All posts by Dee Kelly

I'm a single mom who has gone through my share of struggles. As I work to improve my life I also hope to help others along the way. It hasn't been easy but it is always worth it.

Stay Single

To all my single friends…It does not mean you are unloveable or that there’s something wrong with you. It just isn’t the right time for you, you haven’t met the person who is worthy of you. ❤️

Discovering Your Happiness

Hello loves, ❤

Stay single until you find someone who you don’t mind taking care of when they’re sick or sad. Someone who doesn’t have to be in a good mood for you to enjoy their company. You should like your person, even when they’re feeling off. Even when they had a horrible day and you have to comfort them. Even when they don’t feel like going out and would rather snuggle in bed.

Stay single until you find someone who appreciates your effort. Someone who notices how much you have done for them and lets you know they are thankful for it. Someone who doesn’t let your hard work go unnoticed. Someone who makes sure you feel like you are being acknowledged, because they would never want you to feel used, like you are being taken for granted.

Stay single until you find someone who will match your effort. Someone…

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Make Small Changes that will Produce Exciting Results

I work in the downtown area of a mid-sized city. As happens in a city, I park several blocks from my office. On the trek to my car one day I realized something startling. Except when crossing the street (to look at traffic lights and cars), my head was bowed the whole time and my eyes were directed firmly to the ground.

Now I’m not exactly sure how I came to this revelation but once I did I started to really understand how low my self esteem really was. On the drive home that day I thought about it and decided that this was one small thing that was under my control. All I had to do was look up.

So the next morning I left my car, head held high and turned the corner at the end of the block. I immediately came face to face with someone walking the other direction. Without a second thought I dropped my head and averted my eyes. This was going to be harder than I thought.

At the same time, I was losing weight and wearing more attractive clothes. I was growing out my hair and had it cut much more fashionably than it had been previously. As I started looking around more I noticed people looking at me. And this made me extremely uncomfortable; more than that…I was afraid.

I can’t say why I felt afraid, only that as these strangers looked at me I felt fear. This made it even harder to stop looking at the ground. I would look up, catch someone looking at me and my heart would pound. Immediately I’d look at the ground and want to be swallowed up.

But eventually I realized that a lot of these people looking at me were smiling. I often passed the same woman and one morning she complimented the dress I was wearing. I started wondering what people saw when they looked at me. Maybe they weren’t judging me. Maybe it didn’t even matter if they were.

With conscious deliberate effort I walked to and from the car with my head up…most of the time. As I started to feel better about my appearance this became easier.

Sometimes I still catch myself looking down. This is more because I’m lost in thought now, but I still make a conscious effort to look up when I catch myself doing this. I make eye contact with people as I pass them. I smile and say hello. These small daily interactions make it easier for me to walk into an event with a large group of people and start up a conversation, plus I’m seeing a lot more of the world around me!

What small change could you make?


What Will Make You Astoundingly Radiant?

I have been looking forward to writing about the word of the day for hours.  Literally.  I didn’t sleep well last night and have basically been up since 2am.  My AC isn’t working and it was over 80 degrees (Fahrenheit) in my house (I apologize for those still dealing with snow….I’m really not complaining).  It was hot.  I was hungry.  My daughter couldn’t sleep.  My brain wouldn’t shut off.

I tried to fall back to sleep for hours and finally gave up at 4. Some edits I wanted to make to my book struck me all of a sudden and I figured there was no time like the present…I wasn’t doing anything anyway. So I logged into my laptop, conveniently on the floor next to my bed since I was writing until I fell asleep last night. And that’s when I started thinking about the word of the day.

Over the weekend I had felt a recurring theme and after my sleepless night I truly thought today was the day I should share it. I started thinking about details I should include, examples from my weekend. I had all but written it, since I didn’t yet know the word.

And then I read the post. The word is Radiant. Now, normally this would have been the perfect word for me. There are so many amazing ways to use it. It’s far more adaptable than some of the other words. If I can write a post inspired by the word Faceless then Radiant should be a piece of cake!

I’m in Florida. I love the sunshine. The sunshine is Radiant!

I have booked myself a writing retreat this week; three days to live out my dream life. I feel Radiant!

I am brimming with positive energy. I am Radiant!

And yet none of these were what I wanted to write about. In fact, the theme that replayed itself all weekend long was Gratitude. So I thought long and hard (I mean 10 solid minutes) to try to come up with a clever way to tie Gratitude with the word Radiant. And I think I’m just too tired today.

But I still want to tell you how ridiculously grateful I have been feeling.

