Forgiving Yourself Is As Important As Forgiving Others

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Growing up with parents coming from two different religious backgrounds has so many pluses. One is it has made me more open to others’ viewpoints. At the same time, I don’t feel aligned with any religion really. I do find both Jewish and Christian traditions interesting and meaningful. So, I am spiritual but I’m not religious.

But for the first year ever, I thought about what Yom Kippur really means. Asking for forgiveness for sins and forgiveness of others. Supposedly, it’s the time of year where G-d decides your fate and therefore, you’ve got to make amends, and fast.

I thought about who I would apologize to, however anyone I may have wronged I’ve certainly apologized to. And if there’s anyone out there I offended, well, I am truly sorry!

But I think the person I am most sorry to is myself. For being so hard on myself.
The way I’ve talked to myself and about myself.
The way I’ve judged myself and compared myself.
The way I’ve doubted myself and criticized myself.
The way I talk to myself is most often, much harder than how I’ve talked to anyone else!
It is like I’m in some competition where the goals to be fabulous are so high and not obtainable that I beat myself to death for not being enough.
But if there is one thing I am, it is tenacious and persistent. I try so hard to be my best self. To be better. To do better. Be a better mom. Person. Partner. Friend. Worker. Etc.

Here is what I don’t do: give myself a break. Be kind to myself. Compliment myself. Believe in myself.

So here is a huge apology to myself for being so bad to myself at times.

Lovingly,

Laura

At The End of Your Rope: How Much Can One Person Take?

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The great question of 2020 it seems is how much we can all take? I’m using meditation, training and time outside to try and stay sane. The beach helped me tremendously this summer. I absolutely love LBI and also frequently visited other areas of the NJ shore. It is a happy place for me, and I’ve been hoping I could enjoy some more time as September tends to be warm, but lately it’s been freezing. I woke up to 44 degrees today and as luck would have it, no heat. They had to come fix it today. Amongst the stress of motivating a child who is unmotivated to do online school and try to get any work done, no heat and alas, a tooth issue ( my kid not me) all came together for a really kick- ass time. Kidding— there was nothing fun about it.

It could always be worse. It could always be harder. I remind myself of this a lot, but it’s harder to stay stronger and be positive because I’ve got much less time to meditate and do anything, and a whole lot more responsibilities when it comes to online school. Our district isn’t sending kids in yet, our board of education expects these young kids to be online for the whole complete school day, plus homework as if everything is normal. All while many of us parents are working.

I think the hardest part for me personally is watching my extremely intelligent, funny and driven kid become absolutely disengaged from school.

Add to that, the isolation. Having to take everything on myself, alone is really hard. Feeling alone all the time is mind numbing and heart crushing. I just keep trying to refocus on the positives each day, but sometimes they’re impossible to find, like today.

How much can one person take? I guess we’re all about to find out.

But the very least, while feeling at my breaking point today, someone shared this song with me. It’s a cover The Killers did of a favorite childhood song of mine on YouTube. And a small piece of me felt a little loved and a little content for five minutes.
Better than none at all. Not to mention, electric blue does seem a good way to describe how I’m feeling. Incredibly blue. Intensely blue.

It’s Hard,

Laura

A Single Mom Birthday

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When you’re a single mom and it’s your birthday, it’s pretty much like every other day. Chores. Cleaning. School responsibilities. Figuring out all 3 meals and snacks. Usually, making most, all or planning out all of those said meals. Virtual school. The same old same old.

Your kids don’t always remember it’s your birthday. Mine didn’t. She thought my birthday was next week. It’s not. It was this past Friday. I think I’ll cut her slack since she’s 9 and we’re living in a pandemic without a real sense of a calendar or time as hard as I try to have a schedule. It was truly the first year though, that it didn’t even feel like my birthday. It didn’t feel celebratory. I did see friends over the weekend, but I don’t know. Between virtual school and the responsibility of working from home and everything else, this year has felt so depressing and isolating. I really don’t know if I will make it through 2020.

In the Dark,

Laura

One Compliment Can Change Your Day

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Today, I set up a time to meet someone new for a potentially good creative opportunity for me. The person and I chose the time and when emailing me back said, “I saw a video of you giving a speech and I’m so excited to meet with you. You’re super adorable!”

I was so flattered and surprised. It’s not often I get to hear that. It made my day. In fact, when I was exhausted and tired from a day of working and virtual school and found a massive dead spider in my house, I called upon the compliment in my mind and it cheered me up.

Truly just one compliment can change your day. Imagine then how much joy you could give someone else by complimenting them? For me, a man who is verbally demonstrative is a huge must. And in friendships and at work too— verbal affirmation matters to me. This one compliment changed the whole tone of my upcoming meeting. Imagine the power of just a few words!

With that said, don’t forget to compliment someone once a day. We all need it!

Love,

Laura

Why He Let You Down; Why She Left You Stranded

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Why Do People Let Us Down?

People let us down for many reasons. One, no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all mess up. I know I made mistakes no matter how hard I tried, but that’s ok. We are human.

It’s when people let us down a lot that it becomes more about them– and not about “Oh, I messed up.”

