Thursday, April 3, 2014

My “coming out” story...

The agreement is signed and life is completely changed, so its time for me to officially “come out” with the news that rocked me hard 5 months ago and changed my life – and in 100% complete honesty I am so incredibly happy and accepting with the way things are now.

The questions are where do I start? and how do I share my story without sharing too much?

Do I start 6 years ago when I met the person who would alter the course of my life? Do I start 20 months ago when things really changed for us? Or do I start 5 months ago when the final decision was made?

In an effort to stay true to the new me, Ill start with the later, so as to avoid sharing publicly any of the behind the scenes content of what turned “we” into “me”.   On November 7th, 2013 my husband told me that he was no longer interested in resolving the issues that existed in our marriage and instead wanted a divorce.  I was so afraid of that word.  That word meant I failed – I failed myself, I failed my children, I failed my husband, I failed my marriage, I failed my parents and family, I failed everyone.  In my heart I think I knew for a while that this was what the marriage needed and what I needed, but I wasn’t able to accept failure and therefore I fought for the marriage – and I FOUGHT!

I went through all the emotions. I was angry, I was hurt, I was sad – and I was like that for a couple months.  I had no clue how I was going to do it - raise two children on my own, afford to cover the expenses for two kids, two dogs and myself, afford for us to continue to live on our own, manage everything that was on my plate as a newly-single, working mom with student loans, a mortgage, a car payment and other debt. 

I continued to see the therapist that we had seen as a couple and he helped me to accept that I did NOT fail anyone – and most especially myself.  He reminded me of everything that went into the marriage dissolving and how I really did not have too much control of its fate.  He helped remind me of all the support I did have, how strong of a person I was and how I really had been doing most of it for a long time.

After a couple months I was doing a lot better emotionally.  I realized that I had survived the first month (and then two, and now five), being the primary caregiver to the kids and taking care of everything.  I had (finally) learned to accept that I couldn’t do everything and that some things (IE constantly cleaning the house) wouldn’t get done as much as I wanted.  For the first time in a very long time I was happy more often than I wasn’t.  I wasn’t killing my nights fighting, and I wasn’t stressing or worrying about what was gonna happen that day to cause a fight. I was able to finally be at ease all the time and fully enjoy every precious moment I had with my children.

I was happy, but there was still something missing.  I was worried about my finances and how I was going to do things. I was afraid to look at bills until I absolutely had to. I had made the difficult decision that I needed to quit Shakeology and Beachbody because I had to cut any and all extra expenses – no matter the benefits those items brought me.  I told my coach that unfortunately I just couldn’t afford it anymore and I was going to quit.  I'm not sure what I expected her to say, but her response wasn’t what I expected.  She said okay, explained what the process was to leave coaching and said something (I honestly don’t remember) that pretty much was a last ditch effort to have me give it one more month.

I delayed on cancelling because I just didn’t want to, and then I decided I would give it one more month. I would see if there was anything I could do (although I wasn’t really doing anything) to make the business-side of Beachbody work for me.  And that’s when life changed!

I was invited to join a coach training group – one that I had looked into a few months prior - and decided that this was gonna be my last shot. I was gonna give this group a try and see what it could do for me. That group was the best thing to happen to me. Although I had been a coach for about 14 months, I had been ignoring one of the big items that Beachbody pushes for its coaches to do – personal development. I remember reading that when I first signed up and thinking “whatever – I don’t have time for that”. The coach running this training group recommended that I listen to podcasts or Cd's during the 2 hours a day that I'm in my car commuting and I figured that was easy enough.

Personal development has changed my life for the better!  Almost every weekday I listen to a podcast to and from work and it helps inspire me to do all the things that I want to do.  It’s what brought me to the 21 Day Fix and made me realize how much I missed and loved exercising.  It’s what’s made me realize I have some big dreams and goals and I need to find the time to focus on those dreams and goals. Its what helped me realize that my life isn’t just good, its GREAT, and that I am surrounded by some wonderful and amazing friends, family and co-workers and even if I struggle financially, I know that I will find a way to make it work.

