Tag Archives: self-esteem

FREE Today Only – Learn 4 Secrets That Will Change Your Life!

Have you ever wondered, “Is this really all there is?” My life used to consist of work, chores, taking care of the kids, and a couple hours of TV to unwind before I went to bed. After my divorce I met people who helped me realize that there really is more out there – a LOT more! My life has changed in ways I would never have believed possible.

As a result of everything I learned, I published my first book in April – Thriving not Surviving: Bravely Pursue a Life That Will Blow Your Mind! It is a straightforward guide for changing your thinking in a way that will help you move from simply surviving to thriving. I’ve done it and so can you! (see below for an excerpt from the book)

If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can download the Kindle version for FREE today only (the paperback version is also available but not eligible for the promotion). Go grab it and let me know what you think! Miss the promotion? Email me at gratefulsinglemoms@yahoo.com and I will notify you of the next promotion!

After you read the book, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It helps more than you know!

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

Click the image below to get your free copy today!

Excerpt:

We are inundated day in and day out with messages of lack, things we don’t have but desperately need. Is it any wonder we struggle to feel grateful for the things we have? And yet gratitude is the one thing that will always make us feel happier.

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

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

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

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

How much happier would you feel if you spent more time focusing on the good things in your life? If you thought about the amazing friends you have, how much you love your kids, and how lucky you are to even just be alive, what would your life be like?

All it takes is a little practice. Now that you have (hopefully) accepted that you can choose your perspective in a situation, you can also decide to feel gratitude for whatever lesson, success or gain you have received as well. You can choose to actively seek out positive aspects of your life, even the smallest ones, until you can fully appreciate how fortunate you really are.

Even if you just feel grateful for your morning cup of coffee, the fact you have food for lunch and a job to go to every day, you will improve your life by simply opting to feel grateful for these things.

FREE Today Only – Learn 4 Secrets That Will Change Your Life!

Have you ever wondered, “Is this really all there is?” My life used to consist of work, chores, taking care of the kids, and a couple hours of TV to unwind before I went to bed. After my divorce I met people who helped me realize that there really is more out there – a LOT more! My life has changed in ways I would never have believed possible.

As a result of everything I learned, I published my first book in April – Thriving not Surviving: Bravely Pursue a Life That Will Blow Your Mind! It is a straightforward guide for changing your thinking in a way that will help you move from simply surviving to thriving. I’ve done it and so can you! (see below for an excerpt from the book)

If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can download the Kindle version for FREE today only (the paperback version is also available but not eligible for the promotion). Go grab it and let me know what you think! Miss the promotion? Email me at gratefulsinglemoms@yahoo.com and I will notify you of the next promotion!

After you read the book, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It helps more than you know!

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

Click the image below to get your free copy today!

Excerpt:

We are inundated day in and day out with messages of lack, things we don’t have but desperately need. Is it any wonder we struggle to feel grateful for the things we have? And yet gratitude is the one thing that will always make us feel happier.

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

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

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

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

How much happier would you feel if you spent more time focusing on the good things in your life? If you thought about the amazing friends you have, how much you love your kids, and how lucky you are to even just be alive, what would your life be like?

All it takes is a little practice. Now that you have (hopefully) accepted that you can choose your perspective in a situation, you can also decide to feel gratitude for whatever lesson, success or gain you have received as well. You can choose to actively seek out positive aspects of your life, even the smallest ones, until you can fully appreciate how fortunate you really are.

Even if you just feel grateful for your morning cup of coffee, the fact you have food for lunch and a job to go to every day, you will improve your life by simply opting to feel grateful for these things.

Download my Book for FREE Today Only!

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

Click the image below to get your free copy today!

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

How Safe Are Our Schools?

My property taxes are going up. By a lot. Not the normal “life costs more every year” kind of way that I would expect. My taxes are doubling.

Why? Because a kid in Parkland walked into a school and killed 17 people.

