Becoming the best version of yourself

Every Now and Then . . .


I saw this on Facebook today.   I was taking a break from paperwork and scoping out things on the internet.

It’s one of those “stay at home days” with workers getting some repairs done that I’d been putting off.  It’ll be worth staying “home” if all the workers show and all the work is actually accomplished, but – – – what are the odds?

When I saw this, it just struck a chord, because lately I’ve been feeling really “left out in the cold”.  Abandoned isn’t really the right word, but it’s something similar – I just haven’t come up with it yet.  Nothing reminds you how “alone” you are like having to be the only person “in charge” and with no one there to back you up.

No one is around to share, to give you a hand up, to help you through the trials of daily living.  Running a household, making life’s day to day decisions, having to make choices that are expensive and that you will be stuck with for quite a while.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to bat those ideas around with?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully capable of making these decisions, I know I am.  What I miss is the sharing of those decisions.  The process of talking things through with another person, sharing your thoughts, the pros and cons.  Knowing there is someone else there to share those decisions with, whether they end up being good decisions or bad.

It would be nice to have a partner to run those thoughts “by”, to get their take.  NOT someone who only wants to tell you what to do all the time, I had that – never going back BUT . . . just a way to share.  As a single female, or just as a person in general, you never know that everything  is going to be alright, none of us do.

But the occasional hug, someone to squeeze your hand, a shoulder to lay your head against . . . someone to tell you that you are not in this alone – that’s what I miss.  Am I making sense?  Sometimes putting your thoughts out there is difficult, you’re feelings are so clear to you, but can you express them in such a way that others “get it”?

Will everything “be alright”?  Only time will tell – but for now, the workers are working and I’m taking it one repair at a time . . .


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The Will To Survive – – –


The will to survive – do you have it?  I’ve always felt that I do.  Post divorce I’ll admit, I was scared.  I’d been a daughter, a girlfriend, a wife – and always “under the control” of a male.  They might have meant it in the “best way” – just wanting to take care of me, guide me or make the best decisions FOR me, right?

After the divorce, this would be my first time truly on my own.  Would I survive?  Could I learn to make the decisions best for my future and learn to take care of myself?  Was I smart enough?  Was I strong enough?  After all, when someone else has taken care of all those “decisions” for so many years, is it because you weren’t bright enough to do it yourself, or was it because it was a generational thing, or were they just THAT controlling?

Maybe, just maybe it could have been fueled by my lack of asserting myself?  Did I add to the problem?  Of course I did, but unwittingly.  It’s all I’d ever known.  It’s how I grew up and what I saw in my own family.  I allowed myself to be a pawn in life’s game of chess.  Then suddenly one day, all those pieces had been wiped off the board and I was alone.

I’m currently spending a few days in Colorado, a beautiful place to come to “chill” (pun intended) and regroup.  I’m always able to see life more clearly when I’m here.  Could be the air, could be the view, could be my subconscious telling me this is where I’m meant to be?  Regardless, this is one of my happy places.  It’s also unbelievably cold today.  I saw on the weather app on my phone that it’s currently “zero” degrees outside.  WOW!

I bundled myself up to take a short stroll just to see what “zero” really feels like.  HA!  It feels really cold, yet in the bright sunshine, some of the snow is melting.  Along the flowerbed in front of the house I couldn’t help but notice the above pansy, struggling to peak through the melting snow to catch a few rays of warmth and sunshine.

That is one stubborn purple pansy with a will to survive.  All the other plants have shut down for the winter, but not this little one.  I’ve discovered that just like that pansy I am strong,  I may have been covered up and temporarily buried, but you will see me again.  I will seek the light and I will survive. . . and I hope you will find your strength to do the same.


You’re Not Alone – – –

I used to find one of the hardest things to deal with “post” divorce, was how alone I felt.  There was constant doubt of “what could I have done different”, etc. that took me a long time to realize the answer was NOTHING!  The shortcoming was not mine, it was his.

