Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Year Later

My timehop yesterday showed me that a year ago I wrote/shared My "coming out" story, and although I knew what I wrote, I chose to read it when it appeared in my feed, because I knew that was the best writing I had ever done.

As I predicted in the original post, I did still have many tough times ahead of me (and I predict that will be the case for a little while longer) and I did power through.  But being true to who I am - someone who only accepts the very best from herself - when I look back over the course of the year, I am not very happy with the way I have handled it all.

Approximately 5 weeks after writing this post (on Mothers Day weekend), I was rocked hard when the separation became less amicable and my ex chose to hire a lawyer, file the divorce, child support and custody paperwork with the courts and no longer honor any part of the signed and notarized separation agreement we had in place.

Even though that took place almost a year ago, none of that has been resolved and just gets uglier as the days go on - and I'm not proud of where I have let that ugliness take me.

A year ago, I remained incredibly positive throughout it all and always found the path of happiness with each situation. Instead of sharing all the ugly details, I found uplifting quotes and stories and shared those.  

A glimpse back on the last 6 months shows a slightly different picture. Although I still listen to personal development everyday and try to exercise "as much as possible", I have gotten out of the habit of being in a great and happy routine consisting of my 21 Day Fix, personal development, and focusing on my personal and professional goals.  I might not post to facebook all the ugly details, but I am constantly sharing the details over the phone and in person with my friends and family, and instead of posting uplifting quotes, I share my aggravations.

When I re-read my "coming out" story, all of this hit me square in the face.  The woman who wrote that post was so strong, honest, positive and happy. To the outside world, I may still hold all those characteristics, but to me, I feel I've lost a step or two. 

Although this post is what truly made me realize it, I have noticed it for the last few weeks and have been listening to tons of TED talks to try and influence me to be more positive and stop letting the drama tear me down. One of the ones I came across last week is a talk by Matt Cutts titled "Try Something New for 30 Days" (its 3 and a half minutes - take the time to listen). 

After re-reading the post and thinking about how I move forward to become a positive person (again), that talk came to my mind. So today, I promise to myself - and all of my friends and family - to continue to strive forward to regaining all that positivity and happiness, and to help me do so, I will share (at least) one positive, uplifting, motivating or happy quote, picture or story every day. And every time something or someone frustrates me and makes me want to complain, I instead will come to facebook and share another positive, uplifting, motivating or happy quote, picture or story.

And if you see or hear me get negative or share my drama, instead of endulging the both of us with the details of the drama, I ask you to please do the opposite.  I give you permission to slap me in the face or yell at me and remind me of this post. Remind me that I'm better than all of that, that I can and will be the bigger person. 

Remind me that I can't protect my children from everything, but that I can show them through my own personal actions how a happy and positive person lives and let them see the full picture when they become adults and chose the best path for them.

Anyone else want to join me for this "be happy and be positive" 30 day challenge that I am going to take?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Want vs. Should

There is so much we all want, and feel we should have. Many people want to be married, have children and own a home - the perfect life - right?

I remember when I was in my early 20's that is what I wanted - in addition to a solid career. I had low self-esteem from previous weight issues and childhood taunting, so when a man was willing to date me, I was infatuated. My first serious relationship was after I graduated college and I remember just wanting to dive right in. I started to see his faults, but I was naive and figured I just needed to accept all those things because this guy liked me.  After 15 months or so, I finally realized he had no strong feelings for me and there was no reason I needed to accept all his faults, and so I moved on.

My next serious relationship started in my mid 20's. I thought I learned a lot from the previous failed relationship, but looking back, I know I didn't really accept the lessons "learned". Looking in the past, I can see that this guys self-esteem and desire to be in a relationship was even stronger than mine. I accepted MAJOR flaws because of my low self esteem and the fact that he loved me.  For those that haven't figured it out - or don't know me - this is the relationship that turned into an engagement, marriage, children and ultimately divorce all within 6 years - well the divorce itself may take 6 years at this pace, but filing for divorce occurred within 6 years.

