November 2010


I’ve mentioned this magazine before – Whole Living – and one of my favorite features, called “10 thoughts on whole living.” I tear every one of them out and put them up on my fridge (and man, is it getting full!). This month’s issue has an awesome list of some of my favorites and I just had to repost them here.

Don’t mistake predictability for peace: some if life’s most important moments are born of chaos.

This one is hard for me, though I absolutely love it, because I am borne of organization, balance, and well, peace, so chaos and a shaken up routine is hard for me to accept. But this couldn’t be more true – when I was feeling like my routine was completely upside down, some of the most important moments of this year, and my life – meeting, falling in love, and taking care of my niece Isabel. Chaos, I need to embrace you more often.

Strength is defined not by what you can resist, but by how much you can expand.

Amen. It’s about going past your boundaries, out of your comfort zone, and learning. I crave learning. Constantly. More so at this stage in my life than ever before. It makes me feel whole, it gives me a strange sense of balance, and it keeps me on my toes.

While prayer may not change a situation, it may change the way you experience it.

This one again rings so true to me, because sometimes, I have questioned why God has tested me in the ways he has. Why did I have to face divorce? Why did I have to struggle financially and to find love? But prayer and faith and reading has helped me accept what has been given to me to handle and get through it. Hasn’t always been happily so, but it has gotten me through, and I’ve felt peace with it. Not raged against it because I hated the situation. You can’t always change it, but you can change your attitude towards it.

Eating a warm meal nourishes the body: preparing it nourishes the soul.

It’s almost winter here. I think this one speaks true to us New Englanders (and Canadians!!). I’m a huuuuge crockpot fan in the winter. There’s just something about a hot meal that’s been slow cooking all day that makes me happy. Bliss.

Try to see your family for who they are, not who they were.

This one screams acceptance, to me. As I’ve blogged about my father before, it’s been hard for me, in the past, to let myself get close to him, for all that has happened in the past. But I accept him for who he is now, and what our relationship is. It’s not a “true” father/daughter relationship, and that’s okay.

Find reasons and ways to give. It’ll make you happier than you expect.

I love giving. Gifts, of myself, my time, my friendship. It’s rewarding. Enough said.
The best escape is to let yourself become absorbed from time to time.

Yes. Like on vacation in Playa del Carmen (just kidding, well, sort of). Letting yourself be engulfed completely, is okay, sometimes. Not to lose yourself, but to really come to terms with something in your life, or with a new love (cue Doctor Boy…not that I’d consider myself absorbed, at least not negatively!), or in a new creative venture. I crave that sometimes.

If you feel hungry, ask yourself what you’re really craving.
Damn you, chocolate. And wine. And baked cheetos. 😉

You’ll gain more by facing up to fear than you ever will by running away.

YES. My first inclination when I am scared is to run. To shy away from the challenge. But the more out-of-my-comfort-zone I get, the more I learn and the more I gain. Couldn’t say it any better than this.
Creativity isn’t making something from scratch, but seeing potential in what already exists.

Don’t throw yourself out and start fresh. What’s the point in that? Take the good, fix the not-so-good and polish up the potential that lies within. I love this one. So so true.

I need a little more chaos in my life, a lot of out-of-my-comfort-zone moments and challenges…it’s what drives me and keeps me sane. I never thought in a million years I’d yearn for that, but I do. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

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…you need to bloom where you are planted (even if it’s not where you want to be planted all the time).

…you need to embrace contentment (and not just look around the corner for the next challenge, level, etc).

…you need to realize the good friendships vs. the toxic ones. embrace the good ones. tightly.

…that it’s the little things. like a phone call “to hear my voice” (swoon) or a skype chat with a bloggy bestie 🙂

…to take it one day at a time, not one week, or one month. stop ‘can’t wait-ing’ and just live.

…that differences of opinion aren’t always bad, they’re just a new way of thinking.

…that a picture of your niece can make the difference between a “meh” Monday and a better one.

