A Bad, Horrible, No- Good Weekend Day

https://unsplash.com/@ryanxbraxton

I was looking forward to the weekend, until it just seemed to go not as I had hoped. And normally, two bad disappointing days could be just that. Two bad disappointing days. No biggie. But in today’s day and age where Covid has kept us from our normal lives, it’s harder to get past disappointment and sadness. It’s harder because we’re more isolated. And when I do speak to my friends, there isn’t much to say. I’m home most of the time raising my kid. Sometimes it’s easier to not talk rather than rattle on about the mundaneness of it all.

My daughter and I saw my parents outside for five minutes masked the other day, and could tell my mom didn’t seem herself, although she was happy to see us. Maybe this is just how it is when you are losing your memory. Whatever the case, it was just such a fleeting visit and how it has to be during these times. But it’s hard knowing I don’t know when I’ll be able to spend time with my parents again and how my mom will be cognitively at that point. My dad has taken over many things — things my mom once did. Noticing these things it’s like tiny moments of grief for me. Grieving I can’t call her and talk like we once did. Grieving I didn’t realize this would happen.

And as I write this, a family member is in the hospital recovering from a painful and emotionally difficult surgery. One that will take a long time to recover. Nobody can visit and honestly, right now is not the time to step foot in the hospital unless mandatory. The feeling of powerlessness that I can’t help this person is huge. The hope that finally, my family member will feel better after years of sickness, is what I’ve got carrying me through this, hoping she gets better. She’s a good person and desperately needs a break.
Some days I feel like the good people never get a break. We’re not appreciated. We’re not truly ever lifted up as we should be. But that’s how I feel today. Maybe tomorrow will be better. It’s a new chance. A new day. Maybe.

Today was just one of those days where I felt down, hopeless, upset and defeated. Where you’re down and just don’t know what to think anymore.
Then, I somehow hurt my back over the weekend and the pain radiated to my hip, making me feel a bit queasy. However, I pushed through and did everything I had to do today not asking for help once and I ended up paying the price feeling worse at the end of the day.
In the end, a heating pad, meditation, some ice cream and one of my favorite Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes, were my go- to’s to try and help me feel a little less down and a little less discouraged in mankind.

Did it work? Maybe. Not really. Not sure. That’s ok. Maybe I don’t know how I’m really feeling.
One minute, I’m grieving my daughter’s lack of normalcy and the next I am thankful for being healthy. A sore back is something I can take care of.
Another minute, I’m thankful for the good people in my life, and the next I am doubting my worth.

But they say it’s darkest before the dawn so I’m just going to hope things get better. The reality is nothing is permanent. Everything changes. At some point, there will be light! Meditation teaches us impermanence. Nothing stays the same. This moment is different than the next.

Breathe Deep,

Laura

7 Easy Little Things She Wishes You Would Do (That Mean A Lot)

https://unsplash.com/@lonwake

We often overlook the little things that occur, thinking they’re not important when really, they mean so much to the other person. And sometimes, it’s when we ignore or forget to do those little things that the people we love feel unloved or not appreciated.

Funny enough, people often say women are so complicated but really, there are so many little things that we women appreciate that aren’t big gestures or grand gifts.

If you care about a special woman, here are 7 little easy things she wishes you would do to show her she’s important that will mean so much to her:

Make Dinner and Add Candles

Don’t ask her what to make. Just cook or order in, add candles and invite her over to relax. You can also bring the dinner to her or if you live together, tell her it’s on you tonight.

Wish Her Good Morning or a Good Day

We all get so busy that it’s hard to find time to communicate but a quick good morning text, kiss or call is always sweet.

Tell Her She’s Special or You’re Thinking About Her

It’s always nice to hear that you are special or that someone you care about is thinking about you.

Encourage Her After a Rough Day

When she’s had a bad day, supoort is always appreciated whether it’s a hug or word of encouragement.

Draw Her a Bath or Give Her a Massage

When she’s tired and has no energy, a bath or massage or both are small lovely gestures that will mean so much to her.

Surprise Her With Quality Time Together

A little surprise time together will uplift her spirits and make her feel that she is important to you.

Help Her Without Her Having to Ask

Your helping hands could mean so much, especially if you offer to help and she hasn’t asked.

Little Things Are The Big Things,

Laura

When You Feel Not Good Enough

https://unsplash.com/@khachiksimonian

Today was a hectic long day. And at the end of the day before my daughter visited her grandparents, we rushed to put up the tree as I promised. Lately, I feel like I’m burning the candle at both ends. I was exhausted, but I wanted to fulfill my promise to get the tree up. In this crazy COVID-19 world, I’ve been doing my best to try and give my daughter some sense of normalcy while also trying to find some happiness in my own daily life. Some days I succeed, and other days I just feel like I don’t.
I was crabby today and I didn’t want to be, but I had a horrible week and the exhaustion just hit me.

Try as I might to stay upbeat all day between monitoring my daughter’s learning and day and getting up the tree, I just ended the day feeling defeated and empty. I tried positive thinking but I ended up sitting here picking apart everything possibly about myself. What I did today. Where I am in my life. How I look. Picking apart my looks. Minding my age. Picking apart that, too. What I ate. What I didn’t eat. What I said. What I didn’t say. Where I’m going. Where I need to be. Money. What I have and don’t have.

After all of that thinking, here I am just feeling not good enough. Some days are just like that. And when you’re operating as a strong individual person trying to raise another person to be capable and happy on your own, sometimes it never feels enough. Sometimes it just feels lonely and insignificant to everything everyone else seems to be achieving.

Not All Days Are Sunny Ones,

Laura

How a Single Mom Gets a Medical Procedure

Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash

Here’s the answer. She doesn’t get the procedure done.

