Category Archives: Favorite Posts

You Are My Guilty Pleasure

When I’m feeling down you lift me up.

When life becomes overwhelming you listen without judging.

When I’m scared you tell me everything will be okay.

When I think I can’t carry any more you share the load.

When I’m tired you help me rest.

You are my guilty pleasure.

I should be able to stand on my own, but I’m grateful you are there when I just can’t.

I want to be strong and fearless, but it is your friendship that gives me strength and courage.

I need to take care of myself, but I appreciate more than I can say when you take the time to help.

I could continue to do everything alone, but I’m happy you are with me.

I wish I could do more for you, but I need to let you support me as much as I support you.

Thank you for being my friend.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Guilty

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I Do Not Blame You For the Assumptions I Have Made

I made an assumption. My mistake. It won’t happen again.

I assumed when you said you loved me, you knew what love was. Silly really.

I assumed when you said, “for better or for worse,” you wouldn’t be the cause of the “worse.” I was confused.

I assumed when you held your baby, you would cherish her as if she mattered. I was blind.

I assumed some day we would be enough for you, that you would be happy. Completely my fault.

I assumed when you fought for equal custody, it was because you wanted to be with your children. Laughable now that I think about it.

I assumed you would be happier with your new girlfriend, your new wife. Ridiculous of me.

I assumed when you had a new baby, you might feel complete. I overestimated your ability to change.

I assumed when you told your children you would take them one last time to see the home where they grew up, that you would follow through. Preposterous of me.

Why do I continue to assume that you will ever be anything except what you are? Why do I believe some day you will stop disappointing your children? Why do I ever give you the benefit of the doubt or think you will follow through?

You are who you are. You continue to blame everyone and everything except yourself; and so you will never change. Your life will never get better. If I continue to hold faith that you will be anything except who you are, that is my mistake. I will probably make the same one again, but I do not blame you for my poor judgement.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Assumption

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What If My Writing is Just a Futile Routine?

Why do I write? What is the point?

A month ago I was finishing the final draft of my book. I was euphoric. I had a clear vision and a single-minded focus. I had never felt better, never been more certain of my path. I was inspired in a way I had never before experienced. I had a clear goal and I was going to achieve it.

For months I had pushed everything but writing aside. Each blog post aligned with my message because I thought of little else. Each word prompt inspired heartfelt writing that flowed without effort. I was insanely grateful for every single thing in my life; appreciating things that should have caused frustration. I was fearless; nothing scared me.

My life was at an all-time high. I had a purpose. I wanted to infect others with the same feeling I had as I was writing.

Since my book was published I have had to get back to “normal” life. I had to refocus on work, household chores, errands, exercising, and all the mundane tasks I shoved to the side while working on my project. As time goes on I feel my sense of purpose slipping away. I have other projects I want to work on but have started none of them.

I am consumed by the things that have to get done, instead of the things I want to do. Daily life is filled to the brim and there is no time to work toward my goals. My attention is diverted by each shiny object I pass; my time taken up by kittens, kids, coworkers, and friends.

I am feeling overwhelmed without adding a new project to my list, yet I know it is the next project that will bring back that sense of purpose.

So why do I write? Why do I continue to post each day when sometimes it feels futile?

I write because I’m a writer. I write because my writing has connected me with people in a way I never expected. I write because I know my writing has made a significant difference in the lives of at least 2 people, possibly more. I write because it allows me to express thoughts and feelings I might otherwise keep to myself. I write because it means something to me. I write because it matters.

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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Infect

Breathing With the Tide is not a Temporary Fix

The tide rolls in; the tide rolls out. It is smooth and rhythmic, like my breath. It calms me. It soothes me. It brings my focus to the present moment and allows my cares to be washed away, at least most of them.

Last night I went for a walk on the beach. This is something I used to do several nights a week, but recently haven’t had time for, or haven’t made time for. I’ve been feeling a bit off recently and needed time to think about some things (this is the introvert in me).

On the beach the sound of the waves and the cry of the seagulls drowns out my less helpful, self-critical thoughts. The feel of the sand beneath my feet helps to keep my attention on the present. The breeze blows my hair and my worries behind me. For a while I am captured by nature; as the sun drops closer to the horizon I am a part of something bigger than myself.

But sometimes life intrudes on these moments….a text from my tenant explaining why the rent is late, another from my daughter asking what happens if she’s too sick to go to school. My peace shattered, my attention turns to the people I pass as I walk. Happy couples, hand in hand; families building a sandcastle and taking selfies. Why was their happiness suddenly making me feel like something is missing in my life?

I do not spend time regretting the past. It can’t be changed. I don’t compare myself to others. Even people who look happy in a given moment have problems; and besides, I’m not unhappy.

These past few months I’ve accomplished more than I ever dreamed possible. I’m getting into shape; I published a book; I’m beginning new projects. I am surrounded by friends who are infinitely supportive, and sincerely happy for everything I am achieving. My kids are amazing and truly bring me joy. My finances are solid, money is building in my savings. I’m making plans for my future.

I guess the way I’ve been feeling can best be described as lonely, and possibly nostalgic. I’m not going to pretend I don’t feel this way, but I’m not going to wallow in it either. Today I’m going to focus on gratitude. I’m going to spend some time today thinking about how much I really have in my life, because honestly my life is amazing. I don’t regret what has brought me here and I’m going to look forward instead of behind me.

And it’s simply not possible to feel both grateful and lonely at the same time.