I want certain benefits of being in a committed relationship - someone to talk to day in and day out, someone who will push me to attain my goals, someone who will go on adventures with me, someone who will treat me the way I deserve to be treated and loved, and of course the obvious benefit of being in a relationship - although you don't need to be in a relationship to have that benefit - wink wink ;).  But I know in my heart that I'm not ready for any relationship and I shouldn't do it. I am so much in love with my life right now - spending so much special time with just my kids and I without anyone else having their attention, being able to do what I want to do with my alone time and being able to spend time with my friends.  There is plenty of time in my future to date and get into a good relationship.

I want to have more children, so desperately do I want to have more children! I think I'm a great mommy and have so much love to offer, and I personally loved being pregnant. Heck - I don't just want more children, I'm crazy and I want another set of multiples because that's what I know, and I just love the twin bond.  But I know that I'm not in a spot in my life where I can afford to care for more children.  Just because I want doesn't mean I should have.

I want to own my own home. But due to my current situation I am in the middle of short-selling my house to avoid foreclosure, so I know that I can't own one right now. Going through this process and trying to afford everything that comes with home ownership and young children - especially on my own - the biggest lesson I have learned is that what I want is not what I should do.

I have accepted these hard life lessons and once my house goes to closing (or the bank repossesses it - whichever comes first) I will be moving in with my kids for a decent amount of time. I will be working to pay off ALL debts in my name and save lots of money so that I can easily afford to own my own home and all the expenses that come along with it all on my own. I will continue to give myself time to enjoy life as a single mother and won't dive into the dating scene until I feel I'm fully ready to share myself and my life. If its meant to be, Ill have more children later, and if its not meant to be, I am already extremely blessed and filled with love with the two wonderful children I do have.

What about you?  What is it that you want, but in your heart of hearts you know you shouldn't pursue? Its okay to accept just having 1 child even though your friends have 2 or 3 (or more). It's okay to rent an apartment or a house so that you can save money to buy a house and/or afford to send your kids to extra-curriculars. It's okay to leave an unhappy relationship and it's okay to be single.  As long as you are happy, you shouldn't worry about what others perceive.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The "secret" to happiness

"Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake and help us see we are worth
so much more than we're settling for."
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman:Life, Love and a Dash of Sass

Life isn't easy, and it likes to throw lots of curveballs, but it's all how you handle and smash those curveballs that counts. It's okay to miss and strikeout, as long as you keep putting yourself out there until you smash one out of the park.

Of course I just put everything I'm going through into a simple metaphor using baseball, but that's just how I roll :)

I'm not going to lie and pretend like everything in my life is fine and dandy. I'm currently in the middle of a "rut" right now: my exercise, eating habits and motivation have been lacking, and I've lost focus of my "why", but I'm reminded on a daily basis that I am surrounded by amazing people who love/like me for me.

Throughout this rut, I have remained positive the majority of the time, I have continued to be thankful for what I do have and I continue to stand strong and fight through the madness. I also continue to be incredibly hard on myself, having expectations high above what most people think is "realistic".  But looking back, I guess Im just 10X-ing everything in my life, not just my goals, because I know that I will never have the life and dreams I aspire of unless I push myself further than most people are willing.

All of this is what will make the end result that much sweeter and happier.

With all of that, I have been more realistic than many realize and I have opened my heart and world to everyone in the hopes that my story and situation can help even just one more person find happiness and peace within their lives.

My story will have me hold the titles of divorcee and single mom.  My story will have my not just lose my marriage, but will have me and my children lose our home. My story will have me losing my excellent credit standing. And finally, my story will have me being one of the MANY grown children moving back in with their parents. I could dwell on all of these "negatives" and let it bring me down or I could focus on the positives.

My story will have me be a happier, more aware individual. My story will have me described with the adjectives of strong, healthy and eventually successful. Eventually my story will have me hold the title of entrepreneur. My story will have my children growing up with 3 great adult role models under one roof, including a hard-working male role model.

