pretty pathetic….LOL.  Examining this data tells me everything that I need to know about why my life is where it is, don’t get me wrong I have a very blessed and fantastic life which I have worked really, really hard to create—yet with all I know and all that I have done this is the truth about me—I am showing up at about 50 something percent in my life.

The really interesting thing is that I now have to look at what I could create as my reality if my average was 80% or even 90%— who would I be able to be then?!—I have been asking myself this question since last Sunday…

So I do these averages and I make this chart and I look at it over and over and on Sunday I was a 30% and on Monday a 20% and then yesterday I decided that I would like to SEE what happens if I show up between 80 and 100 % consistently so I forced myself to be 100% yesterday and this morning I woke up with more energy to get things done.

Often I tell you that the worst battle you will every have is with yourself—my experiment with this listing game is really shining a light on that for me.  I told you that this was an assignment given to me decades ago from a coach of mine and that I have played it again over the years—however only for a week or two at a time.  This is the longest that I have ever evaluated myself and I have committed to you guys to do this until June.  It is going to be very interesting to see what reveals itself as I continue this.

Would love to have you play too and share with me what you are seeing about yourself.  You can go back and watch any of the Coffee Chats since Jan. 12th or go listen to the podcasts or read past blogs for instructions on how to make your list.  See you Sunday morning at 10am est for Coffee Chat.

 

XO, N.