I’m going to start right now. I am grateful for you. I am grateful you took the time to read this. I’m grateful for everyone who follows my blog and who takes the time to comment. I’m especially grateful for those people who I am now connected with outside of this blog who are becoming good friends. You all add so much to my life.

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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Tide

What Beauty Do You Discover When You Look Around?

Look around you. What do you see?

Well right now I’m in a dark office with half the lights off because for some reason IT people like to work in the dark. But as often as possible I take myself out into nature where I can connect with a feeling of peace I can’t seem to find anywhere else.

I have always spent a significant amount of time outside. In NH I explored trails all over, taking my golden retriever with me in all kinds of weather. I would trudge through knee deep snow while she happily pranced on top, running ahead of me with ease. Together we got lost on a trail in the middle of nowhere, alone with no cell service or map. We frequented places along a river or lake and she would chase sticks into the water. I should have spent more time exploring the mountains but it’s this regret that pushes me to explore further now.

She is no longer with me, but I still love going out into nature to observe wildlife. Where I live now is far more urban than where I used to live; it’s more urban than almost any place in NH actually. But there are many great parks and preserves to explore. I love the mangrove bays and many are accessible through hiking trails or on the water. There are several places where you can kayak through tunnels made out of the branches of mangrove trees.

There are rivers fed by springs where the water is so clear you can easily see schools of fish swimming by. I’ve watched otters playing on the shore and manatees floating near the docks. I’m warned of snakes and gators but I’ve never seen either.

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The beach is nearby and is beautiful any time of day, both sunrise and sunset are equally beautiful. Mid-morning is the perfect time to catch dolphins playing along the shore, in the photo just a black dot in the blue but in person a spectacular sight.

And when all else fails I can observe nature lurking at my house these days in the form of 4 frolicking kittens who you knew had to appear again today. This morning I was their tree and could barely keep them down long enough to snap a picture.

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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Observe

Today: Announcing Exciting Results, After a Last Minute Frenzy

Quite unexpectedly, my book is available NOW for pre-order on Amazon! The actual release date is Saturday 4/28 so you won’t be waiting long!

After much hard work I have been able to publish well ahead of my self-imposed deadline….And you, my reader, are among the first to know!

Although I am listed as the author on this book, I have been fortunate to be able to collaborate with two amazing WordPress bloggers. I am grateful for both their contributions:

The Creative PTSD Gal

The Wonderful and Wacky World of One Single Mom

Their work is featured throughout the book alongside my words. Using personal stories of success and struggle I share some of the changes I’ve made in my thinking that have allowed me to fundamentally change my life in ways I would never have imagined. Their words reflect what I have learned personally.

Even as a child, I have always had issues with self-esteem and true happiness proved to be elusive as I grew up. After 40+ years of searching I’ve finally discovered the secret to happiness and this book shares the most important mind sets, the shifts in my thinking that have allowed me to finally understand what happiness is.

I am not one to ask for help or favors, but if you find this news worthy of sharing with your readers I’d be honored if you’d reblog this post. I am grateful to all of you for your kindness and support along my journey and look forward to achieving much more together!

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What Happened To “Grateful Single Moms?”

After much thought, I’ve decided to rebrand this blog. As I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts, my writing has taken a completely unexpected direction, and it’s one that feels true to who I am. I know many of you refer to me as “Grateful Single Mom”…or “GSM”…and I’m still all of these things, particularly the Grateful piece.

I’m grateful to all of you who have connected with me, supported and encouraged me, occasionally empathized and always lifted me up. Truly you have given me the courage to flourish. I want to sincerely thank all of you.

I am still a Grateful Single Mom. But I’m so much more.

As I started writing, I shared stories of courage, strength, and overcoming obstacles. I wrote about struggles and challenges, trials and conflicts. And I’ve barely begun to touch on all I have to say.

As I wrote, I realized that I have gone from a life where I was just getting by, to one that is more than I’ve ever dreamed of. And now I can see how much further I can go. The possibilities are endless.

I have gone from surviving, living day to day, to thriving, and living a life I never thought could be mine.

There have been times that the words of my posts have flowed so freely that reviewing them afterward felt like I was reading something written by someone else. The stories were mine; the thoughts and ideas belonged to me. But how they were put together was not how I thought I’d be writing.

Shortly after I had one of these moments I thought, “what if I wrote a book?” I had always wanted to write a book; I’d even started a couple that fizzled out. Nothing I wrote felt authentic. It all felt like I was trying to write what people expected.

But here, with this blog, I found my voice.

What if I wrote a book with the same voice I’ve found for my blog? What if I wrote about some of the ways I’ve been able to change my life? What if I shared my personal stories, and perhaps even stories from others who have struggled?

And so I started to write. For the first time ever, as I was writing the words I wrote came easily to me. They were completely true to me, and who I want to be. They were emphatic and heartfelt. They were impassioned and insightful.

I won’t minimize how much work it was, because as much as I loved every single moment I spent writing, it has been work. I have put much of my life on hold to get this finished. I needed to complete this before time allowed fear and self-doubt to creep in. There is still work to be done, but the end is in sight. It will be published on or before 5/1/2018.

It may be imperfect, as am I, but it is sincere and authentic. I am extremely proud of what I’m about to put out into the world.

And so I’m rebranding my blog to align with the book title I have selected. It reflects who I am, where I’m going, and what I’ve found myself writing about here. Grateful Single Moms has become:

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

The River Wild (1)