Saturday, April 30, 2016

Small Accomplishments

I think sometimes we get so caught up in the highlights we post on Facebook that we forget to acknowledge our small accomplishments as well.

Today Kid 1 did something that just 4 months ago would have caused him such anxiety he'd certainly have chosen drugs or alcohol to self medicate himself. But today, he took a deep breath and he took a chance. When I told him how proud I was of him, he tried to downplay it. No, you have to give yourself credit for all the day-to-day small accomplishments that get you through life.

As I was thinking about that, I realized we all need to give ourselves more credit. I only post to social media when something I've written is picked up by a "big" outlet or I've done a TV or radio interview. Those things are way cool don't get me wrong.

But today, I took a pitch that had been rejected, carved time out of my day to be alone to work on it, and I resubmitted it somewhere else.

1 - I didn't let the rejection discourage me
2 - I made writing time a priority
3 - I took a chance and resubmitted to an outlet that's probably a better fit anyway

Three small accomplishments in one!

For now on, I'm going to stop feeling like a failure between the big moments and starting appreciating the small accomplishments in my life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

6 In The City TV Interview

Earlier this month I took the day off work, put on some girl clothes, a little (a lot) of make up and sat down for an interview with 6 In The City, a local Jackson, Tn television station.

Since it was a local station and not a network I wasn't sure what to expect. (How diva does that sound! It wasn't a network interview, like I'm some big celebrity or something. Ha!)  But, in an interesting and unexpected twist, my Amazon book sales took a big jump in the few days after the interview aired.

Lesson learned? You never know who is watching!

Another lesson learned? Wear clothes that you are comfortable in and make you feel good. Fortunately you can't see me tugging at my shirt or trying to sit in a better position on the couch.

YouTube was giving me difficulty embedding the video directly here. But you can click the link and give it a watch!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Financial Abundance In The Midst of Financial Struggles

I've written often on this blog about my financial struggles since becoming a single mom. It sucks. And, I didn't realize how "good" I had it when I was working full time. Now that I'm just working a couple part time jobs it's been even tougher. 

Panic set in a couple weeks ago when I realized that my health insurance plan I had from my over night crappy part time job wasn't much of a health insurance plan at all. Even though it said it met the Affordable Health Care Act standards of minimum coverage, I guess I didn't quite understand what "minimum coverage" meant.

So after going for my first well woman annual exam in three years (since I've been without insurance), I am now a bit more than $2,000 in deeper debt that I was a month ago. It turns out the plan paid for me to walk in to the doctors office, but not the lab work, mammogram, doctor to read the mammogram, etc that is normally done in a preventative annual visit.

I've called each bill I've received and told them I'll be making payments to them. Small payments for a long time. 

But still, I was in full blown panic mode about it all.

Then I remembered I've always managed to pay my bills in the past. There's always been enough. So I can believe there will always be enough in the future.

I'm a big believer in affirmations. As I was trying to pull myself out of panic mode, I came up with this affirmation that I've typed into my phone as a reminder for when I need it:

There is an abundance of wealth continually flowing to me. 
I am financially comfortable and secure. 

As the Universe does, I was quickly put to the test. One of my regular yoga students is collecting money for a very worthy cause. A cause I've donated quite a bit to in the past. She asked if she could ask the other students in class to donate. I was a bit uncomfortable with that but I knew she was going to ask no matter what I said. I also knew she'd be expecting a donation from me. That class is a donation based class. Some people pay more than others, some nothing at all. I don't keep track of who pays how much, there's just a basket on the floor to put the money in.  I usually make enough to put gas in my car for the week and buy some grocery essentials. I depend on that money.

As I knew it would, at the end of class she was once again asking for donations. She looked at me, looked at the basket of donations, and then back to me. 

I didn't hesitate. I just picked up the cash and handed her half. I didn't even count it first just handed her half the bills that were there.

And I felt OK with it. Not just OK but I felt that it was the right thing to do. I repeated my affirmation and went about my day. And no major financial catastrophes happened. 

