Tag Archives: stress

What Puts The Wonder In The Woman?

What puts the “wonder” in the woman?

I had a bad dream on Saturday night—It woke me up at 6am on Sunday and I was so unsettled that I just got up.  In the dream Antonio was still little and my ex-husband had taken him for a visit, and I was freaking out because I was unable to reach them, and I was worried that he would not bring Antonio back.  I woke up remembering the times that I felt like that, which were infrequent because the ex was pretty much not around the kid’s whole life—that fact likely made me more concerned about trusting him when he did take the kid for a visit.  I had to remind myself that Antonio will be 20 in a few weeks and that he lives right down the street with his own phone and his own car etc.

When I settled myself with those facts, I started thinking about how nobody really helped me with raising him and then I thought about everything that I have been able to do for us—how I brought us from filing bankruptcy to where we are today—how he is going to be 20 soon which means that I have been at this parenting thing for two freaking DECADES.  Then I thought about how much I worried about shit that I couldn’t control, about how f—ing terrified I was most of the time, about how many times I cried after he went to bed or when he was at school because I was just so damn scared about everything.  I was on my own in TN for 12 years with him…his father visited once, my Mother visited never…that’s another whole story for another day…

Point is that I made it, I did it— we are OK, we were OK, I figured it out, I kept going, I keep going.  Now I worry less because I realize that it wastes my energy and when you worry you attract things to be worried about.  None of us need that kind of help.  Truly.  STOP worrying.  

These days I continue to practice what I teach you, vibe from a better, higher place, think the next best thought, elevate yourself on the daily.  Appreciate what you have, keep doing the next thing and then the next.

Do me a favor—stop once in awhile in the middle and think about how FAR you have come, I never do that.  I am trying to learn to do it more—mostly I just kept moving because I was afraid that if I stopped, I would not be able to pick myself back up—I did not give in to despair EVER because I imagined that if I did it would put me out and then who would take care of the kid…so for him I just kept doing the next thing.

I remember days that I was so afraid about money or something else that I could hardly breathe—so I would do the next thing and then say some affirmations or pick up a book that would help me direct my thoughts in a better way.

In case you ever wonder if I know what it feels like to be YOU, I DO.  It’s just that I am a bit further along and I created this work with The Working Single Mom brand to help you see that you can make it too—you can and you WILL.  No matter what is happening now, you will get through it—I did, I do and you will.

Let me help you see what it looks like to get on the other side of hell—I will keep sharing my stories and you keep doing the next thing and use the tools that I am teaching—those tools and those prosperity principles saved my life and they work if you work them.

What puts the “wonder” in Wonder Woman is you and the GRIT to keep going.

GRIT-

courage and resolve; strength of character

See you Saturday on Coffee Chat.

XO, Noelle

Let Your Guard Down

Let your guard down….

It’s Sunday afternoon and while the sun is out the Midwest is not quite ready to give us Spring. It even snowed in parts of our state today.It’s ok. The sunshine is still good. It was our Spring Break and unfortunately it mostly rained.My daughter and I decided movies and board games would be how we celebrated a few days home.

We also got a whole lot more than five minutes together. Which for me was great. She shared a lot and I continue to hold my breath waiting for when she may not. For now I’m enjoying these moments. It got pretty deep. I value that she trusts me. I appreciate it.

Some of what she shared was about her Dad.

Our relationship, his and mine, is hard. Still. Rolling on a decade later.  I carry around a lot of anxiety when it comes to him. Which thankfully I thought… see the word thought I do a pretty good job keeping from our daughter.But everyone has their breaking point.

I didn’t realize how hard I had been holding it in until a conversation with my best friend.I am a private person when it comes to my personal life. Welp, ok y’all read my blogs.. but there are a handful of people who know all my nitty gritty.

I don’t want to be a burden.

Share too much.

Make waves.

So I hold it in.

Today I let it out. I cried. I shared some of my biggest fears and it was so incredibly scary. Honestly, it was terrifying.