You see, gratitude has not always come easy for me. It has probably only been the last year or so that I’ve fully appreciated the power of gratitude. For a while I really needed to search for reasons to feel grateful. I mean, there were the obvious reasons:

  • My kids
  • My family
  • My friends

 I’d feel grateful whenever I’d strike a bit of “good luck” (the problem with “luck” is that it’s sneaky and fickle, it can turn from good to bad in the blink of an eye).

But I knew it was not enough to feel grateful for just these things for which gratitude comes easily. I wanted to learn to feel grateful at the worst of times. I wanted to be able to conjure gratitude whenever I needed it. I wanted to be able to fabricate it out of thin air, call it to me with my magic wand and summon it with the snap of my fingers or the twitch of my nose.

Because I know a secret about gratitude. I know something that not many people have really thought about. I have discovered one of the true keys to happiness.

It is impossible to feel both grateful and unhappy at the same time.

And so I practiced gratitude. Let me tell you, this wasn’t always easy. It’s challenging to feel grateful when your ex is berating you, your kids are bickering and the project at work is dragging on FOREVER. It’s difficult to bring gratitude to mind when you’re feeling overwhelmed, scared and confused. To reach out and pull gratitude from situations that most would call “bad luck,” is a skill I desperately wanted and so I persisted.

And it struck me this weekend how ridiculously grateful I am. “Wow, how lucky was that?” crossed my mind at times it shouldn’t have. “I’m actually grateful it turned out this way” fluttered through my mind more often than I can count.

It all began Friday night around midnight when I was just pulling into my driveway after seeing a concert I’ve been too busy to post about. I got a text from someone who was supposed to be relieving me of taking care of a friend’s dogs while she was away. She had just gotten to the house and couldn’t find the key. She needed me to go let her in so she could take care of the dogs. And I thought, “wow, good thing I was just getting home! If I’d been asleep I wouldn’t have heard her call!”

Saturday afternoon I got another text from her, asking me to go down to the house to take care of something she’d neglected to do. I had been in the middle of writing (shocking, I know) and so I was surprised when I stepped outside how nice it was. And I thought, “wow, it’s kind of nice to have an excuse to stop working for a while and take a walk!” So I walked down to my friend’s house and sat in the back yard for a while with the dogs catching up on my WordPress reading and thought, “wow, if I’d stayed at home I probably wouldn’t have been able to read all the posts today. I’m glad I took a break!”

And then last night, when I was completely unable to sleep, instead of feeling frustrated I felt inspired. I’d been struggling about where to put something in my book…there are at least 2 or 3 places it would fit but it’s such an interesting piece I wanted it to be somewhere special. It was really important to me. Then all of a sudden I knew exactly where it belonged. Not only that, but there was a second piece that needed the perfect place of honor and that bit of inspiration was provided too. I didn’t sleep, but I felt grateful. I thought, “wow, if I’d been sleeping then I might not have thought to put either of these where they truly belong.”

That’s when I knew my post today had to be about gratitude. Feeling grateful allows me to be absolutely happy instead of feeling angry or frustrated.

Gratitude makes me radiant. What will make you shine?

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Radiant

Why Break Free From Toxic People?

I’m a pleaser. That’s my lot in life. I live to make other people happy. Or at least I used to. I still enjoy when I can bring happiness to other people, but now I don’t do it to the exclusion of my own.

I’m a giver. I don’t feel complete unless I’m contributing to something bigger than myself. Have you read The Giving Tree? Well, I’m the tree. I will give until I have nothing left. Or at least I used to. Now I still feel the need to contribute, but I do so in a way that adds to who I am and doesn’t take away from it.

I’m self-sacrificing. I put other’s needs before my own. My needs are irrelevant next to theirs. Or at least they used to be. Over time, I have learned that I need to take care of myself so that I am better able to take care of others.

I’m forgiving. I permit others to continuously treat me poorly, knowing we all have bad days and that deep down they’re good people. Or at least I used to be. These days I am still happy to forgive the mistakes of others, but those who repeatedly behave in ways that are inconsistent with my standards I choose to forgive but then let go.

I have learned that not everyone needs to stay in our lives forever. There are certain people who come into our lives for a period of time and then move on. There are toxic people who want to stay in our lives that we need to let go.

People who do not share our values, our core beliefs that define who we are, do not belong in our lives, even when we have known them since childhood.

People who do not treat us the way we deserve to be treated do not deserve our love, even if they’re family.

People who choose to drag us down to their level instead of encouraging us to reach for what we want should not be given a space in our hearts, even if they are our only friend.

People who criticize us for changing, for not staying the same person we have always been should be shut out, even if they are parroting our own self-doubts.

As we change, grow, explore, expand, and learn, as we become the people we decide we want to become, we feel guilty letting these people go. We are the ones who changed, not them. Why do we suddenly find fault in those we have known for so long? Who are we to decide they’re no longer worthy of our friendship or love?

