Category Archives: Favorite Posts

Download my Book for FREE on Saturday and Sunday

If you haven’t downloaded my book yet, you can download the Kindle version for FREE on Saturday and Sunday (the paperback version is also available but not eligible for the promotion). Go grab it and let me know what you think! If you do, please leave a review on Amazon. It helps more than you know!

For those of you who don’t yet know about my book, it is a reflection of how I’ve changed my thinking in such a dramatic way over the past 7 years that I have literally gone from surviving to thriving. I was fortunate enough to be able to include writing from two of our fellow bloggers as well:

The Wonderful and Wacky World of One Single Mom

A Creative PTSD Gal

Thriving Not Surviving: Bravely Pursue a Life That Will Blow Your Mind!

As always, I’m sincerely grateful for the support I receive from all of you!

Download my Book for FREE on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Sometimes procrastination pays off! If you still haven’t downloaded my book yet, you can download the Kindle version for FREE on Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 13-15 (the paperback version is also available but not eligible for the promotion). Go grab it and let me know what you think! If you do, please leave a review on Amazon. It helps more than you know!

For those of you who don’t yet know about my book, it is a reflection of how I’ve changed my thinking in such a dramatic way over the past 7 years that I have literally gone from surviving to thriving. I was fortunate enough to be able to include writing from two of our fellow bloggers as well:

The Wonderful and Wacky World of One Single Mom

A Creative PTSD Gal

Thriving Not Surviving: Bravely Pursue a Life That Will Blow Your Mind!

As always, I’m eternally grateful for the support I receive from all of you!

With Eager Anticipation I Watch My Story Unfold

For those of you who have been following my blog for a long time you will have noticed a dramatic change in topic (again). While some of you are enjoying the new bits of fiction I’m putting out there it’s not what people expect from me and a few are disappointed that I’m not continuing with the motivational self-help topics I was known for writing. They enjoyed the personal stories that inspired hope and showed growth from a difficult situation.

And I understand. I really do. I enjoyed writing that myself and some day I might get back to it. But what started that line of posts is also what started the new series of fictional stories that I’ve been writing.

I’ve talked about it a little before, but the word of the day has allowed me freedom in my writing that I might otherwise deny myself. It allows me to clear my mind of anything except the word and write whatever comes from that. It keeps me from writing what is expected of me, or what I think I should write about, and allows me to just practice writing.

And although what I’m writing is not what I would have planned, I do like the story that’s unfolding and I’m proud of the way it’s developing.

There have been some questions about whether the story is fact or fiction. Clearly some of it is complete fiction but parts are also loosely based on real life. Since no one reading this blog is intimately familiar with my life or my history you won’t be able to parse out what is true but I will share a little here with you now.

The post that inspired the story that is unfolding (completely out of order, in case you have been confused) was written while I was sitting on the porch in Georgia. I loved that porch and the somewhat questionable stairs leading down to the water. I wanted to write about that setting and so I wrote Am I More Than Just an Obsession to You? This was a work of fiction but it was also my way of exploring how I’ve allowed my past relationships to, perhaps falsely, predict future ones. I’ve mentioned before that for the first time since my divorce I’ve made the conscious decision to focus on my goals and temporarily end spending time working on romantic relationships (my friendships remain very important to me). Part of this time I’m taking I’m thinking through who I want to be outside of a relationship, but I’m also considering why past relationships have failed. This post was part of that.

In that post I mentioned an obsessive controlling ex. I wrote these words with my marriage very much on my mind. I don’t talk a lot about my ex publicly. Although no one who follows me here has connections to my life in Florida I am aware that some day my kids may read what I have written here and although I don’t censor myself I don’t want to write things that might hurt them either.

That being said, I will tell you that my ex was verbally abusive. He controlled and manipulated me through fear, especially the last year of our marriage. I remained in the marriage for many reasons, not entirely limited to my low (almost non existent) self esteem but it was my choice to stay. It was also my choice to leave.

The pieces of the story I’m now writing about the controlling ex attempt to work through some of that. What happens in the story is not what happened in real life, but the emotions are essentially the same. Although I haven’t yet given the main character any indication of issues with self esteem (and I’m not sure that I will), often people end up in relationships in spite of the warning signs. They believe a false story they are told instead of paying attention to the person’s actions. They allow themselves to be manipulated because they like the story and they want to believe it’s true.

This is the first part of my story that’s unfolding.

When they finally realize what is happening they’re often too scared to leave, or they doubt their own worth too much to leave, and they justify this by thinking of only the good, ignoring the bad that is so much less than they deserve or worse, harmful. If they are able to break free it is with a tremendous amount of fear, regret, doubt, guilt and endless other emotions.

