Surviving the unwanted divorce

A “Five” Parter! Part One – – –

I’ve done alot of reading this summer.  At my age, I not only still need to keep my mind active, but it’s also a new tool I’m using to help me “power down” and relax before turning out the lights.  You see, I have a hard time falling asleep.  Have for a long time.  I figure that reading is better for me than Ambien.

Plus, I’m old-fashioned.  Even tho’ I own a Kindle and have about a dozen books downloaded to read, I’m clearing out my paperback stash!  (refer to the earlier “declutter” post!)

The book I’m almost finished with is:

“Lord, Change My Attitude Before It’s Too Late”

by:  James MacDonald

Safe to say, we all know how our attitude can affect our daily lives and decisions.  It also affects how others perceive us AND treat us.  The author divides it into five parts.  I could see myself, and others, in all of those parts.  So for fun, and for the purpose of sharing, I thought I’d tell you about those five attitude changes you can make to be a happier and healthier person.  It’s never too late – right?

Part One:

Replace a Complaining Attitude with a Thankful Attitude!

I’ve written about this one before, from many different angles.  It is still something so important to think about – and so easy.

What does complaining really get you?  Does it get those things changed that drive you crazy?  Do you really think you’re going to change another person’s thoughts, actions, feelings by complaining?  Uhhhhh, really?  Yeah . . . no!

One of my biggest?

Drivers.   I’m a native Houstonian, I learned to drive in Houston (survival of the craziest!) and I can tell you that there are alot of really really (have I emphasized really?) bad drivers there.  I fuss at them out loud from the inside of my car.

I used to honk at them.  Now people carry guns so instead I just frown (I need BOTOX!) or glare.

They change lanes without looking.  They don’t use their blinkers.  They wait till the LAST minute to get over to the exit, even tho’ they knew five miles back that they needed to exit there.  They crawl along while talking on their cells.  They text.  They don’t follow directions.  They don’t use their mirrors.  They don’t follow signs saying “No Left Turn”.  They pull into the entrance of a store going 5 miles an hour . . . after not using their signal.

What is that getting me?  Nothing, just more anger.  It’s something I am really working on.  It sounds petty and silly but it’s my reality.  So now what to do?

When I feel a complaint coming on, what would happen if I started thinking of the things I’m thankful for?  In this book, it has a page you are to copy and list five things every day you are thankful for.  There have been FB challenges before to friends to list everyday, for a certain number of days, things you are grateful for.  This is the same concept.

So now every morning when I walk the dog, I think in my head – here are the five things I am grateful/thankful for today.  It could be as small as the sweet 11 year old German Shepherd rescue that I am so lucky “rescued” me, or as profound as receiving news that a son is having a baby and I am going to be a grandmother!

You and I – if we put our minds to it – have alot to be grateful/thankful for.  We just need to focus on those things more than the complaints.  So logical, but so glad that I was reminded of this.  Much easier to be a complainer, but much healthier to be full of thankfulness.

Are you up to the challenge???


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Houston! Rising Up From The Flood Waters of Hurricane Harvey!


A Resolution – – – 8 Months Late?

I came across a “saying” the other day that I recognized from my (much) younger years.  It’s something my Father used to always say.  I knew it was french, I knew it must be some kind of a toast because of the times he used it – but I never asked the definition.

It ties with a mid year resolution I started working on in June.

The saying?

“A Votre Sante”

The definition?

“To your health”

The resolution?

To get back in good shape and be healthy in my choices.

(OK – so maybe I’m eating a chocolate chip cookie as I sit here and compose this but hey, I wouldn’t wanna not reward myself for the 12,619 steps I’ve already gotten today and it’s only 3:00!)

My Father was a bit of a health nut, before it was “in”.  He jogged and did calisthenics before people knew what that was.  He was always moving, and very conscious of what he ate.  As a veteran of WW II and Korea, he’d had enough of fake food and anything processed or out of a can.  We had green salads, and fresh veggies with every meal.

An occasional Friday dinner of fish sticks and tater tots was artfully heated on the same cookie sheet – heaven for my brother and I.  And when I babysat my brother?  Pot Pies – (with crust on top AND bottom) delish!

But when I saw this saying the other day, it made me flash back to those healthier days, and my Father and how important his health (and just being alive) meant to him.  Every day is a gift, and we should all want to be healthy in our choices.

So 8 months after most people made their resolutions, I’m working on mine.  I am resolute to become a healthier woman in both my mind, my spirit, my choices and my body.

I think my Father would cheer me on with a toast . . . “a votre sante”!

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Chick Flick

Chick Flicks!  We all have our favorites, most of them end “happily ever after”, or at least “happy”?

They’re the ones that you could never get your husband/date/significant other to go see with you at the theater, so you waited to go with a group of gal pals, or just waited to see it on HBO, or Showtime, or Netflix.

I watched one of these the other night, and it so reminded me of my life, and how a group of women “function” many times.  It has best friends, and three generations of women characters.  It had it’s fun parts, it’s sad parts, it’s silly parts, and it’s poignant moments.  So just thought I would throw it out there in case you’ve never seen it.