The government is responding in typical fashion. Public buildings all over Florida are locking down. I work for the local government in a building that now has locked doors and a metal detector that all citizens must go through before they are allowed to enter (employees are able to enter without going through the metal detectors). My daughters’ school has hired 3 extra police officers to have on campus full time – that’s a total of 4. Every month the school practices what to do if a shooter comes on campus. At the elementary school they have changed all the door knobs on each classroom so that they can’t be unlocked. Only the teacher and the administration can open the doors.

All of this costs money and it has to come from somewhere.

I know it sounds like I’m complaining about the money. I’m not. My heart goes out to victims of violent crimes all over the country – not just those involved but also their loved ones. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel if my kids were in that situation. I couldn’t agree more that something has to be done.

But are we doing the right thing?

This isn’t going to be another post about guns and whether anyone needs to be able to buy an AR-15 (I shared my opinion about the right to bear arms in the post Protect the Beaten and Oppressed with the Constitution). What frightens me is that we are building walls, thinking that we will keep those who want to hurt us far enough away so that they can’t. If they can’t get in the school they can’t shoot the people inside the school.

This masks the symptom without solving the problem. “Hey doc. My arm hurts when I lift it over my head.” The doctor replies, “Don’t raise your arm.”

We lock down our schools to protect our kids. “If someone comes into a school with a gun people will die.” The answer we’re given, “Don’t let guns in the school.” Simple, right?

But if someone wants to kill students and can’t get into the school they certainly have other options. They’re not going to back down just because we’ve locked the door. They’ll shoot kids through the fence as they’re walking between buildings, or outside for PE or recess. They’ll wait until the kids leave school and open fire as they get on the bus – or as the bus drives down the street. Even if we take away all guns, they won’t quit. They’ll build a bomb that can be thrown over a fence onto a building. They’ll find a way.

Because all we are really doing is forcing them to think of another way. And we underestimate them if we think they won’t.

We need to be addressing the root of the problem. I don’t have the answer. I wish I did. I think a drastic change in the way we approach education and social services will be necessary.

Yesterday I watched a video that got me thinking that real change is possible. Judge Pratt thinks about law in a way I believe speaks to the kind of change I feel is needed. Her passion for justice goes beyond enforcing the law. She seeks to fix the problem at the source, one defendant at a time.

She has a Ted Talk I want to look for but the interview I watched is below:

Procedural Justice by Judge Pratt

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Inspiration Comes in Many Forms

Five months ago I sat on the back porch of a rented house in Georgia and I was inspired in a way I had never felt before. The air was warm and smelled of pine forest. Birds chirped and a river bubbled over rocks far below. A salamander came to visit but otherwise I was alone, the kids still asleep inside after a late night.

I grabbed my laptop and words flowed from my fingers as I worked on the post that inspired my new novel. The word of the day was Limerence, not an easy word to work into a post:

Limerence is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship with the object of love and have one’s feelings reciprocated.

I wrote a few sentences, just 2 paragraphs – one that never even got posted:

My heart pounds in my chest and my stomach churns as I look nervously around the wooded driveway of the rented cabin. There’s no way he could have found me here, yet the extent of his obsession makes almost anything possible. With one last glance behind me the key slips easily into the lock and I turn it while pushing the door open at the same time.

As I twist quickly to shut the door behind me, the backpack on my shoulder knocks over the lamp on the small table, shattering it on the floor. My already frazzled nerves cause me to jump at the sudden noise in the silent house. I turn the deadbolt and place my bag on the hardwood floor at my feet as I lean back against the solid wood door.

I liked it, but I didn’t feel like I would be able to slide in the word so I kept it but started over.

From my rocking chair I could see the odd staircase that led down to the river. I could see a woman walking slowly down, lost in thought. In her reverie she is comparing someone she knows now with an ex – an ex who had turned out to have a crazy obsession. Yes! This worked with the word perfectly, and I posted the following:

Am I More Than Just an Obsession to You?

