Hanging By a Rope

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I’ve had a minor health issue for a while, which didn’t bother me terribly until recently. It got worse and was causing a lot of pain and discomfort.

I went to my doctor, who then referred me to a surgeon/specialist and then another specialist. Everyone had something different to say– and all of my “options” come with pluses and serious minuses. I also can just do nothing– or try something minor to see if I notice any difference, which I may or may not notice at all. Oh– and of course, comes with side effects of its own.

I left each appointment feeling more overwhelmed. Worse, when I met with the surgeon, I didn’t think to bring someone with me to ask questions while I sat dazed, overwhelmed and tired trying to follow everything he said. I ended up forgetting to ask a bunch of questions in the meantime, wishing I had afterwards.

Since no one could give me a clear direction on what to do and left it in my hands, I’ve been feeling like I am hanging .. by a thread or dangling by a rope, waiting for some kind of lifeline or answer to come. So far, I’ve just felt mostly paralyzed with indecision.

And then, when I came to a conclusion or a treatment plan or sorts, I then came up against the biggest roadblock: lack of support and help. Trying to coordinate what would happen for my kid and me if I had a procedure in the hospital has been as stressful as seeing the doctors. And feeling that lack of support, I just decided it was better to do nothing.

Until I decided to do further testing … with the hopes that further testing will give me a clearer picture of what I need to do, lifting this sort of indecisive grip that’s come over me. I am just as worried that doing nothing will end up with me feeling worse or regretting that I did nothing.

It’s amazing though what a lack of support can do to a person. It has really caused me to retreat and feel defeated before I’ve even begun. It truly takes someone who actually gives a sh*t to support someone through medical stuff, and I guess I haven’t met someone who actually does give a sh*t yet, sadly. I do know that it could be worse. And for the most part, I am living a healthy life and am active. I try to remind myself of that every day. But the indecision and lack of support, sucks.

Hanging On,

Laura

A Bad, Horrible, No- Good Weekend Day

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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)

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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

How a Single Mom Gets a Medical Procedure

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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

Someone Who Deserves You

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Someone who deserves you …

Feels honored to be by your side.
Is proud of you.
Loves showing you off to friends and family and the world.

Shows you deep respect and care.

Is kind to you.

Wants to spend time with you and not just for his or her own needs.

Expresses love to you.

Works on him or herself to be the best person he or she can be— not just for you, but for themselves as well.

Doesn’t take you for granted.

Wants you to stick around.

Can’t imagine life without you.

Appreciates you and attempts to understand you.

Listens to you.

Makes the effort to be available to you.

❤️
Laura