I need a test– procedure– under anesthesia in early 2021, however, I have no one to take me. I certainly wouldn’t ask my elderly parent during COVID-19– especially since one of my parents is caring for the other parent, who has dementia.

This is why it unnerves me when people comment how I am strong and independent. I know this. I don’t need a team of people to remind me. I am very comfortable on my own– minus repairs and manual labor. And admittedly, I would love if Lenny Kravitz could do any and all of the home repairs as that man is perfect, but I digress.

It is upsetting to never have a guaranteed person to be there for you. I am strong because I know I cannot rely on anyone and that is a shame.

So the answer is, I will probably not get the procedure/test I need. It is one that tests for cancer that I need every 5 years due to an issue I had almost 15 years ago and I cannot UBER or drive myself.

Then to make my anxiety particularly active, I need to go for general bloodwork to check for anemia. If that comes back badly again, alas, I will need a different larger procedure perhaps.

Overall though, I am grateful that I am overall, healthy, fit and can do renegade push-ups like no other 100 lb woman can.

I feel good generally, and I care for myself. I try to self-care. I try to contribute to the good of society during this pandemic by being careful and following scientific guidelines.

But this strong capable person could use another person sometimes, and I don’t feel bad for admitting it.

Lovingly,

Laura

We All Need to Be Cared For

https://unsplash.com/@priscilladupreez

No matter how old we are or how independent and capable we may be, we all need someone to be there for us. Sure, there are people who protest and say they don’t need anyone and that they’re “OK” on their own, but the reality is none of us is an island.

We all crave human touch, companionship, love, passion and connection. Without it, let’s admit it: we would be pretty boring people. It’s why people take so much time and effort to pursue love, romance, sex and friendship. If it wasn’t so intoxicating, amazing and transformative, nobody would be running after it, writing songs about it, or discussing it in detail with their friends.

When we don’t feel cared for, we are often at our worst. We feel anxious, unsure and misunderstood. We feel alone, powerless and intimidated. These feelings stem into depression or general anxiety. It bleeds into our everyday lives. Not having that connection can feel like you’re on an island or swimming in a turbulent ocean with the undertow taking you further and further away from the rest of the world. This isn’t to say that we need someone else’s care and love in order to be successful and happy, but that with love and available people in our lives, we become the best versions of ourselves. Because when we have people who do not care for us or treat us well, it does dim our light. This is why it is so crucial that we care for others and that we allow ourselves to be cared for and in return, that we give love back.
Having that love is like having a homebase: without a homebase, you will feel adrift, anxious and uncertain. This is the place where we feel our least “best.” It affects our mental health and wellness. But when we have that homebase— that love and care in our lives, we grow long, strong roots and reach out towards the sky with all the potential that is in us. This is what helps us grow and shapes our self-view and stability for the days to come.

Love Others and Yourself,

Laura

6 Tips to Help You—and Your Family—Sleep Better During the Pandemic

Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash

If your family’s sleep habits have been out of whack since the COVID-19 pandemic began, you’re not alone. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the stress brought on by an infectious disease outbreak can lead to changes in sleep patterns, difficulty sleeping, and worsening of mental health conditions.

As a single mom, I can tell you first-hand that getting a good night’s sleep has been a real challenge for me these last seven months. There were many times I’d wake up in the middle of the night with worry and then struggle to get back to sleep. (Thankfully, my daughter’s sleep has remained mostly stable, with a few nights here and there of tossing and turning due to anxiety.)

Read More: 6 Tips to Help You—and Your Family—Sleep Better During the Pandemic

Peaceful Slumber,

Laura

What If What You Believe About Yourself Is a Lie?

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

The other morning I did my usual morning meditation but chose a guided meditation on self-esteem. One of the questions asked was what is a negative view or thought we hold of ourselves? Typically these negative viewpoints/thoughts come from an experience, person or time in our childhood or adolescence. Right away, I knew what that negative thought was. We were told to think on it… to decide if we felt if it was true. To consider if we are ready to let that thought or view go, or if we are ready to consider that that thought we have about ourselves may be completely false.

I knew exactly from the moment it was asked what negative view I’ve held of myself for quite some time. I know exactly– or about where this thought originated from– or how it grew into a monstrous bad belief/self- view. As I meditated, I started to cry. I realized that for many, many, many years, I have held onto this thought or belief, including being surrounded by one or two people back in my past who confirmed this negative self-belief of mine.

It’s funny. We often don’t know why negative or bad people come into our lives, but I think it often stems from our own bad beliefs of ourselves. These negative people confirm our own bad thoughts about ourselves. The experience then “confirms” that we are indeed, bad or not good. We then continue to choose bad people who then repeatedly confirm these negative thoughts … these people then provide us with bad experiences and so we say, “Look! I told you. I am horrible. If I weren’t horrible, this wouldn’t have happened.”

This is why it is so key to have self-love and self-esteem. When we love ourselves and care for ourselves, we pick partners, people and friends in our lives who love us and care for us. I have noticed that since my divorce, I have chosen better people and better situations for myself because my self-esteem has improved. I am attracted to good people—and I spend my time with only good people. Good men and good women. I distance myself from people who don’t make me feel comfortable, and I spend time with people who make me feel happy and good. I am no longer attracted to “bad boys” as I was in my twenties, and I find good men– kind hearted folks, appealing.

Self-esteem really is everything. Ask yourself if what you believe about yourself is really true… or not.

Lovingly,

Laura

Forgiving Yourself Is As Important As Forgiving Others

https://unsplash.com/@thenata

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

A Single Mom Birthday

https://unsplash.com/@angelekamp

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

https://unsplash.com/@artbyhybrid

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