I still have a lot of progress to make on my dreams and goals – with the biggest thing being to actually sit down and write it all out and write out exactly how I will get there, and get back to scheduling out my days so I can find the time to focus on those dreams and goals.

But even though I haven’t even made that HUGE first step – I am a different person than I was 5 months ago. Do I still have feelings of failure? Yes, most definitely. I have high expectations and I am harder on myself than I am anyone else. But even when I feel that way, I KNOW that I have not failed and instead I’ve done the complete opposite.  I have taken a tough situation and I have made the very best out of it.  I’m a woman who wears MANY different hats and has many different interests – but Ive found some new focus, “balance” and strength. 

I still have a lot of tough times ahead of me, but I know that I have the strength inside of me to power through – and I have a lot of people to thank for that!

First and foremost, I have to thank my ex. Although our relationship was not as strong as I thought, nor did it have the ending I wanted – it gave me three amazing gifts.  The first two gifts are the most obvious – my children.  No matter how unhappy our marriage became it gave me the gift of motherhood – and even more amazing the wonderful opportunity to be a mother of multiples.  The third gift is the gift of peace and happiness.  I did not have the strength to give up on our marriage because I was afraid of what that future would be, but your ability to do so gave me greater peace and happiness than I have had in a long time.

I would like to thank my wonderful and amazing parents. They have been my rocks in getting me through the tough times.  They reminded me how much they loved me no matter how things worked out and how they were always there for me. They help me with the kids when I need some self-care time or just needed to run errands on my own or was traveling on business.  They have helped cover basic needs so I can make sure I have the money to cover all the bills.  I couldn’t have possibly gotten through this without them by my side.

My sisters and brother-in-laws for reminding me that our family is strong and supportive and that we always have each other. I am very thankful for all the things that you guys do and all the help you offer.  Sara and Nathaniel have some great aunt’s and uncles.

My “ex” family for reminding me the true meaning of family – and that there are actually people in this family that know that.   We might not technically be family anymore, but you continue to remind me that indeed we ARE family, because it really has nothing to do with the actual blood and marriage lines. I am so thankful to have married into this wonderful family – and although I will eventually be divorced from my husband, I will still have you guys to call my sister, aunts, uncles, cousins and Zayde.

My therapist for helping me see things so much clearer and helping me to find this peace and happiness.

My best friends for always making sure I'm okay and offering to drive down/up to confirm I really am okay. You have been there for my calls and emails to just bitch about what’s going on and you have continued to tell me how amazing and strong I am – which has just continued to enable me to be that strong person.

My Beachbody family – you have helped me find that side of me that I lost and I thank you for your continued support, encouragement and motivation. I have gotten so much from Beachbody and I will do my very best to help others lose the weight they want to lose, find the happiness within themselves to succeed, or whatever else they need to do to become a happy and striving individual.

And to everyone else – my coworkers, friends, etc – even if we haven’t talked in a while or aren’t best friends, some of you have known whats going on or have seen/heard enough to know that something is going on and those little notes checking in on me or sending me words of support and wisdom have truly been amazing. Hearing things like “you are amazing, I don’t know how you do it all” puts such a smile on my face and reminds me that I can continue to move forward.


Friday, February 14, 2014

One Strong MOMma!

On the second leg of my long flight home today from a business trip, I had the pleasure of flying with a set of twins and their parents. I say it was a pleasure, others on my flight Im sure would not agree. The two kids – one boy and one girl – were 14 months old, and clearly did not like the idea of flying, being stuck in their car seats, not being able to run/crawl around and play, etc. From the moment they boarded and settled into their seats, the kids were crying.

