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

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

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

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

What If Nothing Is Really Worth It?

https://unsplash.com/@crawford

The other weekend, I found myself in the woods with someone I’ll call a friend as there is no real word to describe him. It was a beautiful day and a nice hike together.
Of course, I had a great and special time. It was a beautiful evening and late afternoon. But a few times as I walked an occasional muddy path, I thought back to a really horrible memory for me. At 14, I was basically taken advantage of by a 22 year old male. Thirty years later, I can still envision myself lying in the leaves that late summer evening. I can remember wanting it to stop.

This wasn’t the “Me Too” days. This was the “It’s My Fault” decade, where women and girls and men and boys alike all remained silent about these things.
I shook the memories off, and was able to fully enjoy the time with my friend who is at times, very creative and thoughtful with plans. This was a surprise trip and a thoughtful one at that. I wanted to go back with my friend and expressed it right away. We were hiking or walking mostly on a flat path amongst a garden and the woods. It was really special. It gave the woods a better definition for me— superseding those bad memories which have left a mark on my mind that will never go away. No one tells you that. That the memories never leave but the power they once had does— if you work on it.


Lately, I have felt a struggle to stay on an enlightened and positive path. I have made huge progress and gotten so far and I’m proud of that, but I keep falling and stumbling anyway, without fail. Perhaps it’s the isolation of COVID, or maybe it’s being a single parent for a long almost seven years, but I wonder if I have anything to offer. If anything I’m writing resonates or clicks within others. I wonder if I’m really connecting with people. I see myself hitting roadblocks and nothing I do seems to get me past them, despite the fact that I work very hard. If you know me, you know I’m a dedicated friend and partner and parent. That when I commit to something, anything— I really commit to it. That’s why I drive almost an hour to train weekly. Because I’m committed.

But I have to wonder if all my hard work is really getting me anywhere and if my writing really natters anymore. If I matter anymore. Maybe it’s best I just go dark and stop writing. Maybe I’m not really offering anything to anyone.
In the small of my mind where it is quiet and dim, I feel a real loss and feel directionless and hopeless at times.

Everyone feels stuck. Everyone feels darkness and hard times. The question I’m wondering is when it ends? And when does someone’s years of dedication and hard work really pay off? When do things pay off for me?

Maybe though me writing is not adding up to anything. Maybe there is nothing left to say because, nothing has changed for me. To develop, I need new experiences and I feel I’m not finding them. I feel defeated.

Peace and love is solely underestimated. To me, it’s the only things worth living for. Without peace of mind and love, life is worthless. Money can only carry someone so far.

love,

Laura

5 Ways I’m Committing to Myself and My Happiness

I have realized how important it is to prioritize my happiness and my child’s, especially during this pandemic. Life really seems to be a repeat of the same day sometimes, and the relative or moderate isolation we experience in comparison to our former lives is difficult.
I just couldn’t waste another minute being counter productive to my happiness in a time when things are already so terribly difficult and uncertain. These are the 5 things I’m doing to prioritize myself and my well being and happiness.

Meditation

This practice keeps me in the moment. It teaches me how to focus, relax and be mindful of how my emotions play into how I feel, physically and mentally.

Not Compromising

It’s important to me to make sure I get what I deserve. Meaning, I’m treated the way I should be. I won’t comprise on settling for less when I deserve the best. I won’t tolerate being friends or dating someone who doesn’t truly show me how important I am and show me how he or she values me. In the same vein, I promise to give myself back to others what they deserve. I promise to be a great friend and partner, giving others my full attention. This is what meditation also helps with— staying in the moment.

Movement

Whether it’s weight training with IFS or stretching or doing yoga, dance … committing to moving my body and caring for it is very vital to my happiness. This also means taking rest days. Taking time to stretch. I’ve injured myself by pushing myself too hard and I can’t afford to do that.

Boundaries

This means not answering work emails late at night at ten pm— unless urgent obviously. I have to be present at work but also, present for my kid. This is so important right now. This also means requiring any freelance clients to not short change me, ask me to do free work or walk all over me. This means telling people what I want, what I don’t want and what I won’t settle for. It means abiding by my values and needs. Asking for what I need and not feeling bad about it.

Daily Way

To be happy, living day by day is the way. When I look too far ahead, sometimes even just a week ahead, I feel anxious and sad considering how the world currently is today. By living in the moment and in the day, I am more present to myself and others.

