Tag Archives: lifestyle

Dreams Of Growing Old With Someone

Dreams of growing old with someone I felt was the love of my life- catapulted me into a 2 decade marriage.  At a young age, I had no idea how little I knew and I had no understanding of what intimate, long lasting love was in a marriage.  I only knew that I wanted him to be the axis of my life.  He was everything I wanted to build my life around and so I did.

We were quickly blessed with a sweet little boy, and somehow, I now had 2 people to devote my time and love towards.  As the years went by, the deep love between my former spouse and I quickly turned to lies and hurt.  So many mistakes were made and we managed to devastate our little boy time and again.  As the marriage began to fade at a rapid pace, God gave us an unexpected miracle of a little girl.  Her existence became known only one day after an agreement for a divorce. We struggled even more to hold our marriage together, to give our children the opportunity of a family.  Our lives were impacted by military combat, frequent absences of their father and we were a lonely military family, away from our loved ones.  There was no village to help and rarely time together as husband and wife.

The years continued to go by and our children were our only joy. We managed to create a team effort, absent of real intimacy, void of trust.  We built a lovely home, strong careers and we ran a regimented home that kept the ship more than afloat.  As the years passed, I longed for another child, and I still deeply loved my husband.  And, so, one morning I learned I was pregnant and my entire life felt completely right again.

And then it wasn’t.

The marriage continued to break apart and was put back together time and again; more combat deployments and a diagnosis of Autism with our youngest son. We picked ourselves up from the many pains and crisis’ over the years, packed our belongings and departed the military life after 20 years.  We needed normalcy and time as a family.

Two short years later, it ended in divorce.  Abruptly.  And we waged an emotional war on each other that I can clearly see now is shameful and did detrimental harm to our children.  It eroded our emotional health, finances and family relationships.  We embedded distrust, anger and hatred in our family.

Fast forward 4 years, we have just begun to be civil and really try and co parent our last remaining child that lives at home.  Are we friends?  I wouldn’t go that far. But, I would say that we are doing everything right in the best interest of our children, and our grandchildren.  We face the challenges that all of our children are dealing with because of their traumas and because we were too consumed by our own pain to think clearly.  Some of those traumas were from the military life we had together and others from the turbulent divorce.

Recently, my former spouse gave me the courtesy of letting me know he is remarrying.  I was grateful because it gave me the chance to brace myself for impact with our children.  His courtesy was an opportunity for me to see that our family is moving on in healthy ways and we can help our children prepare for more changes.  I know my children will struggle with this, but it is my prayer and hope that they will see that we are still a family.  It will take more time for them to accept the finality of the divorce; that the last shred of hope is absolutely gone.  Four years is but a drop in the bucket compared to 25 years.

I hope my children’s father finds in his new marriage all that we lacked in ours.  I want that for him; to see him happy and to grow old with a wonderful person by his side.  I can only hope that our children will embrace their father’s new life and that they know in their hearts that he does love them.  And that, his “moving on” from the marriage he shared with me is not about “moving on” from his relationship with our children.

I hated to love him after the marriage fell apart.  And, it felt good to love to hate him for so long.  But now, I feel peace and contentment in what we had, what was lost and what we have since found as civil people that deeply love the children we were given.  From our teenage marriage and ongoing brokenness, we created two sons, a daughter and were given the blessings of a daughter in law and 3 grandsons.

I’ll forever be grateful for the good times we shared and for the years we tried to give it our best.  We were teenagers when we married and we taught each other so much about life.  But, my most amazing lesson is that through so much devastation, former partners can find common ground when you share a deep love for the same people.

I’ll always have many regrets.  And, there was a phase where I swore I regretted the entire marriage.  But, since the dust has settled and there is a mutual effort of building trust and respect, I now remember that there were good times.  And, we did do some things right.  We made beautiful children that still deserve both of their parents involvement and support.  And if that means that our family grows through remarriage, then that’s what it means.  I think there is never too many people to love our children and grandchildren.