I actually wasn’t 100% sure there were two, as I saw the mom board with the daughter in her arms, but two of the same toy, and I saw the dad board with a car seat, but later the dad came back for the second seat, and then I started to hear one cry and eventually realized there were two different cry’s going on. I felt for the mom (and dad) when I thought it was just one child, but being a fellow mom of multiples, I really felt for them. Its hard enough to deal with two kids crying, but to do it on a packed airplane where you KNOW what everyone around you is thinking, I can only imagine how overwhelmed she was feeling.

Unfortunatley, I know that for myself, I can sometimes be more concerned with what everyone around me is thinking when Im in public and the fact that they didn’t “sign up” to hear a child scream their heart out, so I usually give my daughter her pacifier or both of them food to help settle them down – because I know those items work. Or sometimes I know its just that they want mommy, and so I carry one or both to calm them down.

This mom stayed strong. She did not fall into the pressure of all the stares and whispers and stuck with parenting the way she parents. I saw no use of the pacifier and the kids were never drowning in snacks – although they did get mommy cuddles once that was possible J When she had no other choice, she stayed strong and let them cry and try to settle in.

I knew what this mom must have been feeling, and I remembered an article or blog post I read a while back about someone randomly telling a mom she was a great mom while her hands were full with her child and the errand she was running and how that made that mom feel. So once we were safely in the air and were able to get out of our seats, I took the short walk a few rows back and I went up to her and I told her that Im sure she doesn’t hear it enough – but that she is doing a great job. She thanked me and then apologized for the children. I told her not to apologize at all, I understand what she is going through as I too am a mom of twins – mine being 18 months old. We exchanged a few brief words and I told her and her husband that I would like to buy them a little valentines day gift and that they should order a drink or snack and Ill pay for it. They thanked me – but I knew they weren’t going to take me up on the offer because I too would have done the same thing, being too stubborn and strong to accept help from strangers (and non-strangers).

I then told the flight attendant who was selling snacks that if they did buy anything I was going to pay for it. At that time my coworker - who was traveling next to me and had been complaining about kids on planes and the crying - asked what I was doing.  I explained that it was a mother of multiples and I knew what she was going through and I further explained the article I was reminded of, so I went back there to remind her what a great mom she is and that I wanted to buy them a drink or snack to help put a bright spot to their day. His face brightened and he didn’t make a single sound or facial reaction the rest of the flight when the kids cried.

I hope that I was able to make the mom and dad’s day a little brighter, but at the very least, I know I changed the opinion of another passenger and it made me feel like a better person.


So the next time you are on a plane – or out in public anywhere – and hear crying kids, try to think about how the parents are feeling, and instead of internally (or externally) complaining, go up to the parent(s) and let them know that they are doing a great job, because it will make them and you feel better, and you won’t even hear the cries anymore because you will feel so good.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesdays web round-up - Family and Parenting - Part 1

I've been saving links over the last week, and the majority of the ones that I found worthy of sharing this week are almost all related to family life and parenting - but there are so many, that Ill be splitting it into 2 posts over the next two weeks.   Hope you enjoy the links and my thoughts on each

CTWorkingMoms13HRE-4595-1024x681
http://herscoop.com/posts/empowering-photo-series/
I whole-heartedly agree with this campaign.  I obviously have my own opinions on each topic - as we all do - but I also respect everyone's decision on how they parent.   I personally choose not to give my kids juice because of all the sugar or feed them fast food.  But, I will freely admit that there are times you can't help yourself.   My kids had their first McDonalds meal on Friday when we were on the road - there just was no other place to stop - they LOVED their chicken nuggets, but also enjoyed the sliced apples that came along with it and barely touched the fries.   On the other hand - I also let my kids (reasonably) cry it out and was glad to get back to work and have adult interaction.   Whatever decision we make is the perfect decision - because it was perfect for us!   As long as you are not abusing, neglecting or abandoning your children and are a good role model to them - you are being a fabulous parent!