However, you still wonder if anyone else ever feels that same “lost” and “alone” feeling and how they deal with it?   Many keep it hidden, many allow it to drive them crazy, some feel comfortable getting it out there in the open and talking about it with family, friends, clergy, counselors and therapists.  We all deal differently but the key to remember is you are not alone and there are so many others out there going through this life altering experience.

When I see interviews like this, it reminds me that even those we perceive as beautiful and perfect still have broken hearts and loneliness.  Please enjoy this snippet of an interview I came across with Jane Seymour after her divorce.  They seem to have met in common ground and have a healthy relationship.  Not all of us are that fortunate.

This is certainly one of the times during the year that it’s brought so forward in our attention of being “alone”.  Cling to those who make you smile and laugh and bring you joy during the Holidaze!!  Wishing you great peace and prosperity in 2015!!

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Loving Being Single??

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  The truth is – I AM SINGLE!!!  OK, got that out there.  Sometimes I just have to come to grips with the fact that I am “single” through little fault of my own.  I have to adjust – EVERYTHING!

I don’t adjust well.  I like routine, I like pattern, I like boundaries.  I am a better person when I have a plan and no what tomorrow is “supposed” to bring.  When life throws me a loop, I get knocked over.  I don’t like it, I don’t appreciate it and I’m certainly not enjoying it.

Having no one to fight over the remote with can be a positive.  It’s nice to know if I get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom that the lid to the toilet will be down – just the way I left it the last time I used it.  I enjoy squeezing my toothpaste from the bottom and not having to push out the dents in the “middle of the tube” from the former spouse’s thumb!

When I come downstairs in the morning, the house is just the same as the way I left it when I went to bed – NICE!  So OK, I know there are some positives.  But if truth be told – I hate being single.  I hate going to events alone.  When I walk in I feel as if I have a big sign around my neck that says:  CAN’T GET A DATE!!!!!  And that would be true.

I really don’t enjoy being the only one responsible for helping myself through a crisis.  Car breaks down??  Yup – I have to figure out what to do and how to do it without any help.  How do I know if the mechanic is being honest or not?  I don’t.  I sometimes think I could have a heart attack and fall down the stairs and not have anyone miss me, or wonder why they hadn’t heard from me for at least several days.  I’m pretty sure by then I’d be d-e-a-d dead.

The link below will give you some thoughts to ponder in your own personal situation.  For myself?  I’m giving myself permission to hate being single, to not like being alone most nights.  I wish I shared my life with someone special, and maybe someday I will.  Till then the truth is – I AM SINGLE and I’m going to need to learn to trust the auto mechanic . . .

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What Starts Here, Changes The World . . .

Maybe by now most of you have seen, or at least heard about, the Graduation Commencement address given back in May to the Class of 2014 at the University of Texas by Admiral McRaven.  I’ve listened to it multiple times.  I love it.

There are times when just plain ol’ common sense can get you through your life’s challenges.  The things spoken about in the speech are simple thoughts that put into the right context can seem to be so brilliant.   If you’ve already seen it, heard it – and don’t won’t to do so again – then just delete this.

But each time I listen I feel as if I pick up on something new that I missed the previous time.  So if you’re like me, and can’t get enough of a good thing, then here it is.  Enjoy and as always . . . “Hook ‘Em Horns”!

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Saving Yourself The Heartbreak – – –

This is an article shared with me by good friend Diva J, who thought it could speak to my readers.  She is divorced from her first husband, but is one of the lucky ones who found the real deal afterwards.  She and her “now”  husband are two of the happiest “married” people I know!  They inspire me that it IS possible, but maybe just not my time yet???
Whether or not it WILL ever be my time or not, there are certain things that will surely set you and me up for heartbreak and relationship failure.   One of those is “looking for a rich man to marry” who will make your life easier and furnish you comfort and “happily ever after”.
Don’t buy into that myth.
We all need to learn to take care of ourselves.  I can also pretty much promise you that most of those women who do “land the rich man”, have a fairly shallow and empty, albeit comfortable life.
Would I trade places with them?  Not a chance.  I’m learning how to love and value myself as a single female and I urge you all to do the same.  I hope you enjoy the article below,  and take away valuable insight what you should be hoping for!
Like This Page · February 20
Dear Ones —Help me to understand something.