Funny thing is every week I write these blogs but I can’t tell people I care about. I’m scared.My friend said he was surprised because it is so the opposite of who he knows me to be.And maybe that is why I was afraid. To share. To let my guard down. I take care of everyone. I have a job that puts me in a position where I have to be comfortable talking to EVERYONE.

Yet this anxiety, this stress I carry on my own.Luckily I have a person who does know me. And noticed. So I opened up. I shared. I let my guard down.

Here I am a few hours writing about it feeling for the first time in a long time like a lighter person.Wondering why I held onto this for so long. Maybe I hadn’t found the right person to let me guard down with. Maybe those deep talks with my daughter and surviving them gave me the courage.I really have no idea, but my hope for you is to have someone in your life who you can let guard down with.

Be safe and much love Mommas.

<3 Caprise

Almost A Year Later

Almost a year later….

It’s Sunday afternoon I don’t really feel like music right now.A very watered down Diet Pepsi is nearby and I have finished off the last of my Reese’s eggs.

I’m going to keep it real. I’m tapped out. This week was a lot. I don’t want to say it’s because we are rolling up on a year of being in a pandemic.  But I think subconsciously it is. I say this all the time. I am lucky. I am working. Somehow, I got a new job the week this all started and a year later, still here.

My immediate family has stayed healthy but unfortunately that has not been the case for other branches in my family tree and definitely not some of my friends.

As a shy people person I have had to relearn relationships. Some unfortunately have not made it. My old coping strategies I’ve had to give up to keep people safe. To keep myself safe. Like leisurely walking through Target. I realize is small potatoes.

I have read so many books. Especially lately. I am not even a little mad about that.I tried my hand at painting by numbers. The jury is still out. Embroidery… as a not patient human not the best hobby but the end result is great. I’ve discovered new music. 

And I’ve said this before, I’ve changed how I communicate with people I love.I tell them. I call. I text. I send cards. Even if it does flip back my way.

This last year has shown me you just have to. Or at least I do.

I have been downsizing my closets. Leaning into what I’m comfortable in and who I am. Not that I didn’t before, but I always felt a little filtered. I joked with some friends at almost fifty I have realized I am the woman who won’t do her hair but will most definitely wear fake lashes.

I gave up drinking.I’m gonna be real, real, real on this one. This has been a stinger.I live in a state that prides itself on being a drinking state. St. Patrick’s Day is called amateur night here. When COVID hit I decided to go the opposite of what feels like the whole world honestly did  and stopped drinking.

I had already been thinking about it because of a conversation with a college acquaintance who  joked that while in college my drinking habits were problematic. I think he actually said dumpster fire. Now… I’m almost fifty and have not lived that life since my late twenties. However, the potential is there. There have been times I have finished a bottle of wine without realizing it. Not remembered how many drinks I had when out with friends.

I also land back to what if something happened to my daughter and I had a glass or two of wine and couldn’t take her to the ER? I realize all of these examples are a bit dramatic but they are things I think about.

Also, as a person who gets in their head I decided it might be best to not help my negative talk any with the help of a margarita. The other biggie was a week into the pandemic having an uncle who is only five years older than me have a heart attack. He had to have open heart surgery as a result and is on the mend, but if I can lower my risk of that by not having a glass of wine or two… I’m going to.

Will it make a difference? I don’t know but here I am a year later.

Has it been hard?

Depends on the day. To be honest the hardest thing is explaining why I don’t drink.  I have now just started saying because I don’t.

I have my days where I want a fish tank sized margarita. Then I get on the scale and celebrate the fact that even though I tend to eat like a teenager cut loose at a convenience store I’ve not gained any weight. I look at my face. My skin is clear. I sleep.

I know people like to toss around the sober is sexy mantra. I wholeheartedly disagree. It is incredibly hard and some days it’s ugly as sin. It is a constant and it probably wouldn’t  be but when you have a whole genre of memes devoted to drinking, a society that celebrates it, friends and family who joke and cheer it on here you are.

I mean. I do think the speeding to the Titanic for really old wine is funny.

BUT

Nothing that is good ever came easy. So they say.

A year later… yup.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas.