Throughout this past year, I have found a happier me inside, focusing on myself more than I ever have before.  Mentally, I could not be stronger, and because of that, I have been able to put some focus into the physical me. I have gotten back into working out and eating healthy, and it's just this amazing circle of how my physical health continues to strengthen my mental health and how that strengthens my physical health and so on and so on.

This physically and mentally stronger me has also made me this more positive person you now see/read about.  Look back on my blog posts from the last few months versus 2-3 years ago, and the tone is so different, its like two different authors.

All of this has made me see the world from a clearer perspective and continues to remind myself on a daily basis (if not more often) just how lucky I am to be surrounded by amazing friends, family, co-workers, and even facebook acquaintances.

I know that when the time is ready, the perfect person will come into my and my kids life. For all the tough times I have seen in the past - and for the ones that will be in the future - the bigger picture will have 10x more brightness.

So what's the secret? Think happy and positive thoughts. It sounds easy - or maybe you think it sounds stupid - whatever it is - it works. I listen to personal development podcasts on a daily basis. I cut out the negativity of the news and instead watch personal development videos. I limit my television watching and instead put that time into developing my businesses and my future.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Failing Forward

The only way to succeed in life is to fail along the road and learn from those failures. I've had my handful the last few years and I'm doing my best to learn and move forward.

But for the last few months, I've been in a rut.. During this rut, I have allowed myself to ignore my schedule and my to do list, I've stopped moving forward on my business plans and let them sit, I stopped doing my morning routine (aka the miracle morning), I stopped exercising consistently and worst of all, I stopped eating consistently well.  In reality all the things I stopped doing tie together very easily. When I'm eating well, waking up early to do my miracle morning and exercise is like a walk in a park. When I do those, my day is kicked off on the right foot and I'm living a much more productive life and can check off my to do lists, follow a schedule and get the businesses working for me.

The thing is I KNOW all of this, yet I just can't figure out how to get back into my good spot, and I know part of the answer is figuring out what caused me to get out of it. I've tried to think about this a lot today - as i ate my way through the morning and early afternoon, as I rested and as I soaked in a hot and refreshing detox bath - yet it wasn't until typing this specific entence that (I think) I figured out the "culprit". It traces back to right around the time that I finally realized/"accepted" that I could no longer afford to pay my mortgage. My ex was not providing the support agreed to in our agreement and I was taking money out of savings like a kid asks for candy in a candy store, and the pot was starting to run dry. In order to try and get the financial terms of the separation agreement in place, it would cost me more money than I would see come back in the long term (if I even won) - and would take way too much time and cause way too much stress - so I had to come to terms with the fact that I would be getting a fraction of the agreement and there was just no way I could keep the house.

I talked to some people and had accepted this fact and worked through the months long battle of getting the house listed. Or I guess I thought I accepted it all. From day one, I felt like I've failed, but I know that my "failure" was mostly out of my control. I was in this situation due to a financial hardship that was (more or less) out of my control. I would have learned no lessons from my past if I just continue down the road of believing I have accepted this, so instead, I will accept that I am still working to accept this failure and that I know I have to take some of the responsibility - both mentally and financially - for this failure.

It will not be easy to come to terms with, but knowing what is causing me to not give 100% of myself to make the life I dream of will allow me to acknowledge the issue each time I struggle to stick to my routine. So although I decalred yesterday Day 1, tomorrow is a me day - and a new day 1. Upon passing publish on this post (and sharing is), I will go to bed and set my alarm for 4am. I will wake up at 4am and head downstairs to do my miracle morning (and I encourage you all to go to and/or search for Hal Elrod's podcast to find out more about this life-changing routine!). I will do a 21 day fix exercise as part of my miracle morning and I will eat my healthy balance meals. As Hal says, th first 10 days will be unbearable, the next 10 days will be uncomfortable and then the last 10 days will be unstoppable and a new routine will have formed.