So, the dream of growing old is different now.  There is no sitting on the porch swing next to my children’s father, grey haired with our grandbabies at our feet.  But, I do dream of more laughter and smiles, and our children taking the next step forward in healing after all they have been through in their lives.

– Carmen 
Not Just Nearly Learn happiness, But Really Learn happiness

Finding Peace That Will Last

Finding peace that will last…
I kept picking up my phone. I would open my text messages and read through the last few conversations. I opened Facebook and scrolled through the 2 or 3 new posts that had popped up. I set my phone down and picked it back up a few minutes later to check Instagram, then iMessage again, and then Facebook. The process continued with shorter and shorter intermissions. I knew I couldn’t get what I needed from any of those sources, but persistently I kept checking to see if they would soften the discontentment I felt.
Many times we can find ourselves searching for answers and fulfillment from trivial sources. The trap of looking to ease our boredom or aching in social media, shallow communication, exercise, or other external source threatens to leave us with a gaping hole that is ever-widening. Maybe, like me, you have tried running off your anxiety or suppressing the pressures of life with coffee dates and meme banter. These things, and the countless others we can reach for, can certainly pacify us but they are unable to fully satisfy. When used incorrectly they just add noise to the chaotic rumblings of our needs, wants, responsibilities and the demands placed on us.
We need a peace that can sustain us, outlast the uncertainties that come up in life, and override the chaos.  Finding peace like that is not an easy task. Lasting peace can’t be manufactured. It can’t be uncovered in a self-help book. Peace like that only comes from within us. Deeply rooted in our identity, a peace that persists can only be found when our value isn’t rooted in our failures or accomplishments, or anyone else’s for that matter.
It is through my faith in Christ, that I have found it possible to have that unfailing peace. He provides stability that I am unable to conjure on my own. No matter how many self-care tips I have tried, He has succeeded where I have failed. When I have found myself anxious and searching for security, I have begun self-assessing.
1, Where am I placing my worth and value?
2. Why isn’t that person or thing able to carry the weight of my self-perception?
3. What areas do I need to use self-control and mindfulness to place my worth and value in a lasting source?
I always come back to the familiar conclusion that my value was being placed in something or someone other than Christ. It is in those times that variability of my own performance or my lack of control over someone else creates undue stress and anxiety. These stress are quickly eliminated when I shift from controlling the things I was never meant to. Instead of trying to control people, I use self-control to challenge my perceptions. Instead of trying to control situations, I use mindfulness and intentionally choose to trust God’s plan and purposes. It is hard, but when I engage in the process it produces lasting peace.
Shon W

Searching For Peace

I have been searching for peace… since March(ish) whether I’ve wanted to or not I have been forced to think about how I have lived my life.

Who I spend my time with. What I want. What I need.

For the longest time I thought I was not a social person. I am still pretty sure I’m not. I have no desire when I’m able, to sit at a bar. That has never been my thing. But I miss my friends. Even though I am usually the friend who cancels or leaves early.

I am shy, but I miss walking into work everyday and saying hello. I miss chatting with people in stores that I went to frequently.

I thought I was confident in my skin… but the more time I spend online those doubts that I was pretty good at batting creep up. Sadly online has become a twisty lifeline. Not my favorite. It wasn’t before, it isn’t now and it won’t be after.

Although, comparing myself to anyone is silly. We all know how easily you can mold yourself literally, to be a completely different person online than you are in person .

I am always taken aback when I meet certain people in person and they look decidedly different IN PERSON than they do online.

I continue to say this. We have some huge opportunities here. As much as I lament about certain things. I am searching out the things that give me peace.

As I like to say. Like it’s my job.

My newest thing is windows wide open listening to the wildlife that live in the marsh across from my house. Really listening. They are a chatty group, but they are also my favorite lullaby.