The girls eventually got up and we were off tubing in the river and exploring the area, my post forgotten. The next morning I was once again up early relaxing on what I was starting to feel was MY porch, ready to write another post. The unpublished words from the previous day were still up in a web browser, right where I’d left them, waiting to be turned into something more.

As I reread what I’d written I saw a connection from the previous day’s post. The frightened woman who locks herself into the rented cabin is the woman who later walks down the staircase to the river. On the staircase she is thinking of the ex she had been running away from, the crazy obsessed ex. The man on the porch watching her walk down the staircase, the one who saves her from falling off a landing that has no railing is there to protect her from the ex.

If you were following me over the summer you will have read about some of what happens with the ex, who is now named Clay and the hero who is named Caleb. These parts of the story were posted completely out of order and I explained in the post below what these characters meant to me, because the story is deeply personal even though it’s fiction:

With Eager Anticipation I Watch My Story Unfold

September 16th I posted my last post about the story. I felt I had enough content and I was anxious to start editing. I had put all of my posts into a separate document, in the order I envisioned them actually unfolding, so I printed that document – over 100 pages – and set to work. Only when I began this did I realize that I still have a lot to learn about writing. The posts made for pretty good blog posts but it certainly wasn’t what I would consider novel material.

The more I crossed out and rewrote the more frustrated I became. I borrowed books from the library, trying desperately to learn what I would need to do to fix what I had written so I could turn it into what I felt had potential to be a truly riveting story. And I have made significant progress. This has taken time away from blogging but in the end I think it will be worth it.

Many books have helped me understand dialog and character development, the use of similes and metaphors, plot and subplot, etc. But the book that has been most helpful has been Revision and Self Editing for Publication: Techniques for Transforming Your First Draft into a Novel that Sells by James Scott Bell.

Thanks to this book I have begun completely rewriting what I had written, words I now consider more of an outline than a draft. The rewrite is moving slowly but I love what is forming. It’s better on an order of magnitude I never would have expected. There will be other drafts after this, I have no doubt. I may end up working on this for a year before I’m ready to put it into print – I hope not longer than that.

It’s sometimes hard to put so much time and effort into a project, not knowing if anything will come of it in the end. I am working on faith and at times I wonder if the sacrifice is worth it. I believe that it is but time will tell.

Sometimes You’re Ahead, Sometimes You’re Behind

“That’s not fair!”

I remember making this announcement repeatedly growing up. I still want to stamp my foot and cross my arms at the injustice I felt as a child. As a matter of fact, my sister and I said this so many times my stepfather took a piece of paper and wrote the word FAIR on it, then suspended it from the ceiling. He told us that the only place life would ever be fair was under that dangling piece of paper.

Still, as a twin I fully expected everything to be exactly half, split down the middle, completely even and above all FAIR.

This idea of fairness has come up time and again in my life. My daughters feel much the same way I did, although I haven’t yet hung up a sign. In talking to a friend about my parenting schedule this morning she echoed what everyone tells me when I talk about that situation – “that’s not fair!” And yes, sometimes it truly does feel unfair.

My ex would agree that our arrangement with the kids isn’t fair, although he would say he gets the short end of the stick. He still pays the same amount for child support as he did before child care costs that I pay went down. During the school year he typically only gets to see them on school nights and so is always dealing with the routines of homework and school instead of being able to do fun things with them.

On the other hand, I have them almost every weekend (the weekends I don’t have them in a year could be counted on one hand). He sets the schedule every month to work around his schedule and I can rarely plan more than 30 days in advance.

I can choose to focus on whether life is fair. I can struggle against what I feel is unjust, or I can accept that sometimes I’m ahead, and sometimes I’m behind. This is a lesson I learned in highschool that stuck with me (although I do need reminding from time to time). When I first heard Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen by Baz Luhrmann I started to understand. Sometimes I will get the bigger piece of cake, sometimes my sister will…but in the end things usually end up being fair. As Luhrmann says, “The race is long. And in the end it’s only with yourself.” This last piece I didn’t fully understand until I was much older.