In the posts I’ve shared this as the main character being physically afraid of her ex, but the fear caused from verbal abuse is just as real. I haven’t fully worked out this section but I anticipate some mind games coming, that will add to her fear.

This to me relates to the months I spent going through my divorce…from the time I told him I wanted to end the marriage until the time we signed the papers. Before he moved out, I kept a bag of clothes under my desk, thinking that at some point I might not be able to go home. The clothes were there and I had a friend I could stay with if facing him at the end of the day just became too much. Each night I would wait until 9 or 10 to return to the house, most of the time simply driving around because I had nowhere to go, no place I could be. And often when I would get home he would be waiting for me. He would want to “talk” but really the more he tried to “fix” things by controlling every single move I made the more I knew I had to leave.

And so this became the second part of the story.

The remaining posts express confusion. There’s a yet-to-be-named hero in the story but there’s doubt and fear about trusting again. This person can be perfect in every way and yet at one point she thought her ex was perfect too…so not only does she fail to trust him, she lacks faith in her own ability to judge his character. What about him is she failing to see? What hidden agenda might he have? How can anyone ever really know for sure?

This is where I find myself now in my life. I want a relationship at some point yet I’ve struggled and I want to understand why. I’m tired of investing time with the wrong people and so it’s important for me to understand why I keep doing it. My life is complicated and busy and sometimes I wonder how anyone would fit into it, and yet I’d love to find the person who does fit. I want that for me because I deserve it. But I also want it for my girls. They have a father and I in no way want to replace him. But I want them to have an example of a good, healthy relationship. I want them to know they shouldn’t settle for anything less. It was in part my lack of role models growing up that led me to accept a relationship that was far less than what I deserved.

And it’s these thoughts that I share as the final part, where the hero protects her and she doesn’t know whether to trust her feelings for him or not.

So, if you have been missing my more personal posts, I hope you now see that they are still there, although changed slightly. I will tell you that I also plan to post a piece of the story using the word of the day as well so you can wait with eager anticipation while I put that one together. Given the time it’s likely I will be leaving to take my niece to breakfast before it’s finished so you will have plenty of time to wonder what could be coming….

I have an idea for the story that I think will work well. I credit Walt for encouraging me not to take the obvious route with this word.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Anticipation

Why Is It Terrifying to Admit That I Like You?

Is it saying too much to say I have an affinity for you? Okay, I know I’m playing it safe. I don’t like to take risks, at least not with my heart.

Closing my eyes I take a deep breath and steel my nerves. Should I say more?

I like you. There, I said it. God, this is so hard. Terrifying really.

I like you because you are one of the few people who actually hear what I have to say. You don’t just listen, you also ask questions. You seem to truly understand me in a way that few do.

I like you because of your openness with me. When you tell me about your hopes and fears I can relate to you because they’re so similar to mine. Because you can talk to me I don’t worry about what you might be thinking. This is important to me because I always worry; I always doubt.

I like you because of your vulernability. When you’re feeling down you let me know and all I want to do is bring you joy. Your willingness to share your feelings lets me know how much you trust me, and helps me be a better friend.

I like you because you see the good in me. You see past my insecurities. You help polish the good and sweep away the bad. You understand I’m not perfect. I don’t think you have put me on a pedestal, and yet you see past the cobwebs to the best parts of me, the parts that others might miss.

I like you because you are honest with me. You have doubts. You worry. You have hope. You dream. And you share this all with me.

This is what I want. I want to hope and dream. I want to make our wishes come true. I want to create a life that is amazing, and I don’t want to do it alone. I want to go kayaking, and hike mountains. I want to write from a porch in the woods, and read what we’ve written to each other as we lay together in front of the fire. I want to travel to foreign lands and explore all the world has to offer. I want to find a secluded lake and feel like we’re the only two people on the planet. I want to bring our wildest fantasies to life.

But maybe this is saying too much.

I should keep this to myself for now. Until I’m ready, just know…I like you.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Affinity

The Thoughts That Flowed to the Sounds of the Stream

As I sit on the cool flat rock, the mellifluous sound of the stream starts to calm my racing mind. I wrap my arms around my shins, resting my cheek on my knee as my eyes drift closed. The musical melody of the slow running water washes over me as a tear escapes. I inhale deeply, breathing in the scent of pine and moist earth. More tears dampen the jeans covering my legs.

I’m not sad. Today has been an amazing day. Why am I crying? So much is going right in my life.

I have wonderful friends who sincerely care about me. I have never felt more loved in my life. We don’t always see eye to eye, we’ve had our differences, but invariably we support each other in the end. I have recently made new connections with people who are quickly becoming important to me as well.