With that commitment, tonight - although it took me a couple months to get here - I go to bed thankful for the lessons Ive learned through my failures and the abilites I've learned from my therapist to see this on my own and work through it all with the help and loving support I receive from my family and friends. And I of course am incredibly thankful for amazing parents who have opened their home to my children and I, so that one day I can afford to support the three of us on my own.

Friday, October 3, 2014


The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur started tonight, and for those unfamiliar with the holiday, it is the holiest day of the year. The holiday is meant to bring about reconciliation - both amongst people and between individuals and G-d - and is the day that G-d decides the fate of our next year and whether we shall be written into the book of life.

Note: Im a believer in G-d, Judaism and what they stand for, but I personally don't actually feel that our fate is decided directly by G-d and only once a year, I think that we all have a say in our own destiny on a daily basis.

With that, the topic of forgiveness has been at the forefront of my mind so much recently, and not just because of the holiday.

What is forgiveness? Google defines forgiveness as "the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven". Okay, easy enough, but that doesn't really tell us too much.

If you look deeper into the meaning/process, it is generally defined as a "conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness"

And that is where forgiveness is hard! I can easily say I forgive someone, but that won't release the feelings, so how do I truly get to that point where I can forgive someone especially when they don't deserve to be forgiven.

I grew up with the understanding that forgiveness was a two-way street. The person who has done the wrong should understand what they did wrong, apologize and take steps towards not doing it again, and the person who was wrong forgives. For instance, in this scenario you don't tell a kid to say I'm sorry for hitting someone when that's the 10th time they've done it - they aren't actually sorry and aren't learning to stop hitting from stating those words.

So when the first part isn't there - especially all 3 aspects of them understanding they did something wrong, apologizing and taking steps to not do it again - and more so they continue to do the same "wrong" over and over and over again, as in the above scenario, how do you "let it go" and provide forgiveness?

I truly understand that forgiveness is less about them and more about the individual offering forgiveness (me), but no matter how much I want to be able to, I can't. I still feel that the act of forgiveness is about more than just me. If I forgive someone and just let their antics fall to the wayside, what lesson is this person learning other than that they can continue to act that way and get what they want?

Again, I know that's not what it's about, but when you have continuously forgiven someone only to have to forgive them for the same behavior, they aren't actually sorry or going to make changes. If I offer my forgiveness, all I'm doing is closing one door just for it to continuously reopen.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result - so if I'm providing forgiveness over and over again - even if I never express that forgiveness outwardly to the person - I'm just setting myself up for a different type of internal struggle.

What has worked best for me in the past is to just drop that person from my life and let distance and space provide the opportunity for everything to just clear the air, and if it's meant to be for that person to be in my life, eventually an opportunity will arise that brings them back in.

But what about when you can't just completely cut someone out of your life and you have no choice but to let them continue to hurt you? Maybe one day in the distant future I can find that place in my mind and body to forgive someone who truly doesn't deserve it for my sake. In the meantime, I will allow G-d to offer that person his forgiveness and I'll just continue to work towards becoming the best me I can be! Hopefully that will be enough to get me inscribed in the book of life for another year :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Very thankful

Tonight, as I prepare to go to bed, I'm reminded of just how lucky I am and how much I have to be thankful for.

I'm thankful that my mom is now able to help out with the kids and is helping me save a little bit by watching the kids for the 2 weeks between camp and school.

I'm thankful for the precious few years I had with Zayde. I wish I had seen him mor and gotten to know him better, but I'm thankful for the time I did have with him and thankful he got to meet my children.

I'm thankful for all the extended family I have - even (and especially) the ones that no longer have any blood/marriage ties to me.  I thoroughly enjoy every minute I get to hang and/or chat with them and I'm glad I can introduce Sara and Nathaniel to all of their family.