…that the warmth in your heart – that overwhelming warmth – is love, love you haven’t felt in years.

…that prayer is powerful, as is faith, and if you can believe, you can conquer.

…that a good ab workout can make you feel taller.

…that silence isn’t always a bad thing.

and that getting through the day is sometimes ok, too, rather than loving it (since let’s face it, we can’t always have a good day, right?).

And that sometimes, just sometimes, life can feel pretty damn good, even with bumps and bruises along the way. It’s what makes us who we are, stronger, better, happier, more resilient and more appreciative of life’s blessings.

Sometimes. You just need to put pen to paper and see it. Believe it. Life’s good. Life’s very, very good.

walking inside, music playing (Josh Groban “Awake”), arms encircled around me.

my face in the crook of his neck, smelling his skin, feeling his warmth.

swaying from side to side, arms wrapped tighter, completely enclosed in his arms and body.

drinking it in, moment by moment, lyric by lyric (“…if I could keep these moments endless…I will remember, remember all the love we shared today…”

he kisses my cheek, arms tighter around me, so warm, so right, this very moment.

he whispers in my ear “I love you babe…”

and I know, I feel it, this moment, like none other, surer than ever.

This is the man I’m meant to be with. The man I’m destined for. The man I’ve searched for during the past two years. He’s here, he loves me, and I love him for all that he is, for all that he still wants to become, for how I feel around him, for how he makes me feel, for how much I want to love him and be with him and share the future with him.

More than I ever thought possible.

…so keep me awake to memorize you…

Well friends, I must say, I had an amazing Thanksgiving and feel so thankful to have so much goodness in my life. It was a blur of a day, but a beautiful one at that.

First up? Wild Turkey Run in Salem and it was frigid.As in 30 degrees and major wind chills. And the entire route was by the water. As in, smack dab next to it. Needless to say, I couldn’t feel my ears, I couldn’t feel half of my face (the side facing the wind) or my legs. But I made it. I passed sections that were part of the Wicked Half marathon route, and it brought back flashbacks (some good, some bad!) and had a really tough side cramp. But Doctor Boy stuck by me the entire time and made sure I was okay. It felt awesome to share this with him, a race I’ve done for a few years now on Thanksgiving. One of the many things I love about him is being able to share in things that mean a lot to me (and vice versa) like running, and races (from time to time!). Thankful.

Next? I headed up to Maine to spend the day with my grandparents (who I thank God for every day that they are in such great health) and my mom. It was a quiet, small gathering, as my sisters were with their in-laws (we’ll all be together for Christmas though, which is exciting!), but it was wonderful to have so much one on one time with them. They genuinely care about my life, they wanted to hear all about Doctor Boy, and they are just the best. Thankful.

From there? I headed back home and to Doctor Boy’s parents’ house for dessert. I was slightly nervous as his uncle and brother and sister-in-law were there too and I wanted it to be good and fun and natural and not awkward. And it was! I was welcomed by his father who said “there she is! come in! come in!” which for some reason, made me smile and feel so happy. My heart swelled. I felt welcomedThankful.

Waking up this morning, Doctor Boy said my coming last night meant the world to him. He was so happy and said he can tell his family really likes me. That meant the world to me. I don’t think he is “used to” having someone in his life that wants to spend time with him and his family (perhaps his ex didn’t…), so when he says these things, I am still surprised, because of course I want to share these times with him. Isn’t that what love is all about? Thankful.

It’s been a great holiday so far, and as I sit here looking at the new Christmas tree I got today (and of course couldn’t wait to put it up!), I’m feeling thankful and excited for the holidays to come.

On this Thanksgiving, it’s hard for me to put into words just how thankful I am to be where I am in my life, at this very moment. Incredible.

Even more incredible is looking at my post last Thanksgiving and at that point, feeling so thankful for MY life and what it had become, only one year after being in such pain and sadness that Thanksgiving 2008. Who knew it would get better and better to this point today? Sure, this year has had its fair share of ups and downs, but it’s truly been the year of me, and to now include love within that life blows my mind.