<3 Caprise

It All Turns Out

It all turns out…

I thought I would surprise Kim and send her a blog for Saturday since I have been MIA as one of our writers since a week before Mom died.  I have managed to pull myself together for Coffee Chat’s the last few weeks, however writing something has been a whole different animal.  I got really sick a week or so ago—so much so that it scared me into asking myself what I needed to fix as it was a really bad migraine and those usually come from system overload—I realized that I had 2 speeds— WARP and Crash,that is all I know, it is what Mom taught me and I see that it is what I have in turn taught my son.

This is NOT good— I have realized this over the last 10 days—realized that I need to start resting in the middle of my life so that I can actually LIVE it and not just go balls to the wall racing through it to do the next thing on my list.  

When did I get so freaking hardcore about just pushing through and making it happen—when did I lose my ability to appreciate the small moments, when did I start making myself feel like shit if I wanted to be lazy for a day or a moment—when did I decide that everything had to be so freaking SERIOUS!?  

Mom did that—for 75 years she pushed herself hardcore and ended up exiting this life far too soon as a result.  She used to tell me that she did not know how to rest— in her journal I found some entries where she says that she made a decision to be “a serious person” and to her that meant giving up her painting and drawing and to some extent her joy to just buckle down and build a business, raise me and get the results.  I believe it was at that point that she cut her hair very short and it stayed that way…she felt short hair would be taken more seriously.  Granted she lived in a time where women had to work harder to be noticed in business— 40 something years ago—so I suppose she felt that going at it hard was her only choice.  That makes me sad—she was an incredible artist and all of that got left behind decades ago—I have two of her paintings on my office wall.

Last Sunday I started talking to you all about looking at things like a cycle instead of like a line with a beginning and an end— I want to share with you what I am learning about how to relax and let go in the middle having certainty that it ALL turns out at the end of the story.  There was a FB post that I saw the other day written on October 17th by a woman in Ireland that is 107 years old—in essence she says “stop worrying so much, enjoy your life, it all works out”—she said she has lived through ALL kinds of things and ALL kinds of loss and she assured us all that everything turns out.  Everything has a season—sometimes it looks great and sometimes it looks like shit, the trick is to know that it will come around again—there was never a night that had no morning.  

Imagine how your life would change on the daily if you woke up thinking, “it all turns out”— I keep saying to everyone around here, “I read the last chapter, it all works out in the end” and I have been really living like that the last 10 days or so and it is changing me…I am not taking everything so fxxxing seriously— I am learning to just take the days as they come and do the next thing in front of me.

I feel like for Mom’s sake, yours and my own that I need to learn how to rest in the middle and keep sharing that with you.

Appreciate the moments—that is all we have.

 

See you Sunday morning.

XO, Noelle

‘Getting Away’ Could Be Just What You Need

‘Getting Away’ Could Be Just What You Need….

As soon as the school year finished, we decided to spend some time at our cabin.  Just me and the kids for a few days.  I can not tell you what a difference just getting away for a couple days made in all of us.  The kids had been distance learning for months and I had been working remotely also.  This was the first place we had been away from home in months. 

I wasn’t sure that I even remembered how to drive a car… but it came back to me.   About ½ way to the cabin, I noticed how all my kids were getting along.  There was no fighting and 2 kids were playing a game together. I almost had to pull over to see this for  myself.   We actually talked and laughed at each other.  There were even parts of the drive that they didn’t have their AirPods in… shocking for teenagers. 

It’s amazing how driving a couple hours away from everything, can make me feel so relaxed.  I did not feel any stress and I had no worries on what might happen next week or next month…I also noticed the change in the kids from the moment we got to the cabin,  they were excited and so happy to be someplace besides home.  They were not constantly nitpicking everything with each other.  I forgot how it felt… how being up there felt like our normal routine… 

Nothing has felt like a normal routine for us in months.  Everything seemed new and uncomfortable, from my career to helping with schoolwork to no sports or activities.  It was all a strange unsettling feeling… Over the last few months I have been more anxious and worry some.  Everyday has seemed to follow the same routine but so many unplanned things happened.  Now just getting out of the car and seeing the lake and fresh air made all the difference.  