The Women

It has a great ensemble cast of women such as Meg Ryan, Candice Bergen and Annette Bening. After I watched it, I realized thinking back that there were never any men in the scenes.  Or if there were, I don’t remember them.  They’re always “implied”.  The movie is all about the relationships and interactions of the women.

So next time you don’t have plans and have an evening “in” to fill, add this one to your watch list.  I think you’ll enjoy it!  And hopefully you’ll appreciate all those wonderful women you have in your life, like I do.


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Sending Prayers – – –

Sending prayers today to my friends and family in Houston/Galveston, and up and down the Texas coastline, as we/they brace for the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

Please be safe out there, stay in if you can and if it turns out that this was blown out of proportion, then hey – we’ll take that!

We may beg for a break in the heat, but pretty sure we didn’t want it this way.  : -)

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Chicken Soup – Third Share

This will be the last share, there are so many, but I also have so many others things to offer here that I’m going to move on after this one.

Chapter 100, pages 338-340 by Tena Beth Thompson:

“When I was newly divorced, I found life scary and intimidating.  At first, I felt I was being punished, but in reality I was given the opportunity to find myself and create a new life.  I had no idea where it would take me, but I was ready to take the leap.  Although I was frightened to travel in a new direction, it was also exciting to ponder my options.  I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but I knew what I didn’t want:  the old me.  I was not the same person I had misplaced all those years ago.  Prior to this time, my epitaph could have read, “She died without ever having lived.”  Thankfully, that would no longer be the case. I was now strong and embraced the courage I never knew I had.”

This can be your view no matter what has occurred to alter your “life as you knew it”.

I went from being a daughter, to a wife, to a mother.  I was never just me.  There were times I was made to feel like being “me” wasn’t good enough, or a part of “the plan” – even though I had very little input into that same plan.

Now I make the plan.  Now I can be “me”.  I have been given the gift of a new beginning and as it said on the cover of this book – I will “thrive”.  It’s not without it’s challenges, and scary times, but I’m going to be happier and stronger than ever before!

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More Chicken Soup . . .

Here’s another share of a portion of the book I mentioned in the previous blog post:

“Chicken Soup for the Soul – Divorce and Recovery”, although as I pointed out, these excerpts that I share here can relate to many different circumstances that we all face.  It’s all about being the very best version of ourselves that we can be.  They use the word “thrive” – and I like that concept alot.  So here goes another, . . .

Chapter 79, pages 263-266 as shared by:  Deborah Batt.

“Years of caring for others had caused me to ignore my own needs.  Oddly enough, I came to the realization that I did in fact have needs.  I needed to feel warmth and love.  I needed to feel accepted and that I somehow belonged.  I needed to feel respected and honored.  I needed to feel happy and content.  But, most of all I needed to feel that the one person in the whole world who should love me the most would love me the most, regardless of the mistakes that I’ve made.  Someone who could accept my faults and praise my strengths and make me feel everyday that I was the best that I could be.”

Now doesn’t that apply to almost any situation?  Not just divorce, but the need to feel valued by those around us?

I hope for you that you have those people in your life that make you feel valuable, and loved for who your are.  The others just aren’t worth your time . . .

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Chicken Soup – Good For What Ails You?

The next few posts will be from a book I just recently found during my “purge” phase of cleaning out.

Yes, I’m one of those old school types that still likes to read an actual book printed on paper.  I do have a Kindle, and I have good intentions of using it!  Still, I thought it would be wise to read all the hardback/paperbacks that I’ve accumulated and then be able to donate those or add to the neighborhood “free library”!

So the latest book I unearthed is “Chicken Soup for the Soul – Divorce and Recovery”.  Even though my divorce was almost ten years ago, the word “recovery” in the title encouraged me to take a quick look at it.  I feel that I am recovered, worked hard to get there/here.  It says on the cover that it has “101 Stories About Surviving and Thriving after Divorce”.

Well . . . who doesn’t want to thrive, right?

I have friends who will not read my book, or follow my blog because they think it’s only about divorce, and that it’s only negative.  They couldn’t be more wrong.  Funny, if I had a friend who had written a book, or toiled away with a blog to try to help others, I’d buy it, or follow it, just to be supportive.  After all, if you don’t agree with the blog, or don’t want to always read it, just delete it from the inbox, . . . simple.  The support is the important thing.  But I digress, . . .

So I would like to share some of the things in the book that I really liked, and they can apply to many situations – not just divorce.

The authors/compilers are Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Patty Hansen.

From Chapter 50, pages 165-166 T’Mara Goodsell says:

“At a time in my life when I feel stranded and alone, some friends make a point of “checking in” to see how I’m doing, and some make sure the children and I always have plans for the holidays.  

There are the friends who know how to be there, and the friends who know how to listen.  There are those who offer perspective and ones who know how to be silly.  There are the ones who – bless their hearts! – are willing to rearrange their schedules in order to make precious time for me, all because they know just how valuable a real friend is.  