So, the quote I’m using today, really does sum it up, for me, and for you, I hope, as you piece together the good in your lives, despite whatever bad may be brewing as well:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

What am I thankful for this year?

…my family, their good health, and our closer-than-ever bond (cue sisters!).

…my beautiful niece who I don’t think I could love any more than I do right now. She’s amazing.

…stability. in finances (somewhat), job, and personal health (these things we take for granted, sometimes, don’t we?).

…my friends. they’ve been my stability and my sanity. And always will.

…Doctor Boy. Enough said.

…my cats (yes, my cats!) and their health, especially Nala’s.

…happiness. Through and through.

…challenges and pain. Mentally and physically (cue half-marathon this year on the physical pain side..and challenge side).

…the potential that lies ahead. I know there is more to come, if I work at it, and that’s thrillling!

Be thankful. It’s a powerful feeling. Happy Thanksgiving all!

 

Who *am* I?

It’s so tough to capture “me” in words (sort of like writing about what you look for in a mate on match.com or any other dating site!) because while I know who I am, defining myself for the purposes of this blog has been really hard to wrap my head around.

Probably because I’ve changed a lot since I first put pen to paper blog a year and a half ago (February 2009) and 600 posts later.

But, here goes, my take on “who I am”  –

I’m 31 and divorced (almost) two years counting. But that doesn’t define me (anymore).

I started this blog in February 2009 with the goal of chronicling my pending divorce (which occurred on September 11, 2009, after being separated since October 2008), and since then, it has morphed into my haven. For sharing my thoughts on what has gotten me through divorce, my mantra for choosing happiness, gaining (and keeping) perspective on life, challenges, self, and love, as well as my two-year journey towards finding love (again). This is my story, picking up the pieces of my heart, redefining myself, shaping my life into what it is today, and determining what it is I want in a relationship and a man.

I am happy, strong, confident, motivated, self-aware and willing to take chances. Why? Because life is too short for regrets and what’if’s. This is my life. Determined.

To Be Determined. I’ve conquered the sadness and pain, determined to move forward. To Be Determined…my life, anew. Now? To Be Determined, where will I go next? TBD…

(note: some helpful links to read my backstory can be found here or under “some of my favorites” where I include a series on the beginning of the end of my marriage.

What do you think?

After so many comments on my blog posts the last two days (here and here), and my own frustration over feeling misunderstood, and in a sense, judged, I thought I needed clarity.

But I don’t.

After sleeping on it, and realizing that a) everyone has an opinion and it may not be the same as mine and b) I am choosing happiness whenever I can, because it works for me (doesn’t mean it’ll work for you), and c) I’m blessed to have so many people actually reading and engaging in my blog.

It means much more than I ever thought possible.

So, thank you, for all of your comments, whether I agreed with them or not. They gave me food for thought, and even though I did feel the need to justify myself, in a sense, with parts of yesterday’s post, I stand by my view – happiness is a choice – for me.

~~

On the note of blogs, a few that made me beam today?

First, my sister Jen’s latest installment of her blog posts recapping her ordeal after my niece Isabel’s birth. It’s a touching read, and I feel so blessed and grateful that things are getting back to (a new) normal, and that I have been able to play a part in helping my sister recover and spend some invaluable time with my niece, who I love dearly.

Second, T’s post on ‘everyone deserves to feel beautiful AND worth it.” Amen to that, and it’s a beautiful poem.

Third, Use Your Words Mommy’s post that mentions my story as part of her inspiration that love IS out there again. Wow, I really never thought I’d be “that” person that others would look towards as an example that it can happen. Finding love. I was that person, looking for it, and seeing beautiful love stories (like Sunshine and CGB – congrats you two, two years strong!) helped me when I doubted it would happen for me.

And finally, Soccer Mom’s “award” which included me and Magnolia’s beautiful words, wow, just wow – thank you – you made my day!

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