I try not to look at this time as being alone but time to focus, or at the very least slow down. Although, I am not going to tell you I don’t get incredibly, painfully lonely sometimes.

I’m not going to hide that.

That’s the other thing. I’m learning to be honest with my emotions.

I wear my heart on my sleeve but if I think how I feel may hurt you or cause a burden, I do what I do. I go quiet. I might even run. That helps nobody.

I’ve started taking a step back. For the longest time because of some of the hurt I’ve had, I had a bad habit of assuming the worst. Of everything. Of everyone. I would look for cracks that didn’t exist. It was easier to self sabotage than get hurt.

Now you know that incredibly dirty secret.

I am forcing myself to still be me but be ok with me.

Which is probably the hardest thing for me.

I am not perfect, but as I say that is ok. And ok is a good start, because it leaves room for good and even great.

I am sorry I don’t have the magic elixir Mommas but as I also say…I hope me sharing helps. It helps you know, however you’re feeling… it’s ok and you’re not alone.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

All Conditions Change and Pass

Years ago my Mom wrote an affirmation treatment with the title, “all conditions change and pass” and it seems like this is a good title for today’s blog as well as perhaps an excellent mantra for the current times.   

“On September 30, 1859, Abraham Lincoln recounted a similar story: It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.”

The point of these two examples is that everything passes…including this lock down and all the situations that caused it.  We are in unprecedented times which calls for new ways of being and creative ways of looking at things. I watched a John Maxwell live a few days ago and he was encouraging us to look for the OPPORTUNITY in all of this for ourselves…I appreciated his suggestion that I begin to alter the way I have been looking at all this.  

We have been social distancing here since March 8th when my work trip to Miami was cancelled because of the pandemic…it is now April 16th…pretty sure that I have, by now, run the gamut of emotions…thankfully I like the people that live here and thankfully I am still working every day, so that has made it easier to bear.  After watching John Maxwell’s live I started thinking about what could be created out of this experience…how could I transform the way that I am dealing with this so that something amazing is created from it…I am still living in that question.

At least now, I am living in a question instead of being annoyed that I am still stuck in here with these people:) who just KEEP EATING!!!

Our stay home/stay safe order from the Governor of VT has been extended to May 15th so we have about a month to go if they don’t extend it any further…I have decided to make it a point to create some new goals about what comes after this is over, if you would like to join me in beginning to look at what the opportunity is in all this join me Sunday Morning for Coffee Chat at 10am est and again on Thursday at 10:30am for session for of 7 Ways to Create Good Fortune…

See you soon.  XO, Noelle

The Proverbial Gut Punch

The proverbial gut punch….

There are certain topics I tread lightly on. Everywhere. Some out of fear, some out of self preservation, some because they are mine alone and if I share them I give them away.

Sometimes though you have to share them. You have to put your misgivings aside, because maybe someone needs to hear what you have going on. Maybe it will help them.

I have been at my current job for almost thirteen years. It was a complete shift. I used to work in Human Resources. I now work with children. I started out as a teacher and have worked my way up and and have been worked out of several leadership roles. In that time we have had four CEO’s. I have switched physical locations at least three times. I am not sure how many times I’ve switched offices. As for bosses… I’ve had quite a few.

More than five less than ten.

With each new boss expectations change. Sometimes my pay and schedule changes. Staff changes. Like I do, I roll with it. As best as I can.

I like my job. I would go so far as to say most days I love it. Except when I don’t.

I am still growing as a leader and I have a lot of work to do and I would like to tell you there haven’t been some things that have made me hold back, but that wouldn’t be true.

I own that. The problem is, I’m now in a place where it’s haunting me. Those fears. 

And I got the proverbial gut punch. You can take that as you will but spoiler alert I’m still employed. 

Which has gotten me to a place where I am looking at myself. At what point did I lose my mojo? At what point did I forget what I am capable of? At what point did I let things weigh me down?

In another life I was the woman that was called upon to resolve conflicts now I avoid them.