Again today, in the same class, two students told me they forgot their wallets and would just pay me next week. OK, no problem. Maybe they will pay me double next week, maybe they won't. Either way, I continue to remind myself:

There is an abundance of wealth continually flowing to me. 
I am financially comfortable and secure. 

Now, when I get panicky about money, which happens at least once daily, I stop and reframe my thinking. Instead of always being in "poor" mentality mode, I'm retraining myself to be in "abundance" mentality mode. 

There's always been enough. There will always be enough. And there will be more than enough in the near future.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Woman On The Verge of Paradise : Book Review

Spoiler alert -- the book you are about to read does not end with "The knight in shining armor rode in on his white horse, rescued the fair maiden, and they lived happily ever after."

And I am so glad it doesn't end that way!

Woman On The Verge of Paradise is the latest book by Robyn Alana Engel, my new friend and fellow blogger at Life By Chocolate. The book is Robyn's "memoir-ish" story of growing up feeling like you don't quite fit in, becoming a writer, looking for love, getting married, getting divorced, still writing, and still looking for love. And realizing that a life not mated isn't just OK, it's actually pretty good.

So basically it's the story of my life, and the life of many other middle aged, divorced women I know.

I had the opportunity to do a little Q&A with Robyn and she provided even more insight into her life and her work.

Do you still believe in the fairy tale ending? 
No, I don't. Sigh. Almost all romances are happy-go-lucky at first. Then reality serves a fierce sucker punch to the gutt and we're knocked onto our tuchases.* *Yiddish for butts, rear-ends, derrieres, and/or asses; I was trying to be polite.

Are you still hoping/waiting for the fairy tale ending?
Well, I did recently sign onto on-line dating again, and I am looking for love. But I'm certainly not hoping or waiting for the traditional fairy tale ending.

Do you have any regrets about your marriage?
That's a great question. Yes, I have so many regrets - that I fell for him in the first place, that I lost myself to the relationship, that I didn't respect my feelings of discomfort, that he fared so badly and in ways I won't get into now. Several years ago, though, I decided that I can carry regrets. Regrets are human and manageable. Meanwhile, I decided that I don't deserve the guilt or shame or other sorts of self-abusive crap we do to ourselves. Life is hard enough. So I have regrets, but I don't fault myself. I entered the relationship with a pure, trusting open-heart. And that's a beautiful thing.

In hindsight, the signs of trouble were already there before the marriage. What did you learn from that time and how does it influence your current relationships? 
That's a key question too. Women are taught to sacrifice it all for the sake of marriage. It doesn't matter what kind of men we marry; so long as we marry. So I did everything for Justin and our relationship during the three years we were together. Gosh, it's tough to spell out all that I've learned, but I can sum it up by saying that self-love and self-respect are more important than anything else. Sadly, we aren't taught this basic truth. I'm more careful with my choices in men nowadays. I'm happier too. Life is a bit lighter, even though it's dark and heavy. But I'm quicker to laugh and smile, because I feel pretty darn good about me.

Any advice for other mature single ladies hoping/waiting/getting frustrated for their fairy tale ending?
Girlfriends, you are wonderful. You really are. Don't settle. Do not settle. I repeat: Don't even think about settling. Men, you're okay too. You shouldn't settle for a nagging, controlling diva. There are some very nice women *pointing at self* who know how to treat a guy right. Back to my gal pals, though, a few words: (1) chocolate, (2) Duracell, and (3) chocolate.

Anything else you think potential viewers would like to know?
I'm thrilled for every opportunity to put out. Oops, I meant, to put out my message. Phew! Close call. Seriously, though, I want my book to squelch the fairy tale to smithereens. I want to say to the world - in a big, bold way - that it's a great thing to live solely on your own terms. It's okay, and even a wonderful thing in many ways, to be single. I'm a single, non-parent, and I'm more content with myself and my life than I've ever felt before. I really want Woman on the Verge of Paradise to shift the world towards self-love and self-respect.

Also, it's by no means a girly book. There's very little full-fledged sex, no talk of "throbbing manhood," and a lot of penile incompetence. My male readers have loved the book too