Hanging By a Rope

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

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

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

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

When The Universe (or Whatever God You Believe in) Places Someone Amazing in Your Path

chuttersnap-TSgwbumanuE-unsplash

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I have had some very hard times over the last six years. I have went through things I never thought I could handle. From long-term unemployment to physical abuse to heartache and legal battles, it was a haul.

To say that I have gotten out of the darkness is an understatement and if it’s not clear, I am very proud of how hard I have worked to be where I am today as a devoted working single mother.

But every now and then, we have someone who helps us on our journey– our twisted paths– that helps us even in the darkest of times.

This person for me, is named Rob.

Rob and I have known each other for about 23 years. We met in a gym years ago, and while at first he was just a very funny, eccentric, smart and quirky man of steel, I have learned– albeit I haven’t cracked the Rob code yet– that he is more than that.

More often than not, he has given me a helping hand, smart advice and an ear.

Over this pandemic, I started training with him virtually and to say that I have seen results doesn’t do it justice. I have seen results.  I am a bit timid  and hard on myself, so I won’t post pics, but I have gotten in solid shape.

If you want to train with him and his program, I guarantee you will get results– just show up! I rarely sing anyone’s praises publicly, so if I am telling you he is good, he is good!

On days that I felt overcome with anxiety about living in a state that is full of COVID-19, I showed up to virtual workouts. On days my stomach hurt or my head hurt because I was tired from working, homeschool and being alone/lonely as a single mom, I showed up to virtual workouts. He and his awesome team, have kept me going. He has encouraged me, offered advice, just been a friend, listened and basically been a steady presence throughout this whole scary freaking mess of quarantine.

I am beyond grateful. There were days I literally told myself– “I can’t miss this workout. I don’t want to let myself down. Or Rob.”

Seeing his face on the other side of the computer … just reminded me I am not as terribly alone as I feel.

So, not only has my body gotten an amazing workout, but my mind and heart has felt a bit less alone in all of this.

Some friends are just more amazing than others– and he really has stood by me in a time when quite honestly, I feel terribly alone doing this with my daughter.

Thank you– to someone who showed up when I needed it. Who has been the true meaning of a friend for me in a time when I am vulnerable and anxious and trying to stay positive and zen.

I hope you all have someone who god, the universe or whatever you believe in– places in your life to help you through. We need each other, now more than ever.

Love,

Laura

6 Things to Remember That Will Give You Hope In Love & Life

greg-rakozy-oMpAz-DN-9I-unsplash

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Sometimes all feels lost, but nothing is ever “all lost.”

There is always a star shining through the darkness. A bit of hope when you feel hopeless.

Hope always exists– if you find it. There is always joy to be found in each day– even when it feels as if life has you in a chokehold.

These X things remind me that there is always something to look forward to, around the bend:

Everything ends eventually

Even a wonderful marriage ends– in death. Even a great friendship ends– the same way.

Everything ends, eventually– good or bad. Remember that the bad times can’t endure forever. Everything shifts and changes. Hold on to your reins and keep riding because eventually, you will have outrode the storm.

Even if you’re single– someone exists for you

There is someone out there for you. Someone who will appreciate and care about you.

You may not know this person yet, but this person exists. All you need is an open heart and mind.

Loneliness is temporary.

Continue reading

Watching Your Parents Grow Old Is The Hardest Thing Ever

micheile-henderson-PpZasS086os-unsplash

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

My grandparents died before I turned 2. I didn’t have the lucky privilege of having them around. So. watching my parents grow older is the first time I’ve truly seen people I love … grow old.

Recently, my mom fell and got emergency hip replacement surgery. Seeing her in extreme pain was horrible. Worrying about her recovery now– although she is improving– is hard.

No one warned me how hard it would be to watch your strong capable parents grow into more vulnerable people.

No one told me how hard it would be to sit and stroke your mom’s hair as if she were a child. Not the other way around.

Between work and caring for my daughter full-time, trying to get to my mom as much as possible has been challenging.

Continue reading

10 Life Lessons I Learned From Being Disappointed

zachary-staines-SuSH-VpBhYA-unsplash.jpg

Photo by ZACHARY STAINES on Unsplash

This week I had a few people disappoint me.

Plus, it was one of the hardest weeks I have had in the past few months. It was the last thing I needed– to be disappointed. Actually, does anyone ever need to be disappointed? No, but this week I just felt I took a real beating. Every day I had like 5-10 challenges. I’ve been trying to be mindfully positive each day as a resolution, and let me tell you this week put me to the test.

So, I’m sitting here and trying to think about some of the life lessons and positive spins I learned from being disappointed– and from this crappy week in general– as a positive take on the whole past seven days. Hopefully it can help someone else going through a rough day or week or, who’s dealing with disappointment.

Everyone makes mistakes, so maybe the person you disappointed still tried his/her best

The person may have had good intentions but perhaps that didn’t come across. No one is perfect. Maybe the person felt he or she was doing the best possible thing for you, even if it wasn’t what you needed.

Being disappointed sometimes shows you who values you and who doesn’t

Someone who values you will try hard to be there for you. Someone who doesn’t is bound to let you down. At least you know now that the person doesn’t care or value you.

Now you know the person lacks feelings and care for you.

Continue reading

The Real Bra Dictionary: From Asymmetrical to Minimizer & Beyond

fahad-waseem-AdjyrNhFVPI-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Fahad Waseem on Unsplash

The first bra I ever bought was in sixth grade. It was white, with a ribbon flower in the middle. Size 28AAA. I didn’t even need it.

I grew up in a house of women—three older sisters and my mother—practically drowning in bras and maxi pads. Wondering when it would be my turn to join the club, I did a few of those “must increase my bust” exercises, knowing full well they didn’t work but also figuring they couldn’t hurt. So when my best friend down the street showed me her new training bra, I refused to wait a second longer.

I stood in the driveway until my mom got home, blocking her car from the garage.

“This is serious business,” I told her.

Read More: The Real Bra Dictionary

Bras, Bras, Bras,

Laura

What Are Your Real Priorities? Check Yourself (& Others)

northfolk-pxNcBLSPSMc-unsplash.jpgPhoto by NORTHFOLK on Unsplash

Priorities. We all have priorities in our life. When people tell me they’re too busy, I secretly add in my head “because it’s not important.” When people decide something is important, they do it.

The same goes for you. If someone decides you are important, he or she will commit to you. The person will make time for you. The person will want to be with you. The person will have no lame excuses  as to why he or she isn’t available.

The same goes for “things.” If being healthy is important, people will make time to be healthy. If being kind is important, people will be kind.

Actions delineate priorities. This makes it easy to see who really cares about you.

People who would rather be with you then be with many partners or alone, care about you.

People who say they’d rather be alone or with many people, don’t give a flying f*ck about you.

Friends who show up when you need help, care.

Friends who reach out and want to connect with you, care.

Continue reading

9 Signs of Serious Depression at the Holidays

warren-wong-q5QXU-97_i0-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

Suicide Prevention Month is technically September but with the holidays rolling around, I thought it might be helpful to talk about it now. Many people feel alone, worthless and stressed at this time of year.

It’s not unusual for people to hit a rock bottom during this time of year. Unfortunately, I have known a few people (mostly from a distance) that took a turn for the worse right around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So, I figured I might compile a list of some symptoms of serious depression so you can all keep an eye on your loved ones or yourselves if needed. A person very close to me lost someone she loved to suicide and it was and is, an unending wound. Hug your loved ones tightly this season and be the supportive ear that person might need!

9 Signs of Serious Depression– Especially at the Holidays

Continue reading