With love,

Laura

When a Night Out Isn’t Just a Night Out: Life During COVID-19

8781D414-5DE0-4289-8624-706D17B7FF90

It’s amazing how quickly we adapt to a new way of living. I almost can’t remember a time before this pandemic. As an extrovert, being isolated or relatively isolated has been challenging. I really enjoy working from home as I am very organized and good at time management, so it works for me, but I miss seeing my friends. I miss having normalcy for my daughter especially, as well.

But it’s almost as if this is the way it’s been for a year or more— not just five months.
Wearing a mask that matches your outfit sort of makes sense now. I haven’t really had a use for masks other than the quick trip to the drive thru or at the beach boardwalk, but I started to realize that if I’m going to need masks, I might as well make them cute.

82878F41-2579-464F-8522-0D6EFACBF94A

Tonight was the first night in a long time that I got to enjoy dinner out. It wasn’t crowded, I was masked and I felt comfortable. I was worried it would be too mobbed but since it was a weekday evening, I made out well.

I came home happy. It had been such a long time since I got to enjoy a meal and socialize. I realize that this pandemic has been harder on me than I thought. A lot harder. The isolation has been intense. I miss my family and sadly, I can’t see them as my parents are high-risk. Worse, someone I love has dementia, and I could be missing out on the last precious moments of this person’s cognizance thanks to COVID-19.

This is how it is though— for now. I decided to stop looking to the future and instead, focus on the day. Yes, much like the alcoholic’s anonymous credo, (and nope, I’m not a drinker and never was—- I’m a two drink date!) I’ve decided to focus on one day at a time. And for today, it felt a bit like old times, albeit in a very pretty tie-dye mask. I’m willing to bet Barbie would wear my very outfit and mask.

Hugs to All Of You Alone and Lonely,

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

Socially Distant Dates: Are You Going on Them or Avoiding Altogether?

mike-benna-SBiVq9eWEtQ-unsplashPhoto by Mike Benna on Unsplash

It’s a very weird time to be single and I’ve spoken to quite a few people who all have a different take on single life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some people, have said they have taken a break from online dating altogether. The idea of managing online dating while dealing with their various circumstances during the pandemic is too much. Others don’t feel comfortable at all meeting even 6 feet apart and others still, find the video calling and potentially long waits of meeting in person not worth delving into online at this time.

Others have taken the circumstances to work to their advantage: I know quite a few people are meeting in parks or speaking to each other from porches or stoops.  Other people still, are video calling or chatting via phone before meeting either in person at a park or, when restrictions are lifted. Some relationships are even taking off: from a socially distant park meet up, to deciding to socially distance together, including the new person in their social circle of who they will interact with during this public health crisis. I have to say that having a buddy and partner must make this  whole isolation easier and I commend people for making it happen during such a bleak time.

There is a lot to consider before making a call like this:

  • How safe do you feel meeting someone in a park? Meeting during the day is the best bet in an active park. Make sure someone knows where you are, who you are meeting and what time you’ll be back.
  • How much protection will you use? Meaning, will you wear a mask or just keep your distance or both?
  • How willing are you to even meet someone at this time? Not willing? Very willing?
  • How ready are you to incorporate a new person into your life?

I would love to hear people’s stories, opinions and experiences in the comments!

You could help someone make that call– many people are on the fence about what to do during this time.

Lots of Love,

Laura

11 Things That Make Me Happy During the Covid-19 Outbreak

cibao-chua-7hohUWqBqU4-unsplashhttps://unsplash.com/@cibaochua
It probably sounds ironic to mention the word happy next to Covid-19, but if you’re home social distancing … you’ve got to find some semblance of happiness or you’ll go crazy. And that’s ok,too: losing your mind at times is pretty normal also.

With that said, you have to find the silver linings in all of this or you won’t ever be “ok.”

For me, it’s the following things:

Tyson Chicken

A friend brought me a bag of this crispy Tyson chicken, and I just love it. Even when I’m not hungry due to stress, I’m always in the mood for more CHICKEN.

Tea and a Good Book

I love chai tea and I love to read. These two creature comforts make me feel more relaxed.

Sweet Messages

My one friend always makes a point to send me positive messages, telling me I’m doing great taking care of my little lady or that he thought I looked great and am working hard during a virtual workout.

Continue reading