I didn't get emotional and tear up like others described - but this is a great video for all mom's and those who want to be mom's

http://myrtlebeachbirthservices.com/five-things-say-cesarean-mom-three-things/
I have always dreamed of having a "natural" birth - even considering the idea of going drug free - but admitting that if I were in too much pain, I would be open to asking for meds.   Then I got pregnant with twins, and I knew that I could still have a "natural" birth, but I also knew my chances of having a c-section were greatly increased.   So starting at 8 weeks - when I found out it was twins - I worked on accepting the fact that I was likely to have a c-section. My biggest fear was delivery the first vaginally and then having complications with the second and having to go for a c-section.   I could recover from one - but I didn't want to recover from both.  Since I mentally and emotionally prepared myself, I wouldn't get bothered by people saying these things to me - with that, I do not always understand the people who opt right for a c-section for no medical reason (but back to the top article - I make no judgements, just a differing of opinions). My pregnancy was a wonderful journey with very little hiccups - but both my kids were breech the entire pregnancy, so a c-section was the delivery method - then my daughter went into distress a few times too many during stress tests and I had to have an emergency c-section and never even went into labor - never felt a single contraction. So even though I had a beautiful pregnancy and two amazing children, I do mourn over the fact that I didn't go into labor, didn't have a vaginal delivery and the fact that it looks more and more likely that I won't have the amazing pleasure of being pregnant again - and possibly having a VBAC.



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Feature: Wednesday's Web Round-Up

As some of you know - I drive an hour each way to work.   That is (at least) 10 hours a week I spend sitting in the car by myself with my mind going in a thousand different directions.   Im CONSTANTLY thinking of blog posts, but by the time I get the chance to sit in front of a computer I can't remember a single thing I thought about - and I literally have the entire thing written out in my head.   Ive tried recording my thoughts, but the problem is once I speak them out loud - my mind stops working and I can't remember everything I was thinking.

Anyways, I am always thinking about the blog, and recently I started to think about some different features i could have on the blog.   For instance I have lots of "short" thoughts - things that are too long for an fb post, but too short for a blog post - and poof - thoughts for thursday!  

But that will be debuted at a later week.  This week, I am launching "Wednesday's Web Round-Up". I'm not loving the title of this feature - so if you have ideas - let me know!   The general idea is there are TONS of things I read out there on the inter-webs, but I don't share it all because I don't want to hog people's fb news feeds (I do a good enough job of that with pictures and status updates).   Instead, I will save them up and share them, with some comments by yours truly, all at once on a blog post.   

This feature, just like any other feature I launch, won't be weekly - because I'm more realistic than to think Ill just magically have the time to blog - but hopefully every other week.  Who really knows though, maybe this will be the only one, maybe Ill get around to doing it every week... 

Anyways, without further ado - here are some of the interesting stories and videos I saw on the internet over the last couple weeks:

After Seattle's NFC Championship win, Richard Sherman has now become a household name - but not because of his play on the field, but because of his interview after the game.   I thought the same negative things about him that you all did - but you should all read this article as it puts him in a whole new light.



This is me through and through - all the way down to the nail biting...



I know I shared this on my FB feed - but it is totally worthy of another share.   If you are Jewish and participated in a Jewish youth group (BBYO, USY, NFTY, etc), then this is a must read!



Check out this adorable talking husky!  

Well, Ill leave you with those, and now that I have this going, ill get better about sharing good reads and watches :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Lesson Learned...

I was looking for something to do today that would incorporate the theme of Martin Luther King Jr day.   After lots of thinking and getting ideas from others, I decided that the kids really are too young to really do anything this year - and we would just aim for next year, so I looked at the different options I did have today:

  • Barnes and Noble had Monday storytime at one of the nearby stores
  • We could schedule one of our makeup classes at My Gym
  • Go to the Bucks County Children's Museum - where we are members.

I opted for the first one thinking that they would probably read books about MLK, and I would feel like Im somehow incorporating the theme of the day.   Well that was Strike 1 to today's outing.  They didn't even once mention that today was MLK day and for that I am EXTREMELY disappointed in Barnes and Noble!