I'm thankful for Charger and his (annoying) habit of barking at anyone who comes close to the home. Thanks to Chargers barking, the person who attempted to break into my house was unsuccessful!  Now charger will always be allowed to stay out of his crate at night :)

I'm thankful for all of my friends and family and the great support system I have built around me!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Yup - I'm going there...vaccinations

There was a post today on one of the moms of multiples pages I follow that asked about people getting the dtap vaccine (pertussis/whooping cough) because her doctor was recommending it.  Normally I stay away from these kinds of posts because I don't feel like getting into the debate with someone who doesn't agree with vaccinations because I know nothing good will come out of the debate.  For some reason today I decided to comment, and was actually shocked and happy to see that there were tons of likes to my comment with no one trying to argue. Now I'm testing my luck and blogging about it because I can't get it out of my head!

I personally have always believed in vaccinations, which is somewhat ironic because I've never gotten the flu vaccine for myself - which I may have possibly changed my own mind today while thinking this all through.

Here is the jist of vaccines - there are diseases out there that have had major outbreaks and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, and with the development of medicine and technology, there are researchers who were able to come up with ways to "cure" the diseases.  Now people who live in vaccinated areas and countries almost never hear about those diseases.

That is until some physician skewed statistics (and later admitted it people!) to say that vaccines were the cause of autism, and now people are blaming vaccines for anything a child starts to show signs of after going through their childhood vaccinations.  The result is that these diseases that haven't been seen in vaccinated areas and countries are now making a comeback and causing children to become deathly ill because their parents didn't want to vaccinate.

I feel strongly that everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. Yes, there are side effects, but the side effects of the disease are MUCH worse - such as DEATH - than the POSSIBLE side effects of the vaccine. Further, the point of vaccinating isn't just to protect yourself, its also to protect all the people who can't be vaccinated, such as infants that are too young or people with allergies such as eggs. So when a family decides they don't need the dtap vaccine because they never get sick, they are putting all the infants they come in contact with at risk, as infants lungs cannot handle whooping cough and don't show the signs as clearly as adults.

According to the CDC, "During 2012, 48,277 cases of pertussis were reported to CDC, including 20 pertussis-related deaths. The majority of deaths occurred among infants younger than 3 months of age. The incidence rate of pertussis among infants exceeded that of all other age groups. The second highest rates of disease were observed in children 7 through 10 years old. Rates increased in adolescents 13 and 14 years of age." For further stats, go here.

With that being said, pretty much everyone reading this lives in the United States or another country where you have the right to make your own health choices and therefore vaccines can't be forced on anyone, which is where my comment on the facebook post comes into play.   I said:

"Yes, I got the shot. Everyone can make their own decisions but in all honesty, the only reason a lot of these issues exist is because people don't vaccinate. We all eat foods that are worse for us with no benefits with very little issue, yet we have issues with vaccinations that have less side effects and more benefits than the chemically processed food we eat?"

So if you eat anything that's processed or use the microwave to heat any of your food, especially in plastic, I'm certain you are ingesting things that will have worse side effects over the long term.

Now don't get me wrong, I use the microwave ALL THE TIME, and my kids and I definitely eat processed foods. Over the last year, my eyes have opened to this a lot more, and I try to limit it as much as possible and there are certain things I try to avoid such as high fructose corn syrup and food dye, but I don't always do it, and sometimes I eat things that I know are horrible for me.

What I'm not saying in this post is that everyone should eat the way our grandparents did (because the microwaves and processed foods didn't exist then). I'm just using our other bad habits as an example of something we continue to do because its cheaper and easier on us, even though its worse for us.

So, bottom line is that if you feel the need to ignore and dispute any vaccination, then I at least hope you are living a "granola" lifetyle and doing that with everything you come in contact with.

Okay - rant over. If you don't agree with this, don't bother trying to engage in a debate, I will ignore you and depending on the comment I might just delete it - because just like you have the right to not vaccinate, I have the right to delete comments on my blog and facebook page :)