As hard as it is, we need to let them go.

We tend to take on the qualities of those around us. If you surround yourself with negative people, you will become negative. If you surround yourself with unhappy people, you will be unhappy. If you surround yourself with toxic people, you will become toxic.

If however we learn that it is healthy to let go of relationships that don’t reflect who we want to be, we can grow more easily. If we remove people from our lives who are holding us back, we will have room to find new friends who will love and encourage us the way we deserve to be.

They don’t want to be saved. Stop trying. You can’t fix them. Focus on yourself instead. Start now.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Toxic

Warning – Do Not Read This Post!

You’re reading it anyway? In spite of the warning?

Why is it when people tell us NOT to do something, it is so much more tempting to do it?

I’ve already written my post for today. Perhaps you saw it already, or maybe you haven’t scrolled down that far yet. You should look for it. It was brilliant. I have nothing else to say. There is no reason to read this.

And yet it is soooo tempting to do something when we are warned against it.

I’m sure there’s a psychological reason for it that I could look up on Google and quote here. But I’m not really interested in regurgitating boring textbook data.

And yet I really want to know. Why are you reading this when I told you not to? Maybe you are regretting it.

Is it the thrill of doing something you’re not supposed to do? Does it feel empowering to do what you want to do instead of following the rules? Do you naturally rebel against restrictions?

I’m a rule follower. I always have been. If I break the rules even just a little my heart pounds and I’m terrified. What if I’m caught? What if I’m found out?

Last night on the way to an amazing concert (which I may post about later) Google instructed me to divert off the main road onto an access road to get around traffic. “I can’t do that,” I thought to myself. And I didn’t. I sat in traffic instead, watching other people zooming past us on the access road.

My life has kind of been that way. I was told early on that I can’t ______ (go ahead and fill in the blank yourself because the list of things I wouldn’t be able to do was too long for this short post). And I conformed. I followed what I was told and I watched others sail past in their happy lives, wondering why they were getting so much further ahead.

I need to learn to break the rules once in a while. There are still rules that are good to follow, that benefit everyone; but we need to decide for ourselves which rules matter, and which don’t. We need to decide for ourselves what we can’t do, and what we can do.

And so this is why I’m breaking the rules. This is why I’m posting for the second time about the word of the day. And if you’ve read this far please tell me, why did you read this post?

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Warning

Warning – I Will Be Unbearable This Week

This week I have the opportunity to live my dream life. It will last only 3 days but I will be spending these days staying at the beach, in my friend’s beautiful condo with nothing to do but write. This is how I want to spend the rest of my life.

To all my friends who think I am positive and upbeat most of the time – I warn you – this week I will be unbearable. I will be excited, energetic, and bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm. I will tell everyone I come in contact with that absolutely anything is possible, that good things will come if you put in the effort and that they too can do whatever they set their mind to.

What I’m calling my writing retreat is possible because I have an amazing friend, with a spectacular home, who is generous enough to share this with me.

It is possible because I finally decided that I can follow my dream. By the end of this retreat I will have the draft of my book complete, ready to share with my editors, wonderful friends who will help craft it into what it is meant to be.

It is possible because my readers from here have encouraged me with your kind words and your own tales of success.

It is possible because I have set a ridiculously short deadline to keep me focused on my goal, instead of allowing time for fear and self-doubt to creep in.

It is possible because I now believe in myself. I believe in the possibilities that are available to anyone.

You have been warned.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Warning

I Will be Betrayed No More!

As I’ve gone through my journey of recovering from my past and self-discovery I’ve come to realize one thing more than anything else.  The person who has betrayed me more than anyone I’ve ever come in contact with is….me.

I have been betrayed by my low self-esteem; missing every opportunity because I felt I wasn’t good enough, not deserving enough.

I have been betrayed by my lack of self-worth; feeling unworthy of love, real love by someone who values me as I am.

I have been betrayed by my poor self-confidence; allowing fear to dominate my decisions, holding me back from accomplishing all I am capable of.

I have been betrayed by limiting beliefs; permitting thoughts of “I can’t” or “if only” to obliterate all hope for the future.

I have been betrayed by misguided thoughts; blaming others and in blaming handing over control of my happiness, my right to choose, my life.

I have been betrayed by my absence of self-love; shaming myself as others have shamed me, ridiculing myself, punishing myself for all that I am not.

I will be betrayed no more.  I will seize the opportunities presented to me.  I will seek only true love, in all my relationships.  I will persevere in the face of fear.  Instead of “I can’t” I will say “I will,” and then I will follow through.  I will hold myself accountable and in doing so I will be the only one responsible for my happiness.  I will love myself and appreciate all that is unique in me.

This is who I am, right now, in this moment.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Betrayed