Note that I said Strike 1.   Strike 2 to today's outing was that it was PACKED, and that is an understatement!   I ended up getting there about 20 minutes early, and I was going to just walk around since I had the time - except as I walked towards the general area, I noticed that people already had all the benches filled and some people were sitting in the center of the circle, so I figured I'd better find a spot and just hope the kids can sit the extra 20 minutes.

Strike 3 was the rude clientele.   This B&N is in a nice area - nice enough that you have a decent amount of your JAPs (snobby and pretentious).  Since it was already filling in when I got there, I found an area that I could "park" the stroller where it was still right near me and wouldn't be in anyone's way and there was room for people to get by, so at first the kids stayed in the stroller, but I unbuckled them, because I figured they would eventually scream to get out.   When they got out, we sat directly in front of the sroller, while the stroller was nestled between some book sections and myself, but I left a wide enough berth next to the stroller and myself for others to get through.   I watched a handful of people walk by me and eventually the circle was full, so the next person who came up, just sat down right next to me with her two kids and blocked the opening.  I personally thought nothing of it because there was no place left to go.  A couple minutes later right before the leader came to start storytime this mom tried to come by and started complaining out loud about the stroller blocking her way - except I should remind you - it was not the stroller, as that was nestled between "bookshelves".   She starts moving it so I turn around and look at her and she asks if its my stroller, and I said yes, and she said it was in the way so she was going to move it so she could get through.   I hesitated, but eventually stated that the stroller was not in the way and its pushed to the side, but she had already started to move it at that point, so I got up so I could unlock it and properly move it back the 2 inches of space it would provide.   She then came through and sat exactly where I was sitting with my kids so I had no spot.   I stood there in total disbelief and I'm pretty certain I mumbled something because she eventually got up and went back to where she was before and continued to bitch about my stroller.

Then her snobby friend came over and decided to just move it herself, except the stroller was locked, so she was jamming my $400 stroller around, that had the diaper bag and all of our belongings sitting in it - moving it over 2 feet and back 2 feet so it actually did completely block the aisle.   I stated that it wasn't in the way until they started messing with it, and i parked it there for a reason, because I had two little ones that were sitting in it previously and would prefer that it stay there so I could see it.  She just responded with some BS about how she will keep an eye on everything and I retorted asking her if she would leave her belongings with a total stranger.  With that, I had two toddlers to care for, and couldn't do much about it, so I kept turning my head to check on my belongings - but all I could see was the legs of this woman standing behind me, who clearly didn't have a view of my belongings and had no intention to keep an eye on them - so after about 5 minutes, I rudely got up and got all my belongings off the stroller so I knew no one was going into my bag - and she continued to just stand right on top of me.   At some point early on, she decided it wasn't worth it and left.  

We left after about 30 minutes when all the stories were over but before the fun with the music and games started.   It was too packed, those women pissed me off, and the kids needed more space, so i got them into the stroller (exactly the reason I had it there) and brought them over to one of the play-tables as I chatted with a couple friendly moms I knew from gym class.  I realized that also at the play table was the snobby mom with her kid.   The kid was playing at the table and the mom was sitting on the floor a few feet away playing on her phone. Eventually the kids all started to run their own ways, so I decided to leave and wished I had made the decision to go to gym or the museum, so lesson learning for me!.

Of course I still had a wonderful day with my kids - as are all days I get to spend with them - but I learned my lesson to never go to another B&N story time on a federal holiday, and just stick to the random ones I can attend with the kids or the other activities I can do on a holiday.  

You can feel free to go on Presidents Day - but don't say I didn't warn you :)  And if you do go, try to pick a location not filled with a bunch of snobby and pretentious moms. I personally will be doing something else with the kids - maybe Ill host my own play date :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Letting go - and I little glimpse into my mind and personality

I have always placed my friendships and relationships at the top of my priorities.  I care deeply for those who I am close with - my family, friends and my co-workers whom I'm proud to call both my family and friends. In the last 10-15 years, there are two good friends who I lost friendships with.  One of these people was a best friend in my middle school/high school years and another was a close sorority sister.