I think somewhere along the way I forgot that woman. I started believing the negative talk of others and turned on myself. 

It’s funny I thought I had it together only to find out I still have a long way to go.

I feel like I’m at an impasse right now.  And you know what? While I am definitely having all the range of emotions, maybe this is what I needed. 

That proverbial gut punch wake up call. To get myself together and figure out where my heart is and get my mojo back. 

Much love as always Mamas

<3 Caprise

The Hardest Time Of The Year

The Hardest Time Of The Year.

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

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

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

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

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

So … like I said, I asked her.

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

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

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

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

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

That will be my  present over the next few weeks.

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

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

<3 Caprise

Eat The Cake

Eat The Cake…

My last couple blogs I have put my heart on a platter. I have done something I am incredibly uncomfortable doing. Shared. Intimate pieces of my life.

And I’m about to share some more…

This time it’s the other side of me.

Because, the next time I sit down to write one of these. I will officially be a year older.

I will be forty eight in fact. Two more years and I hit the big fifty.

I get teased because I don’t hate Birthdays. I relish them actually, not that I really do anything over the top to celebrate. I think maybe a few years ago I did. It’s usually pretty peaceful. Something involving yummy food and my daughter. If I’m lucky cake. If I’m really lucky an adult beverage.

To me, each year is my reminder that I accomplished something I was told I couldn’t. I was a preemie and have a congenital heart condition.  My whole life I have been told “someone with your condition won’t.” Then I do.

There is a fantastic quote and I’m paraphrasing “when someone tells you no. Do it twice and take pictures.”

As scary as it can be. I have been working really hard at living my life that way.

From little things like  changing my hair. Getting my nose pierced.

Going to concerts for bands I would normally never go to. I’ll explain… I’m a punk, pop lady who found herself not too long ago with a bunch of her favorites at a metal concert. By the way, I had a blast.

To big things. Who I spend my time with.  Rebuilding my financial future.

Life is precious, it’s ok to push boundaries and sometimes step outside of your box.

I have also strongly started embracing who I am.

Painting, reading, embroidery. Yup… I love embroidery. I joke with my person that  I am a Golden Girl in training .

I have an unhealthy obsession with tacos. I am on a quest for the perfect mascara. At almost 48 I’ve started goofing with fake eyelashes and winged eyeliner because I’ve always wanted to.

That’s my point…

Embrace those things that make you – YOU, but don’t be afraid to do something that maybe you wouldn’t normally.

Eat the cake

Wear those fabulous earrings

Stay in

Go out

By the special creamer for your coffee

In the infamous words of my favorite rockstar “ I’m learnin’ to walk again. I believe I’ve waited long enough.”

My dream for my future is a beautiful velour track suit, a pair of gorgeous prescription sunglasses driving a golf cart around a senior home by the ocean with my grandchildren giggling  by my side. It’s a future at one point I was told I couldn’t have.

Mommas we are allowed to be more or stay exactly as we are. That’s the wonderful gift that each birthday gives us. A yearly celebration of who we are.

Amazing Mommas

 

<3 Caprise

Gratitude Is Like A Birthday Present

Is it my birthday

Gratitude is like birthday presents. It comes in all different sizes & packages. It comes from places you expect and places that surprise you. Some gifts rock your world while others look like they were a re-gift from the 80’s. Some are given with the fullness of authentic love while others are backed up with an obligation attitude.

To express gratitude takes effort. To stop in your tracks and have the thought is good, but then to speak the words… that takes a conscious act of the heart.

It could look like this:

A small size gratitude could look like a 20 second thanks while you’re running between errands and someone held the door for you.

A medium gratitude might look like a surprise as someone gives you a treat you never would’ve imagined, & you blurt out a laughter within the Thank You.

A large size gratitude comes from deep within your soul where truthful thanks exist. You take a minute to give an honest word of thanksgiving, you look the person in the eyes & you let them know you mean what you say.