People let us down because they lack commitment and dedication to us.

And when someone isn’t dedicated or committed, he or she won’t try as hard. The person will make less effort, care less and feel less. This person will be a bad friend, a negligent girlfriend or a distant husband.

People let us down because we have more hope and love for them than they do for us.

You’re a dedicated loving spouse. Your spouse is cold, distant or perhaps, unfaithful. When someone doesn’t care as much as we do, that person will go astray. When we love hard, we love hard. When someone doesn’t love much, we feel that lack of love. We feel that emptiness and loneliness.

People let us down out of stress and fear.

When people are anxious, gun-shy or afraid, they often let us down unintentionally. When people are stressed and pushed to their max capacity, they often let us down. They don’t mean to, but they do.

No one is perfect.

We all make mistakes.

The trick is to learn from our mistakes and do better the next time because we care. And when people don’t care, they don’t do better.

It’s up to us to do better.

Lovingly,

Laura

 

He Won’t Change & Your Relationship Is Going Nowhere: What To Do

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You’ve cried a billion times over this man. He makes minimal effort to make your relationship work. Or, he avoids commitment and just wants to hang out. Or, he continues to hurt you and doesn’t seem to want to change.

Why won’t he change?

Simply put, he doesn’t want to.
Yes— gasp! Horrible isn’t it? It is, but he likes being who he is.
People only change under two conditions:

  1. They want to
  2. They’re forced to.

But most importantly, they want to.

If your man doesn’t want to change, guess what?

He doesn’t care about you, he’s happy where he is, maybe lazy but even still— there is nothing you can do to change him.

So, you’re sick of crying. He’s disappointed you enough. He never prioritizes you and he’s cool hanging out, hooking up sometimes, or being committed but not being very good to you.
What do you do?

You leave him.

You just leave him. Let him behave foolishly with someone else. Let him lose you. This forces him to change or forces you to seek out someone who loves you.

Someone who really cares about you will be motivated to do better. Be better. To change. To be the man you need.

And someone who does nothing, doesn’t care. Doesn’t want you. Doesn’t need you. And doesn’t care if you cry.

You deserve better!

Laura

Thanks to the Younger Man Who Taught Me a Lesson Tonight

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A really sweet guy I train with and I are becoming friendly. He’s younger, so we’re not on the same playing field. While he’s not terribly young, he’s building a career and traveling, a very different place from someone like myself, an established career lady and mom. I do appreciate every time we get to talk. He is a good person and uplifting. In times like these, we need that.

When he heard it’s my birthday on Friday, he asked what I was doing. I told him I had no real plans until the following week with a few friends. I told him how upset I was about that and how someone disappointed me really selfishly and very cruelly— and on my birthday no less. I shared how hard the virus pandemic has been on me socially and I told him these things, not sure what insight he would have to offer me being that he’s younger. Plus, he might find the topic boring or worse, think I’m just an old fuddy duddy with no cool birthday plans.

Well, it turned out he had great advice actually and not only that, but he reminded me of all the reasons why it is ok for me to be upset and struggle during this time. And had empathy for me that someone would let me down on my birthday. And also, kept saying how I should always expect the best from others and insist they give me the best. And that I don’t need to put up with. It didn’t matter that I had more life experience. He has much to share. This is why I’m friends with folks of all ages. I am open to learning and love others.

Overall, he was kind, attentive and a great friend in this moment, proving to me I judged his character well. He’s a good dude. He pointed out things I hadn’t thought of before, making me feel confident that I was right in my beliefs about many things.

Moral of the story? A younger man or woman may not be the right dating material but that person could be an amazing friend or at the least, an astute listener who cares. And hey— dating younger isn’t bad. It works for many. Keep an open mind. Make friends. Listen to others. Share. You’ll be amazed at what happens. He lifted my bad mood up. I had walked into training feeling skeptical and blah and left feeling more renewed. Happier. Of course, that’s also the beauty of fitness. Exercise helps get those endorphins up and we need that, especially during this pandemic. My training keeps me going on days I don’t want to keep trying.

I’m grateful for this person’s friendship.

Kindness Counts,

Laura

Recovering From a Cold Icy Partner

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You know you have or had a cold icy partner when:

  • The person always remembers things negatively
  • The person dumps you or during a break up, acts like he or she doesn’t care at all
  • The person shares extensive intimacy with you and then acts like nothing mattered
  • The person minimizes every special moment you have
  • The person rarely expresses affection or if they do they’re hot and cold
  • The person minimizes your feelings and tells you you’re too sensitive or remembering it incorrectly

If these situations sound familiar to you, congratulations you’ve either dated or married a very cold person. Or, were in a relationship with somebody who was icy cold. How do you recover from somebody so hurtful? The answer is it can take years but there are a few things you can do to get yourself warmed up after being with a total icicle so you can move on to someone who is loving and warm. Also, nicer. There is hope! Not every man or woman is a cold hearted jerk. Wink.