We had waited for months to get to go to the cabin and it finally happened.  As excited as my kids were to be there, I realized that they just liked the slow pace of everything.  There was no more learning assignments and google meets for them now during summer.  They also needed this time to just decompress from the last few months.  

I pictured them up by 8 am and out on the dock fishing. but instead the girls were nestled in their beds until noon. I pictured them swimming by 10 and soaking of every moment they could and doing a million different activities.  In my head, it was a scramble of getting as many activities in as possible during the day.  Why?? I have no idea, but I thought we needed to do everything.  Maybe it was because we had been stuck at home for months.    Instead my kids wanted to do everything at a turtles pace.  It was definitely at a lot slower timeframe than I had in mind.   

It would make me annoyed because I thought they should be fishing, swimming, playing yard games, or going for a pontoon rides in a certain time frame.  Crazy mom…. Instead they wanted to sleep until noon then they will go fish for a little bit and then come back in and watch TV show.  

I did not think they were having fun or enjoying themselves. I kept asking them if they wanted to go home. 

All of my kids said, why do you keep asking us that? 

I said “ because I feel like you are not having fun or just laying around”

They all said “we are having a great time this is what we want to do we want to relax and hang out”.  

Silly mom I was.. I thought they were bored.  Instead they were taking time to just relax and do what they wanted.  They were taking naps, watching movies, making bonfires, having snacks together… they were still having a great time just doing it at a slower pace.   We all ended up sleeping in later and then staying up past midnight watching movies many nights. 

Adjusting to how my kids do things has been a hard reality for me.   Many times I have to just let them do things how they want to do them and not push.  And  It’s very hard for me to not step in.  But I have learned they can be much happier and enjoyable, if I let them do it at their pace.  

And after it all…I realized we were having just as much fun at the cabin taking it at a slower pace than if we were rushing to do all these activities… and I felt so much more relaxed.  Plus, I got some much needed sleep. 

-snarky 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

Some Days Are Hard

Some days are really hard…..It doesn’t take a pandemic to struggle.Even after this is over, we will still struggle certain days. I always wonder why some days are a piece of cake and others are just a mess. What sets them apart?

This week has been harder than others, I feel the kids and I were all on each other’s nerves. The other reality was that my job was probably not going to improve anytime soon.

Everything was just piling up. I felt like I was either crabby or sad all the time. I was not sleeping and was starting to feel nervous about things in my life. This is new for me, I am normally a person that feels very in control of my life.

I would wonder why I didn’t get anything additional done during the day. I was exhausted by 4 pm every day. Then I thought about all the things I was trying to accomplish during the day,when in reality I was constantly busy with distance learning, my actual job, conference calls, setting up my kids google hangouts, refereeing fights, making meals, cleaning up from meals, planning the next meal, trying to get 2 teenagers up before noon, getting my kids to do chores, monitoring electronic time, and the list goes on. Honestly, we have been in a good groove before this week. But shit, I can’t take another week like this! It’s funny because i was a stay at home mom for years, but this seems different. Did I lose my touch?

In addition, I miss my friends, my family, and my coworkers. I miss my old routine. I miss the gym. I miss watching a tv show by myself, I miss my drive to work,when I can listen to my own music and it’s quiet. I just miss it all. I even read an article on a mom that turned her backyard trampoline into an isolated retreat and I thought that lady is a genius!!! I might move my room outside.

I know I have so much to be grateful for in my life although sometimes you just need to feel a little selfish. And sometimes everything seems overwhelming. So I needed to change things up.

I started walking later in the afternoon rather than the morning. It was a good end to my day. Plus just changing up my routine gave me something to look forward to also.

I started praying more. I made time to pray when I woke up and then again later in the day. I really was looking for more peace and contentment in my life. I was starting to feel a little lost and didn’t know the right direction I should be going at times. I had to take the time to add this into my daily routine and stick to it. I could tell I needed this.

I started reaching out to more friends to check on them. Helping people or giving encouragement to others has always helped me feel like I have more of a purpose or contentment in my life. It’s also so reassuring to hear that your friends are going through the same thing.