In the past year, I have overheard no fewer than four women in my personal acquaintance suggest that their lives would be completely solved (and that their creative potential would be completely realized) if only they had married (or could marry) a rich man.

These are women whom I have admired for years. They are different in age, in background, in passions, in upbringing — but they are each strong and smart and competent and completely healthy in mind and body. And each one of them still dreams of snagging a guy with money, who will (presumably) remove all their obstacles and solve all their problems.

The most startling example was a woman who is a powerful, famous writer. This woman is ardent and outspoken feminist. An example to all human sisterhood. A person I have looked up to forever. We did a reading together recently. A young, female audience member asked her, “What advice to you do you have for aspiring writers?” The famous author replied: “Marry a rich man.”

When I heard this, my soul let out an anguished howl. I simply could not contain myself. I cried out, “NOOOOOO!”

The author turned to me in genuine surprise. “But how will she get her writing done, if she has to pay the bills herself?” she asked.

People, listen to me. I wrote my first two books when I was a diner waitress and bartender. I worked as a nanny and a cook, and I stocked other people’s books in a bookstore. I did whatever work I had to do, and I honed my craft in my stolen hours. Hours that belonged solely to ME, because I had bought them myself.

Toni Morrison wrote her first books as a single mother. She did it by getting up at 4:00am while her young son slept, and putting in the hours at the typewriter before she went to her fulltime paycheck-earning job.

My friend Ann Patchett wrote her first books while she was a broke-ass waitress at TGI Fridays in Nashville.

Her friend, the poet Lucy Greeley, wrote her books while she was in numberless hospitals, enduring countless reconstructive surgeries from a lifetime spent battling bone cancer.

Cheryl Strayed, Anne Lamott, Sue Monk Kidd, J.K. Rowling…do you want me to go on?

There are no rich men in any of these stories.

Please help me to understand, then, why this fantasy of the rich man endures. Why would a brilliant, gifted, healthy, powerful woman still hold to the hope that someday a Mr. Darcey will arrive, and open up a world of possibilities that she somehow cannot open for herself?

Whenever I hear this fantasy expressed, in any form, I want to say, “WHERE IS YOUR DIGNITY, WOMAN?”

I was practically a baby in the cradle when I first heard Gloria Steinem say that we should strive to become the men we always wanted to marry. I took it to heart. That was 40 years ago. Does it need to be said again?

Can you help me wrap my mind around why this story endures? Can anyone explain this dream in a way that makes any sense to me? Because I really don’t get it. In fact, it makes me want to spit nails and blow fireballs through my ears.

AUTONOMY IS THE GOD OF WOMEN. Never forget that.

Hell, autonomy is the god of everyone.

Which is what I told all the aspiring young writers in the audience that night. And I also told them: “Now go get yours.”


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Putting It Out There In The Universe – Part “Deux”

Sooooo, where was I?

I’d had my massage, I’d put it out there “in the Universe” all those sterling qualities that I was looking for in the perfect partner (I say tongue in cheek!).

I was sitting at dinner when in walks a group of “age appropriate” males, the two tables start chatting . . .

Two of the men are married, two are not.  Married One #1 is chatting with and sitting next to the single female in their group.  She is the one that originally strikes up the conversation with our group and invites us to slide our chairs on over.  My chair is against the wall facing “out”, and also closest to their table.  From the moment they sit down, Single One #1 takes his seat closest to mine and never really scoots under the table – he faces outward totally willing to engage our table.

They go around the table introducing themselves, sharing where they’re from, that they were frat brothers reuniting for a ski trip and share with us their marital status.  So I’ll set it up for you.  There is Lynn, Single woman.  To her right is Married One #1 – they are friends.  When Single One #1 by me tells us he’s (Married One #1) married, he rolls his eyes and then adds “kind of”.   Hmmmm . . .