Most amazing of all are the friends who teach me (usually by example, like the gentlest and wisest of teachers) how to forgive.  

Every single one of them teaches me that even in the darkest of days, I can always make out the shapes of happiness if I strain enough to see.  They teach me that not every relationship lasts a lifetime – but that we will always have a lifetime of relationships.  

If anyone were to ask me what helps most in a divorce, I would tell them: friends.  Good friends.  They teach me that when I ask for a miracle to help me through the rough spots, I get friends who help me through the rough spots instead.  And that makes them the miracle I needed all along.”

Am I being that kind of friend?  I hope so, I surely do.


Repurposing – Feels Good!

Recently I went on a bit of a “clean out” purge!  Not sure why, if I were pregnant I think they’d call it nesting.  I’m not talking about your normal clean out, but seriously thought out “repurposing”.  It feels very good, because in doing so, I was doing “good”.

I share with you just a few of my examples, just incase you decide to do a bit of a purge yourself!

  1.  Your son’s old sports trophies.  They live in the top of a closet, or under a bed because they can’t get rid of them, but they also don’t want them in THEIR homes, and it’s just fine thank you very much for them to live with me, LOL!  After keeping them for years (really, my sons are now 37 and 34) I did a bit of research and found a place northwest of town that takes the old trophies apart, reassembles them with new nameplates, and gives them to teams who cannot afford the cost of trophies for their kids.   Eldest son did go through the box one last time, a walk down memory lane I’m sure – but now those boxes are gone and the only thing in that closet currently?  Empty hangers for the next house guest.
  2. Your old wedding dress.  Yup, that dress you thought you would die if you didn’t have it when you spied it on the page of that bridal magazine in (EGAD!) 1976.  You felt like a fairy princess when you walked down the aisle to marry the man of your dreams and live happily ever after.  (That dress is so outta date it has sleeves!  Have you seen sleeves on any dress on any bride in the past . . . say, . . . 10 years?)  Even if your happily ever after or man of your dreams didn’t work out as mine didn’t, you still have that dress?  Well, there’s a group in my city called “Angel Gowns” and a friend mentioned it to me when I was sharing how I didn’t know what to do with that huge gold foil wrapped “heirloom keepsake” box at the top of my closet.   I contacted them and they were thrilled to take it off my hands.  They take it apart, clean it and make it into small and beautiful burial gowns for the parents who have lost an infant.  Goosebumps!
  3. Sampler size cosmetics, creams, hair products, etc. clogging up your bathroom drawers?  We’ve all received them whether walking through the cosmetic department, or in the mail, or at a style show.  Ever bought a beauty product and they give you a small tote full of tester samples?  Can’t quite throw those away even if no one you know could possibly have a skin tone that color?  Nail polish?  I always bought the color I had put on at my manicure so that in case I chipped it, I’d have the right color to repair it . . . only I now have shellac’d nails now so no chips and no repairs.  I must’ve had 20+ bottles of nail polish.  A curling iron you never use?  Why I ever bought it is beyond me since I spend most of my life fighting the curl, wave and frizz I have with a flat iron!  Empty all those out of your drawers and take them to a Woman’s Home or shelter near you.  When those abused women leave their homes, it’s generally quickly with little or no time to take anything with them.   How easy to do something so simple and know you’re helping a woman on the road to recovery, and feeling beautiful again.
  4. Old towels, blankets, sheets, pads laying around?  You think you can still get some use out of them but since they no longer match anything, or you’ve changed color schemes, or they have a slight stain that just won’t come out – yet you just can’t NOT use them, that would be wasteful, right?  There are animal rescues and shelters galore that would gladly take them off your hands.  If you’ve been to your local shelter and seen the scores of dogs and cats in kennels and standing/sleeping on cold concrete floors – it breaks your heart.  They’re abandoned, they’re thrown away like household garbage, they’re lost, alone and scared and do not understand where they are and now they have to sleep on cold concrete?  Call ahead but I’m betting they would be thrilled to take those old linens off your hands.

These are just a few of the examples of the repurposing I’ve been doing lately.  It feels really good.  So how about it?  What can you repurpose today?  And besides?  You’re keeping these things out of a landfill and doing a small part to be eco friendly.  A win-win!

Let me know if you think of another useful “repurpose”!  I’m looking to keep this up for a while!!


Each Day A Gift – Up To You How To Spend It?

Rumored to have been found in the wallet of Coach Paul Bear Bryant on his death in 1982, whether it was or not, it’s still a good thing to share and “ponder”.  How will you spend it today?

The Magic Bank Account

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: 
Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use.
However, this prize has Rules:
The set of Rules:
1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time, it can say, Game Over!” It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted right?  Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for.  Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?
You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?
ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL…   Shocked ???    YES!
Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can’t seem to see it
1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of Life.
2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is not credited to us.
3. What we haven’t used up that day is forever lost.
4. Yesterday is forever gone.
5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING…
SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?
Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.  
Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.
So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!
Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day.
Start spending….