The true spirit comes from a thankful heart. A heart who knows things could be worse, acknowledges it is exactly how it is supposed to be right now and it is GOOD. How do you do that you may ask….. What is there possibly to be grateful for in your tragic drama-full life.” You say. An attitude of gratitude can be practiced every day starting with little things, meaningful details, acceptance of mediocrity. A good way to get yourself in the mood is to start a journal and write down 3 things your grateful for every day and see where it takes you

Start here: ….. toothbrush & toothpaste, a hot cup of coffee, clean clothes, hot shower.

It could take you to a happy place you never knew existed.

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Put Down That Baggage

When is time to get rid of the baggage? ….when it weighs you down, when it distracts you, when you don’t even remember where you got it. Is that when it’s time? OR when the thoughts of it cause your body to cringe in it’s place. OR stay in bed, OR give in on yourself. How about when the burdens created by having it outweigh the good you want in your life!!?

I’m not talking about STUFF. I’m talking about the thoughts, feelings, ideas the stuff that can suffocate your growth. I’m talking big baggage, old baggage, baggage from childhood, from your last romantic relationship, from girlfriend friendships gone bad, from broken dreams and lost promises. THAT baggage.

Are you carrying around any self-righteousness, conceit, negativity, ignorance, anger, upset?

Are you going on and on about She said, He said, They did, blah blah blah.

Is it time to let all that go? Do you want to be free from the bondages they have on you? Do you want to live life in a new way? Embrace joy? Own passion? Express excitement?

Eyes wide open with the baggage you carry. Hearts longing for something new.

Let it all go. You will be different. Most of all, you’ll breath with a smile on your face and love in your heart. Youre not who you were yesterday. No longer living the way you did. Are you ready to give up your old ways? Put the baggage down? Stop the drama about all of it? Be prepared to live enlightened, redeemed, humbled, grateful, & positively happily content.

You may not be as popular, needed, admired… well not in the WORLD anyway. But you will be HAPPILY JOYFULLY FREE in YOU….. And that my friend….. is really what matters most.

Your God Girl,

Tracy

 

How Do I Pick Out Curtains?

Who knew of all the different types of curtains that are available these days… seriously.. .All I know is that now I am picking out these things all by myself. I had rented a house with a million windows and all I needed was curtains. ughh… seems easy doesn’t it.

I spent months in the divorce process and then its final. Where do you start? What do you do with your life now? So many questions running through your head.. For months I had lived in a bubble, just getting through the day and not thinking anything else. What do you do first after your divorce? Many you have never worked or even lived by yourself, but now at age 40 you are on your own. You get to pick out your own curtains or your own furniture. You don’t have to ask anyone’s opinion, which can be exciting and scary at the same time. Or the other side is now you have no one to ask the easy questions too.. I did not know of all the small decisions I would need to make by myself.

I had lived in a bubble for so long. Going through all the emotions and then when the divorce process starts It takes over your life. And once its final, you have to stop and think what do I do now. I think we all get ahead of ourselves and want to build this new life so fast. I think the best advice I can give anyone that is starting over after divorce is to take it slow and learn about yourself. It’s hard for me to remember the days or months right after my divorce, I think I was in such a bubble or daze throughout the process that it’s hard to remember all the changes. It was being on constant autopilot and no time to process the changes that I was going through. We all want to put our kids first and make sure they are happy, however its so important that we are learning to be happy also.

Take time to really learn about what you now want. Some days will really suck, you learn you need to do things all by yourself. You might have never picked out your own curtains, so this is new to you you and it might take you a day to make that decision or it might take you months…either way, it doesn’t matter because you did it. Some days you might want to lay in your robe until 2pm and do nothing, and you can… You can take the time and do what you need. Start figuring out what you want in your life for you.

You might make one decision by yourself and you should celebrate. Something that seems so small might be your biggest accomplishment. Take the wins!!

Snarkydivorcedgal (www.snarkydivorcedgal.com)