Finding Our Way

I guess I’m at the age  where myself and my peers are wondering what our purpose is on this earth.  We are leaving long-term relationships, re-assessing finances and the way in which we spend money, switching careers, more conscious of our health and planning for the future of our children.  Some of this may sound like it’s out-of-order but, it seems to be the same spot that everyone I know is in and we are all in the same age range mid 30’s- 40 years old.  Speaking for myself I am even more focused on owning my own home and planning for the future. I keep contemplating leaving the classroom and just going for my dreams of being both a novelist and songwriter.  It’s scary and I often consider going into real estate because it will allow me some flexibility but the market is so volatile.

Again, scary territory.  What about getting up and moving back to my hometown of NY?  That’s even an option on the table.  I know that there is a huge change coming for me because I can feel it but in the meantime I find myself struggling with feelings of anxiety.  What am I anxious over?  Mostly, things that are not within my control. And speaking with my peers, I am not alone.

Power of WordsSo, I never harp on a problem for too long.  I usually go into solution mode and the solution I recently came up with was journaling more consistently (handwritten). It makes me feel good to get out my true feelings and just release.  I usually look back over these entries when I am in a different state of mind and learn even more about myself. If you are feeling overwhelmed by life and your path, please consider journaling and those of you who do not like writing or typing can use voice memos on your cell phone or laptops.  Let some of it go.  It becomes too much to hold on to and creates a daunting outlook.

We are all here to do great things and in order to do those things we must keep ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally renewed.

 

Advertisements

It’s My Birthday!!!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well, I have made it to another year and I truly feel blessed.  I’ve had my challenges and my triumphs.  But, I can honestly say that this was a year of learning life lessons, digging deep to truly understanding myself and my interactions with others (which is what I think your 30’s are all about anyway).  It is a journey, this thing called life/wisdom, and I am glad that I get to travel this road.  It is mine and I own it with all of its beauty and faults.  As a single parent of two I find that my bad days always turn into  good days when one of my children does something silly or smiles or whatever.  They truly make a difference in my life in a positive way.  For so long I chased after the dream of a traditional family and held onto a relationship with their father for far too long but, while he was in and out, they were always there.  I am not sure how my life would have been if I did not have them, I can only assume–and remember what they say about assuming.  I know that I am a better person that they are here; they have kept me focused and grounded.  Children force you to really self-reflect and they peel through all of the layers.  So, although it is my birthday, I want to celebrate them.  They are my motivation, strength, blood, sweat, and tears.  They are my heart and I am rocking this thing called “Single Parenthood”!

I Love Juicing & Smoothies

2014-02-13 13.05.58On this journey towards better health and implementing a healthier lifestyle change, I have come across a wealth of information, great recipes, and inspiration.  Mostly, I am able to find the answers to my questions through simple Google searches but more often than not I have found the gamut of my recipes and inspiration from two phenomenal sources: Pinterest and heyfranhey.com, the latter being a tumbler account which has now become an addiction for me.  Every morning and every night (and most times throughout the day), I visit these sites in hopes to recharge my strength and revive my passion in the direction of a healthier and freer lifestyle.  Please visit my board; live longer be stronger to see my pins of great smoothie recipes, food recipes, exercises, and inspiration.  Below, I have listed a few smoothie recipes that you may like.

Smoothie #1:

Pineapple

Mango

Kale

Banana

 

Smoothie #2:

Blueberries

Pineapple

Banana

Spinach

 

Smoothie #3:

Carrots

Naval oranges

Green apple

I also like carrots and mango juiced.  Notice I did not put amounts next to the fruits because everyone likes their smoothies a different way.  I love more green vegetables than fruit.

It is important as a parent and especially a single parent (being that your child only has one parent o depend on) to keep you healthy.  We need to be around for our children and in the best health possible. In addition to juicing and making smoothies, I have purchased Groupons for kickboxing and yoga.  I will update you on my experience for each.  Until next time be happy and healthy.