To the right of Married One #1 is Single One #2.  He has a place in the mountains where some of them are bunking.  He has that look of “player” about him, that devilish smile that says he’s just fine being in that position of “free”.  To his right is Married One #2.  He’s from Dallas, also has a place in the mountains and has the “deer caught in the headlights” look that says he’s happy to be out with his mates, but not happy to be that close to so many unattached females.

To his right is Single One #1 who is close to me.  He’s tall, owns his own business, in good shape, fun loving and charismatic.  He offers to buy us dessert then shares it with us.  He has a place in Denver and Santa Barbara.  I’m thinking that I owe Alejandra a really large tip next time I go in for a massage because this whole “putting it out there in the Universe” thing is pretty cool.  Look what just landed in my lap?

The whole time Single One #1 is flirting with me, Married One #2 looks like he’s about to implode.  I try to engage him into the conversation with talk of football, snow, work – something to make him more comfortable.  The more Single One #1 talks and flirts, the worse Married One #2 looks.   I’m thinking it’s kind of sweet that he appears so uncomfortable probably worried what the wife would think, yet he’s done nothing wrong.

When their meal comes, it’s time for us to leave.  Being the child of the 50’s that I am, (i.e. not comfortable being forward with men) I hand my contact info/card to Lynn, the single female because I’m just not quite brave enough to hand it to Single One #1 even though he’s made it pretty clear he’s interested.  If he wants the info bad enough, he’ll find me, right??  My friends and I leave the restaurant and I’m thinking 2014 WILL be my year.

Two days later I get a panic massage from one of the girls that had been with me at dinner.  Lynn, Single female from dinner, had just found out from Married One #1 that Single One #1 is NOT SINGLE.  Yup, bet you saw that coming didn’t you??  She was worried that he would reach out to me and that I wouldn’t know the truth.  She was protecting me.  All I can think is no WONDER Married One #2 was looking so sick to his stomach the other night.  He wasn’t worried about his wife, he knew that his friend was lying.

I went from about 100 degrees of High to 0 degrees of low in all of 3 seconds.  I’d put it out there in the Universe and this is what happens??  I wonder if this is what MY ex did to meet and hook up with women?  Did he tell them he was single?   Did his friends look smug or did they look uncomfortable?  Doesn’t matter now of course but I saw first hand just how easy it is for these men to troll – if they want to.

The year is young, and I’ll continue to “put it out there” but it was a good lesson for me to learn early on.  We have to look out for each other, it’s a much different Universe these days.

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Surviving The Holidays After Divorce – – –

Well – we are officially in the “week of” and no matter the makeup of your family, it’s a stressful time.  In the best of family relationships, this week is tough trying to negotiate all the ins and outs of being with loved ones in concentrated doses.

For me – I don’t “do” Christmas at my home if I don’t have my kids around.  Yes, they are adults, but they’re still MY kids.  They do not now, nor will they EVER belong to “her”.  Yet for the sake of fairness, I have to understand that there will be times that I won’t have them under my roof when I awaken on Christmas morning.

The first Christmas post divorce they all were with me.  The second one was my Mother’s 90th birthday so I took she and my brother on a cruise.  It was bizarre.  It was the first Christmas in 28 years that I had not had an offspring with me.  I didn’t like it.  It was the sign of things to come however.  I’ve had to become creative to be someplace else when they’re not going to be with me.

There are many reasons that parents will be separated from their children this year – distance too far to travel, money too tight to get there, children fighting overseas, children who have lost their lives, children who have been abducted or run away – all devastating reasons and certainly a harsher reality than mine.  But in my heart of hearts, even though there are worse reasons many are dealing with, it still hurts to not have them around.

I hope you find a way to have a Merry Merry Christmas this year no matter where you are, who you are or are not with, and find a peacefulness in the “reason for the season”.  For me I’ll be celebrating my Mother’s 95th birthday away from home, but surrounded by love and putting on a “happy face” for when the kids do come – the day “after” . . .