This community, my extended family even if we are not related by blood, has believed in me. Both new and old friends have given me courage to start pursuing my dreams. They encouraged me to do what I’m most passionate about. It is because of them I have opened my mind to so many possibilities.

My heart aches as my mind wanders down this path. For so long I have wanted to be supported this way. How many years did I spend looking for happiness in all the wrong places? I attempted to find pleasure from food and alcohol. I tried to be content advancing in my career even though it wasn’t my passion. I sought validation through unsatisfying relationships. I looked to others for my happiness, unable to find it within myself.

These people I’m fortunate to call “friends” have seen the best in me. They saw my value, they appreciated my unique qualities, and by doing this they taught me that I am worthy. It has taken years, but through them I have learned to begin to love myself. I have accepted my faults, acknowledged my past mistakes, and have decided to be the person they have known I am.

Suddenly I realize the ache in my chest is from the walls I had built crumbling down. I sense my heart opening and it occurs to me that removing the barrier allows me to truly love myself. This is what brought the tears. They aren’t tears of sadness, but of joy. I feel content in a way I’m not sure I’ve ever felt. I FEEL in a way I’m not sure I’ve ever felt.

My eyes flutter open and I take in the scene before me. The sunlight filtering through the trees seems brighter than it had before. The birds chirping blends with the music from the stream in perfect harmony, the other little creatures of the forest dancing to their beat. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of it all and I wish you, my friend, were here to share it with me.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Mellifluous

What Happens When We Explore the World Together?

Come play with me.

Let’s gallivant along the shore, running in and out of the surf. We can build a sand castle then watch the waves wash it away. Chase me over the sand and capture me in your arms. I want to laugh in carefree abandon then lay on a towel as the sun sets over the sea.

Let’s cruise the Mediterranean, visiting places I’ve only dreamed about. We can explore the towns where we stop then stand together on the deck as the ship pulls away. Hold me close and dance the night away. I want to sway together then stay up all night sharing secrets.

Let’s meander through the forest hand in hand, exploring trails long forgotten. We can climb steep hills and stand in awe at the view before us. Follow me to a pond fed by a waterfall then dive into the depths. I want to shriek in surprise as you pull me into the water then drag you under with me.

Let’s dance in the rain, jumping in puddles like children. We can splash through the deepest ones then twirl around until we are dizzy. Catch me before I fall and giggle at our antics. I want to forget all my worries then go home together to dry off.

Let’s ride bicycles through a foreign land, peddling over hills with breathtaking views. We can discover little villages and rest under a tree on the edge of a meadow. Lead me along a dirt path then have a picnic far away from everyone. I want to unwind in peace then continue our wandering journey.

Let’s build a snowman named Frosty, rolling snowballs as big as boulders. We can give him a face then wrap my scarf around his neck. Throw snowballs at me and run for cover as I throw them back. I want to win the battle then fall tumbling into a snowbank.

Let’s camp under a cloudless sky, gaze at the stars above us. We can pitch a tent in the woods then enjoy the quiet of nature. Sit by the fire and cook dinner over an open flame. I want to meditate in silence then tell ghost stories until morning.

Let’s stray from the beaten path and enjoy this moment, together.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Gallivant

Is It All Just a Dream?

Ding!

My phone announces another message. I reach for it breathlessly, wondering if it’s from you. praying it is. I shouldn’t feel this way. I shouldn’t want so much.

I barely know you. We haven’t even met, yet it seems as if you are a long lost friend. Where did you come from? How did you find me? I wasn’t expecting this at all; you have taken me completely by surprise.

Your words are like satin, all smooth and glossy. They wrap me in softness I have long forgotten. You say what I have been longing to hear and I want so much to get lost in the luxurious feel, even if it’s only for a little while. It would be so good to just let go, to trust, to allow myself to indulge in the possibilities.

Your message causes a physical reaction. I respond to what you’ve written as if you’ve run your hands over my body, sensuously caressing my skin, even though you’ve said nothing seductive. It’s so intense I can barely breathe. How is this even possible? What are you doing to me?

It’s been so long since I’ve had someone to lean on, a partner. I want to believe it’s possible, that this isn’t just a dream; but I’m afraid. I’ve opened myself up before and been left heartbroken. I’ve shed too many tears already, there aren’t any left.

If I look past your words is the reality still as shiny? Is there darkness behind the luster?

I close my eyes and imagine you are there. What would it be like? My heart begins to pound just thinking about having you near. I get goosebumps when I conjure an image of you drawing closer. I can almost feel you against me, your arms around me. I rest my head against your chest, finally at peace. At long last I feel like I can sleep.

Ding!

Slowly I awaken, only to realize it is my morning alarm and not a text message after all. Is it possible it was all just a dream? It seems so real. Maybe, just maybe….

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Satin