Let Go of the Past

I am not suLetting-Go-of-the-Past-during-Addiction-Treatmentre what your story is but I know that mine has to be similar to someone out there in the world. I met my children’s father when I was in high school and from that moment forward I saw something in him that he didn’t see in himself. I also noticed that over the years he became less pity-party and more manipulative, always using his good looks and words to get what he wanted. Long story short, it took me until recently to finally let go of the dream and move on. I am still in the process of truly giving up resentment and appreciating the hard lessons learned.
Through it all, I have seen that doors only opened when my focus was not on him and I did not let him back into mine and our children’s lives. New possibilities and happiness, and peace of mind cannot reside within if we keep holding onto the past. Although this is easier said than done for most people (including myself because I am a work in progress), it is a reality that we all must face.
The title of this blog came about when I first realized that I would be and had been a single mom for a while. The in and out and back and forth was not good for the children (or myself) but I was the only constant that they had. I am blessed to have family and friends that have always been there for us but, when you want to realize your dreams (writing, creating, owning your own business) you must make choices that place you in a state where you can move forward and open yourself up to the endless possibilities that exist for you. Those great things do not come when you are chasing after the wrong dream or stuck in a fog over someone or something that doesn’t deserve the attention that you are giving it.
I look back on the many opportunities that I missed out on because I was focused on the wrong thing. I can remember moments when I could have unwrapped the package that would have turned the tables in a positive direction for me but, I didn’t. Staying in destructive situations does something to your self-esteem, pride, emotions. These feelings can be transferred to your children. It doesn’t have to be a relationship that sets it off; it could be a failed job or project, dropping out of school. But, whatever it is, is what it ‘WAS’ and you must move on.
The life you want awaits you and you are never too old or too far behind to start all over again and make it better for yourself. I believe in you and I believe in me. So, let go of the past!

Deal with a long commute?

CommuteAs I was driving to work today, I realized how much I appreciate my fairly new, shorter commute. I used to travel over 3 hours both ways to and from work. I was able to reduce that to an hour to and from work and now I am down to 15 minutes! I look back at that time and wonder what I could have done with all of that time. Of course, I came up with a list that I’d like to share to maybe make someone else’s commute more productive.

1. Learn a language– Can anyone say Rosetta Stone?
2. Listen to a book on tape– Preferrable classical literature. This would be a great time to catch up on some of those titles that you skimmed over in high school.
3. Learn new skills– pop in a cd and learn about meditation, sociology, marketing.
4. Inspire yourself– Do you dream of owning your own business? Get some Ted Talks downloaded to your iPod and play them through your radio.
5. Got young kids in the car? – inspire them and play motivational speeches, books on CD, or learn that new language with them.
6. Have tweens or high schooler’s in the car? – turn off everything (including your cellphone) and listen to them. Have some heart-to-hearts and just…listen.

I look back on all of those hours jamming to music or chatting on the phone (using my bluetooth of course) and look at it as time wasted. Who could I be today if I had used that time more productively? How much more secure and close can you and your kiddo be, if you make that time about them? This is a short list but, I would love to hear some other suggestions. Don’t be afraid to share.

Workplace Advice

Image  It has been a while but, I was just getting myself together for the beginning of the school year.  I have to say that I already love my students.  I have learned a lot about working as part of a team and dealing with issues in the work environment.  Although it is only the beginning of the school year, both my colleagues and I are super stressed.  Trust us, it is not the kids but the system in which we have to work within.  Anyway, I have some tips that maybe everyone can use if they are working for someone else and not self-employed.

1.  Do your job!  Although, this may sound simple, it is not because sometimes after working at the same job for a while, we become complacent and slack on small things.  Try not to do this because there will always be someone watching.  Get your mind-set every morning to come in and do your job.

2.  Confront certain issues upfront.  This could save a lot of time and a lot of headaches.  We are not mind readers so, if you have questions or something that you need to get off your chest, speak with a trusted individual behind closed doors.

3.  Know your rights.  Unfortunately, life is not fair.  This one is self-explanatory.

4.  Re-read your job description.  Know exactly what it is that you do or are supposed to be doing.

5.  Participate voluntarily in professional development and build a portfolio.  This looks great to both present and future employers.

6.  Get passionate about some aspect of your work so that you can stay at 100% most of the time, if not all of the time.

7.  Do NOT trust everyone.  You may want to feel that you and your boss/co-worker have a special connection but, that may not be the case.  Sometimes your weaknesses that you share can translate into an inability to perform your job.  Watch out for this one.

8.  Stay out of the lounge; this could prove to be detrimental to your career unless you know exactly who will be in there at all times and when and you feel that you can trust them.

9.  Build a trusted network of colleagues to vent to, share successes, and complete professional projects with.

10.  Get involved in projects that your employer are working on, it can mean career-advancement fast-track!

Sometimes, you will have to take a step back and breathe.  I am an optimist so even when I get down, I try not to stay down for long. But once someone at work crosses me, I take my mother’s advice and never trust them again or let them into my circle fully.  This is because they have broken the bond.  You never know what their motives may be.  I am cordial, professional, but no fool.