If you’re not familiar with this, below you will find links to the Amazon download and a YouTube video. It’s full of insight…things that are obvious but not often considered. I still listen to it from time to time when life is feeling unfair. And now that I’ve listened to it, I feel I’m just a little further ahead in the race.

Amazon Download:

YouTube video: Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen

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Putting Myself First

A little over a week ago I was paddleboarding. It was a beautiful day and I slid easily over the water. A part of me knew that the return would be more difficult. Somewhere inside registered that both the current and the wind were pushing me in the direction I wanted to go. But it was wonderful, gliding gracefully with little effort.

I might have gone further than I should have that day. It was relaxing, peaceful, painless. Finally, I decided I needed to turn around. I was out there by myself and although not far from shore I had gone quite a distance from where I would be able to get out of the water.

I turned around with no problem (I’m getting pretty confident on the board). And then I was hit with full force. Although I paddled with all my might the current and the wind combined were too much. I pushed the paddle into the water with every ounce of strength I could muster. I leaned forward to gain leverage. And still I wasn’t sure I was even moving forward.

Slowly I gained a little momentum and I inched in the direction I needed to go. I knew if I sat down on the board I would move faster. My body was creating too much resistance against the wind. But stubbornly I refused. I argued silently that I was getting a good workout, that I was improving on the paddleboard more because it was challenging. When I had barely budged from my starting point a gust of wind pushed me backward and I was forced to relent.

I sat and paddled. And I made progress. It was easier without so much resistance. But the easy way is not for me (apparently). As soon as the wind died down a little I stood again. I continued to advance bit by bit, more slowly than when I had been sitting, but I was at least moving forward – until the next gust.

I continued this way, standing when the wind was calmer, sitting when I had to. Eventually I made it to my destination but I was exhausted.

My life the past couple of weeks has felt this way, with both the wind and current fighting me. Maybe the answer is as simple as sitting down.

The post below reminded me yesterday how important it is for me to take time for myself:

The Value of “Me” Time as a Parent

This is something I’m usually pretty good at, but this morning I started thinking about the last time I really took time for just me – time not spent working on one of my projects, or hosting a Meetup, or taking care of the kids, or helping a friend, or taking kittens to the vet, or exercising, or working on this blog, or reading to improve something, or even writing (at least writing with a purpose). And honestly I can’t remember. I used to be good about taking time for myself.

There are a few things I do just for me (like meditating) but for the most part I’ve been cramming every possible moment with something productive. Yesterday, as I waited for the vet at the animal shelter (because the kittens we’re fostering got sick almost as soon as I brought them home) I worked on my novel. I love working on my novel, but I’m struggling with the rewrite. I love how it’s coming out but it’s a lot of work to get it where I want it to be – and I know there will be other drafts after this attempt.

Sunday I went paddleboarding on the river – something I would have been happy to do alone – something I want to do alone – but I posted it as a Meetup and so was coerced into completing a trip that I would have happily spent 4-5 hours doing in just over 2 1/2 hours.

Saturday I spent working on the murder mystery for our Halloween party – something I enjoy but forces me to think in a way I’m not accustomed to (putting together clever clues is not something that is easy to do). When I became frustrated with that project I went back to working on my novel, and became equally frustrated with that.

Working backwards I can easily see how I’ve filled my time. They’re all worthwhile projects but what happened to just enjoying being once in a while?

I have a deadline for the murder mystery party (10/20). And I have now committed to creating a haunted graveyard in my backyard for a night-before-the-party party (10/19). I love Halloween and I’m excited about both of these…but much of my free time between now and then will involve getting ready for this big event (we look forward to this all year).

But I am going to find a way, somehow, to make more time for myself. I need to put myself first sometimes and October – my favorite month – is as good a time as any to start.