I picked my battles with my kids. I could obviously tell they were having just as hard of a week as I was… I relaxed on the electronic time. And honestly I was as guilty, some nights we all sat on the couch playing our own devices.

I started posting old pictures of my kids on social media. Mostly because it makes me smile and I know my family misses seeing them. And it reminds me of great memories and fun times.

I would stop myself from worrying about things I could not control. I would just tell myself many times that if I can’t control it, then I can’t worry about it. This is hard and it didn’t always work.. but I’m determined to not worry as much. I had to let things go that I did not accomplish during a day. I had to start reminding myself that I should be proud of everything I did in the day and honestly who cares if I didn’t get everything done.

It doesn’t have to take a pandemic for us to feel the pressure of things building up in life,it happens to all of us. It can happen on any normal day. I think it just helps when you are aware it’s happening, try to let it go, and start again tomorrow.

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

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

Why Worry?

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength”. 

– Corrie ten Boom  

I never thought of it like that.  But now that I have, it kinda makes me want to realign my worrying.  Why on earth would we want to empty today of it’s strength? By golly, us single moms need all the strength we can get just to get through the day!  

Are you a Worry Wart?    …“one who worries excessively and needlessly”, “one who frets unnecessarily and tends to dwell unduly”?

As single moms, how can we release some of the things we must have all figured out?  The things we have to remember? The calendar of to-dos to keep us on track? We can’t neglect the fact that the kids used the last of the milk this morning or that Suzi has a doctors appt on Friday.  We have to have it all lined up and written out and making sense, right?

Yes….but we certainly don’t need to worry about it.  If you’re worrying, you’re definitely not organizing yourself very well, nor using all your resources. 

 

Here are some ideas to help release some THINGS that might worry us:

– keep an ongoing list of groceries, toiletries, household items, etc & highlight urgent ones 

– do errands in the same part of town at the same time

– even if you have a calendar in your phone, put one on the refrigerator, keep everything on it.  Color coordinate the events if that helps.

– ask family and friends to help, if you can’t get to the store for milk,

ask someone to do it for you

– set alerts in your phone to remind you of certain things: put out the trash the night before, put in a load of laundry before you go to bed, put dinner in the oven while you take a shower

 

The more you release from your mind, the less room you have for worry and the more room you have for peace.

xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over Weight

All I need to do is lose 5 lbs of weight, I am only drinking alcohol on weekends,  I am going to drink a glass of lemon water before each meal, I am only going to eat lettuce for lunch yep, these are the things I would tell myself over and over again every Sunday Night for the last couple years.  

About 6 years ago, I lost over 40lbs from a weight loss program.   I was finally at a weight that I was comfortable with maintaining. I had gained tons of self confidence and felt great about myself.  I was 100% committed to losing the weight and it was a top priority for me.  

I knew that I would have to move into the maintaining phase once I hit my goal weight.  However, maintaining that goal weight was even harder than losing the weight. I had to still follow the program and it was really tough. It’s even harder than losing because this was now my life. 

So, over the last couple years I have gained about 10 lbs of my weight back.  However, every week I would struggle with trying to get my body back to that magical number that I was at when I hit my goal.  I stressed over this….every week I would try to get back on the wagon and by Wednesday I would fall off. It affected how I left about myself and my self confidence.  I would beat myself up over it all week. 

And then I realized that  I just wasn’t 100% committed to being at that magical number as I had been years ago.  It was an unrealistic goal for me. I will probably never get back to that weight… why? Because right now I like to enjoy myself.  I like to have a drink some nights. I like to have pizza with my kids, and I like cake. I am running kids everywhere and my lifestyle has changed.  

However, what it comes down to is this… back then weight loss was a top priority for me and now… I have other priorities.   It does not mean I can not do it, however It would have to be the top priority for me in my life. Back then, I would have spent hours meal planning and prepping for the week.  Today, I spend hours shopping with my teenagers, running to sporting events, socializing with my friends, and writing about my life…it’s all about priorities and what’s important to you. 