Stay wise, stay employed, stay happy.  Remember there are kids and households to support.

I Need Some Motivation…to workout

Notice how the words in the first part of the title begin with uppercase letters until the end?  That is how I feel about jogging which I have been contemplating for the past 6 months (it’s really been a year but that sounds pitiful).  There is something that keeps telling me to go out there and do it but for some reason I can come up with every excuse in the world.  Here are some of the runners-up:

1.  I will look like a fool

2.  I will have an asthma attack ( haven’t had one since kindergarten)

3.  I am deathly afraid of wildlife (I am originally from NYC so all animals are considered wildlife) especially deer, raccoons, foxes, snakes, possums, etc

4.  I do not have the right gear nor can I afford it at the present time

And the grand prize winner of all my excuses:

It’s bad on the knees (this is the only one that is supported by some scientific research…i think)

Anyway at some point, and it has to be soon because I have been eating a lot better and trying to make my health my priority, I will have to try it.  And by try, I mean actually commit to a running routine for at least a few months (hopefully it will turn into a lifestyle change).  I have seen the benefits in some of my close friends and co-workers.  They dropped a lot of weight and handle stress a lot better.  They also are eating healthy and feel sick when they can’t run/jog (at first I rolled my eyes when they said this).

So, I will let you know how this pans out and when I actually start.  I’ve decided to try the couch-to-5K program and continue to eat healthy.  My goal is to be healthy, lose weight, stress less, and live long.

Below is a picture of how I think I will look and then one of how I would like to look:

jogging badjogging good

Taking on too much

MasterToDolistI am the queen of taking on too much.  I am a teacher, graduate student, mother of two (and all that entails), business partner, writing a novel, blogging, attendee of various workshops, compiling my poetry book, reading professional development books for my job, and studying for my real estate license.  There are probably a few other things that i haven’t mentioned but, I find that I am always tired and sometimes irritable.

Recently I went back to organizing my life and various appointments in my planner.  It works for the most part until I forget that I have one (ha!).  As I get older, I am learning to use a word that made me very uncomfortable before, “No”.  Only two letters, yet it feels like utter betrayal.  That feeling is beginning to subside for me a little as I reflect on what is important to me.  My family is important to me.  My faith is important to me.  My health is important to me (I was diagnosed with MS- but I am not ready to write fully on that just yet).  So, the betrayal that “No” ushers in doesn’t quite have the same impact any longer.

I am one person and I know that I can do amazing things in this lifetime.  I can give back and also take care of myself but, that means prioritizing and putting what I value first.  If you are encountering the same experience, just list out your top 3-4 priorities.  When other things come up and if they are not a necessity, ask yourself “does this align with my priorities/what I value”?  Then, kindly tell that task or that person I’ll need to take a rain check.

Live happy, well, and healthy

Feeling Lonely

Yesterday morning I woke up with what seemed like the weight of the world on my chest.  I couldn’t breathe because I felt utterly lonely and scared.  This could have been brought on by the nightmare I had that night but needless to say it rocked my world for some hours.  I had to calm myself down and realize that it is impossible to be lonely when you have two children.  I started to think about how I might grow old without a companion.  That’s what it was that was plaguing me!  I was alone,without a companion.  It took me some time to work through these feelings as anxiety set in and then very slowly receded.  I started thinking about my readers who at some point have or will feel the same way.  What advice can I offer and remember I am not board certified.  Here is what I came up with:

Never Alone
Never Alone

1. This feeling is temporary even if it may come and go in spurts.

2.  Do not let a dream/nightmare/false reality keep you in a place of continuous despair.

3.  Find “fullness” in yourself.

4.  Make yourself happy.

5.  Remember that when you leave this earth, you want your kids to know that you were the best parent that you could be and not that you were always depressed because they weren’t enough and you didn’t plan your life this way.

6.  Plans are laughable because life is just a bunch of random circumstances (don’t agree, respond to this post)

7.  Do what you love and continue to do it until it wrings every drop of loneliness out of you.

8.  Know that this too shall pass and we never know what the future holds.

9.  Don’t give up on yourself because your kids haven’t given up on you.

10.  Be there for you!!!

I feel a lot better now because I decided that this feeling will not get the best of me.  I will parent and write and create and parent and write and create because that is what cures my anxiety.  What does it for you?  How do you tackle these moments?