I honestly couldn't tell you what happened to those friendships.  You know how some people just grow apart? Well that wasn't it (in my opinion). All the sudden, the phone calls and emails were rarely answered/returned.  And then they were never answered/returned.  I got the point, but I wasn't willing to give up, so I tried well past the "expiration date".  Even now, when i joined facebook and saw each of these individuals on facebook, I friend requested them.  Each of them accepted my request which actually hurt more than i thought it would. Now, whenever I see either of them post a picture, share a status update, comment on a friend's post, etc - I get this feeling of hurt and loss.    I know those friendships are over.  I know that they are different people and that we are at different points in our lives and have grown apart.  But its hard for me to accept.

Similarly I was with an ex-boyfriend for over a year when it really should have ended by 4-6 months.  I fell in love, and he was my first real love (unless of course you count Brett Merves - LOL).  In all that time, he could never tell me he loved me.   I knew it was odd, but I kept making excuses.  Eventually it got to the point that I started to push away when I realized we had no future, yet I still couldn't leave him.  Wanna know what the tipping point was?   You'll never believe it!  We went out for valentines day dinner and at the end of the meal he picked his nose.  Im not talking about rubbing an itch at the bottom of your nose - Im talking full-on nose picking in the middle of a nice restaurant, pulling a booger out.   And when I got mad at him and forced him to go wash his hands, he laughed at me and tried to put it in my face.   Yeah - defintielly past the point of needing to dump his ass - and so I prompty dumped him.

Anyways, back to the serious.  Most of the issue (IMO) is me being stubborn and strong-willed and not wanting to accept that I've failed at anything - even a friendship.  My therapist would disagree with that sentence though, specifically how I phrased it. Its not me failing, its just the relationship moving apart or ending.  Of course, he also says that me thinking that way is what makes me so strong and successful. I have a high bar that I set for myself - in everything that I do - and if things don't go the way I think they should, I consider that a failure on my part - even if I know I'm not the one failing.

Anyways, I have an issue with letting go.  I'm sure I've always known this, but its become more apparent to me in the last few weeks.  Everything can be going wrong, but I can't let go, I just want to fix everything - even if its to my own detriment just to help others.

No matter how much I know that I need to let go, and no matter how much I know that the inevitable will come, it is just too hard to accept.  

But those features are what make me such a strong person, a great mom, pet parent, neighbor, friend and employee.  I just hope that these are the traits I pass on to Sara and Nathaniel.  

And that they don't cause me to lose any more friends!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Dear A-Rod...

Dear A-Rod,

Let's get things straight - the entire world has known for years that you are a cheater and have no respect for the game of baseball.   The difference between today and everyday previous to today is that you made it clear that you aren't even a man.

Today 12 men accepted their punishments for using performance-enhancing-drugs.    I don't agree with the decisions they made, but they were caught and they pretty much said "yup, you caught me fair and square, I cheated and I will accept my punishment".

In addition, before those 12 men was another man.   A man who was previously caught and denied, denied, denied.    A man who got away with it because of a technicality.   Sounds like that could be you - right?   Nope, that man eventually got caught red handed and said "I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions."  That man not only accepted a suspension, he accepted a suspension that was higher than the suspension netted for a first offense.   A deal they made because of his actions during and after his appeal in 2011.

Those 13 men are all cheaters and have no respect for the game of baseball.   But they admitted their faults, accepted suspensions and hopefully will move on and right their wrongs.    These men are men.

You on the other hand are not a real man, you will join the legacy of Barry Bonds - a man who should be best remembered for his baseball legacy, but instead he is remembered for his shrunken balls (as his girlfriend testified to).  

Good luck with your appeal - I hope that MLB smears your "legacy" the way my children smear they food once they are done eating.

Sincerely,

Not-A-Fan