  • Remind yourself that the person has issues Whatever the case is, it’s not your fault if somebody is withholding love from you. Most likely the person has other issues.
  • Some cultures are more cold or seemingly cold than others so, it may just be a matter of upbringing and how the person was taught to communicate.
  • If the person constantly minimizes the good times you had or your feelings or the person wasn’t warm and expressive, that person seems a bit cruel and will probably be the same way to someone else. Let the next person feel the icy burn!
  • Get yourself out on dates with a variety of people and just try to have fun in order to rebuild your confidence because we all know that cold partners can tear down your confidence completely, making you feel unworthy and not lovable.
  • Remind yourself each day that this person wasn’t nice and you shouldn’t take what they said to heart because chances are they are not kind anyway. Don’t let those negative thoughts from that icy person get you down.

It’s not easy to rebuild your faith after such an icy partner, but you can do it! Don’t let a cruel cold person extinguish your beautiful inner light.

Love,

Laura

Under the Knife: Dealing With Medical Anxiety

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As a kid, I had no fear of doctors or dentists. I had Lymes Disease as a teen, and I barely fussed when they came to my house to put in a PICC line. My dad on the other hand, almost fainted.
When I had to go for an MRI to check for a potential brain tumor, I thought it was too enclosed, but I dealt with it and wasn’t nervous about the tests.
Boy, have times changed me!

i’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I would say my anxiety towards medicine, doctors and being sick really started when I was pregnant and had Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Things started happening to me that I had never experienced. I’ve never been in a hospital so much in my life until that time. A few years prior, someone in my family had gotten really sick. A few years prior to even that, another family member had quite a few major surgeries and Cancer. I think as we get older, it’s more likely that we will deal with illness and health issues. My experience with Lymes taught me that I had some drug allergies, but I rarely complained. I got blood work constantly and I wasn’t anxious, but did want to get better.

Now as an adult and single mom, I’ve learned I have many allergies to medications and I really get anxious when it comes to medical situations. I think getting a divorce and becoming a single parent through the years also heightened my level of anxiety: I must be ok so I can be here for my daughter.

I’ve learned a few things though to help manage these fears, and it’s a work in progress always:

1. Don’t Google Your Symptoms.

2. Meditation Helps You Manage Anxiety.


3. Taking Charge of Your Health Through Diet and Exercise Helps.

4. Find a Friend Who Understands Your Anxiety as a Support.

5. Don’t Google Your Symptoms.

Those five things definitely help me! Not to mention realizing I can only control so much. Diet, exercise, fresh air, supplements, and rest are also key tools to keep me in as control of my health as possible.

So, today when I learned I might need to have something cut open on me— nothing major— I felt anxious. But not like I normally would. Sure, my stomach is grumbly. Sure, I’m worrying about it a bit more than I’d like, but it’s not overtaking me. I am doing what I can to avoid having to do that, and in the meantime, I have as much of a plan as I can. I called a supportive person and that helped also.

The moral of this anxious story? When it comes to anxiety, it’s important to understand what may have triggered your anxiety or reasons for having it. For me, a rough pregnancy and becoming a single parent definitely contributed to my anxious feelings over medical situations. Knowing this and realizing that I tend to worry over these things has allowed me to help take control over my fears and refocus in a more positive way.

Breathe in and Breathe Out,

Laura

4 Things Thoughtful People Always Do

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There are certain things that thoughtful people—friends, lovers and family members — do on instinct and also, well-crafted thought. It’s very easy to tell when someone is particularly thoughtful: that person makes us feel very cared for and loved. Special. We feel safe and also, able to be our true selves, vulnerable and all, when someone is so thoughtful.
Here’s why:

Thoughtful people take action considering your feelings first.

Someone who really cares about you doesn’t make a move without considering how you might feel first. This is the person who knows how nervous you get when going to the doctor’s and in turn, calls you before and after an appointment.
The thoughtful person delivers both good and bad news in a way that considers the other person’s potential comfort level and response first.

Thoughtful People Love to Show You How Much You Mean to Them.

Thoughtful people enjoy expressing their feelings for you whether you’re their best friend or their spouse. When your birthday comes up, that person will be the first to plan a celebration for you. When you get a promotion at work or accomplish a goal, your thoughtful person will be right by your side to celebrate you. And if times are tough, that same person will be there to hold your hand and tell you how much you mean to them.

Thoughtful People Know Their Strengths and Weaknesses As Much As Your Own.

Thoughtful people know their own limitations, as well as the things they excel at. They are able to create a good network of people that complement these strengths and weaknesses, and they are very aware of their loved ones’ flaws and good traits.
In the same vein, they never make their loved ones feel bad for these flaws but instead, help the people they love to get stronger each day and also, support their friends, family members and romantic partners, knowing that somethings are harder for them than others.

Thoughtful People Pay Close Attention.

Thoughtful people are very attentive. They remember things about the ones they love, and try to tune in to their partners and friends emotions and feelings. They work hard on their listening skills. Let’s be honest: many of us are not good listeners. It really is a work in progress for all of us. Thoughtful people try to listen and keep their eyes on the ones they love. They do their best to give them focused and genuine attention, rather than being constantly distracted.

Thinking, Doing, Loving,

Laura