I realized I could beat myself up for it every week or just come to terms. I was not putting in the work needed to reach that goal each week.  I had to be realistic and not expect to magically lose a lb each week when I was not following my eating plan. Especially when my dinner consisted of popcorn and wine.  Weight loss is hard and you do not magically lose weight without a consistent plan and a lot of self control. I had to finally be real with myself.  

I am happy with my life and my body.  I am healthy and I still workout every day.  I think I have mentioned before about how exercise is just part of a routine for me, so that is routine in my life.  However, I set little realistic goals to keep me satisfied with where I am at…like starting to drink water before each meal or I started not eating after 8pm during the week.  

I added in these small little goals each week and that made a huge difference.  I was proud of accomplishing those instead of setting unrealistic goals of losing so many lbs every week.   

I am not at that magical number on the scale and that is ok. I have a range that I continue to stay between and that works for me.  I have learned to not beat myself up every Monday morning because of what I indulged in over the weekend. I have learned to be happy with how I am and enjoy my life.  

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

Guide To A Life Of Balance

Guide To A Life Of Balance….

There are days when my security and confidence is replaced by a wave anxiety, shame, discontentment or frustration. Like clouds, they roll in off the horizon predicting a coming storm. Time and time again I ignore them. I push back the feelings and charge forward. I don’t have time for the rain. I have a child I need to nurture and teach. I have a career I need to manage. I have a house that needs to be cleaned and dishes that need to be washed. I need to exercise and find a new way to sneak four servings of vegetables into a meatloaf. I need to just keep going. The sky darkens, the clouds grow heavy, and the downpour begins. I am left drenched, in my yoga pants.

Isn’t this the story for all of us? Despite reprieves, here and there, we have our hands full much of the time. Emotions seem to come at the most inconvenient moments and threaten to disrupt the intricate balancing act we have in progress. We label them “negative” or “bad” to imply they are something to get rid of or avoid. We ignore them or gloss over them with tip #4 from our guide to self-care. We can try, but our efforts to shoo back the clouds are futile. In and of themselves emotions aren’t good or bad. They alert us to something happening under the surface. With great effort we teach our children to stop and name their emotions. We guide them in handling sadness, anger, tiredness, frustration, and so on. We don’t call them bad, rather, in our little ones we can see them as they are- truths to be dealt with. Our responses to our emotions hold the value of positive or negative, not the emotions themselves. It’s nothing revolutionary, but often we extend wisdom and grace to others while failing to apply it to ourselves. We tireless work to run from or ignore the coming rain and end up overwrought or completely shut down from what has become an undefinable ball of feelings. Thus, fears of being overly emotional can become self-fulfilling.

I spend more time telling myself I shouldn’t feel something than simply acknowledging that I do. As elementary as it may seem, I have begun to retrain myself to stop and feel my feelings. I hate crying, but I have had some good cries. Locked in my closet, I have let emotions of fear and loneliness burst forth. Then knowing what I need, I have been able to deal with them and authentically engage in self-care. There have been times when I have begrudgingly faced my feelings of shame and “mommy guilt”. They have served as important indicators that I am prioritizing things that aren’t truly important. Shame and guilt have highlighted areas where my value and worth has been tied to the appearance of good parenting, optimal health, and spirituality. They have beckoned me to examine if there is depth beneath the surface. Frustration, being rooted in my desire to control something I was simply not meant to, calls me to let go of undue pressure that will leave me drowning in stress. These feelings urge me to come inside and take the needed steps to stay dry because the rain is coming. They protect me from getting off kilter when life’s stresses head my way.

Emotions are beautiful indicators toward balance. They can be quite messy. Demanding to be seen, they will leech out in unexpected areas if they aren’t acknowledged. However, they aren’t bad for existing and we aren’t bad for feeling them. After long periods of running from them, facing deep-seated emotions can seem dangerous. It may take help from a friend or a professional. I have needed, and still need, both to help me decipher tangled feelings. Balance is the reward for doing so. There is peace in realizing emotions aren’t waiting around the corner, ready to create havoc in life. Let them guide you toward balance rather chase you into chaos.

`Shon W