10 Life Lessons I Learned From Being Disappointed

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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.

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A Single Mom’s Christmas (Er, Hanukkah too) List

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Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

The other day my daughter said she was upset because Santa leaves her way more presents than he does for me.

I’m a single parent and also, single. Thankfully, she believes in Santa. Not thankfully, I can only buy so many “fake” presents for myself. I told her that I tell Santa to not bring gifts for me and instead, to leave for her. This seemed to placate her.

In truth, while I wouldn’t mind a pair of diamond earrings, some dance classes and new shoes and a nice coat, I don’t view gifts in the same light as I used to. Or the holidays.

I won’t lie that nice gifts are attractive, but they don’t mean the same thing to me anymore. It’s not a priority for me. When I envision the holidays, I consider the people I will be spending them with and the experiences I will have with them. I would rather have love than diamonds. Time with someone than a gift to unwrap.

Today, as I cleared off my car of the first ice and snow of the season, I was reminded of how great it would be if I had had someone to do it for me while I got my kid ready for school, instead of spending 20 minutes doing it on top of everything else.

And while that’s not the same as seeing the tree in NYC with your partner or sharing champagne on New Year’s, it’s truly just the snapshot of how wonderful having someone great can be. Having someone to be present for you and helpful, is better than a present.

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5 People to Say Goodbye to When You Hit Your Forties

In your twenties, you get to know people outside of your home and community. You get a feel for the world and what society is like. You have usually a diverse group of friends or at least acquaintances, and you’ve got more time to mingle. When you hit your thirties, you’ve solidified much of your core social group or if not, you’re about to do just that. You’re letting your social circle get smaller and at the same time if you get married and or have children, your circle also changes. This change is major. Your social circle is tight and if it’s not that’s a big issue.

To be frank, as a woman, if you don’t have at least one great girlfriend you can count on in your thirties, I implore you to get out there and make one—now!

You are missing out. Sure, guy friends are nice, but truly… a woman needs a few amazing girlfriends, always.

Okay, now that I’ve emphasized the importance of having great girlfriends, what happens to your social circle when you hit your forties?

Read More: 5 People to Say Goodbye to When You Hit Your Forties

Bye-Bye,

Laura

5 Ways Giving Up Can Be A Sign of Strength

One of the first things we tell our children is to “not give up!” So, we hold the same value for ourselves: giving up is a sign of weakness and persisting is a sign of strength and character.

Overall that is a true statement: Persisting and believing in our dreams and goals are positive ways to be! However, sometimes persisting on and on is actually a bad thing. Sometimes, giving up is a sign of strength and an acknowledgment that something you are doing or “persisting at” is not healthy or helpful for you. Throwing in the towel can require more strength sometimes, than to keep on the same path that you’ve been treading forever.

  1. GIVING UP REQUIRES THE STRENGTH WHEN YOU KNOW THE UNRAVELING WON’T BE EASY

     

    Maybe it’s getting a divorce. Maybe it’s leaving your job and finding something new. Maybe it’s cutting off a bad familial relationship. Whatever the case, sometimes giving up is harder and requires more mental strength simply because we know that while giving up the situation is best for us, it will be a tough path to get to where we need to be. For example, with divorce, we know the end result is best for us and our children, but just knowing how tough the process can be getting to that happy new place, is hard to face. So, when you are giving up on something that perhaps you once put a lot of effort and love into, like a marriage, remind yourself that you are not weak: giving up requires strength.

Read More: 5 Ways Giving Up Can Be A Sign of Strength

Let go,

Laura

When Life Gives You Lemons, Tell Life F U And Laugh

Life loves to hand out lemons. Whether you’re rich or poor, young or old, male or female or whatever you choose to identify as, I can guarantee you that life will send some lemons your way, for sure.

And let’s be real: when you’ve gone through a divorce you sort of feel as if you took the whole friggin’ lemon in your mouth and drank sour juice for months on end. Even in the best of divorce situations, we’ve all had a bit of sour taste in our mouth and it’s easy to be depressed and discouraged with puckered lips to boot.

With a show of hands, how many of you have simply felt like you couldn’t handle another thing life handed you? How many of you have felt like it’s never going to get better? Like life is raining little tiny sh*t balls all over you? Feeling like you’re walking around the corner, getting slimed by your worst enemies every day?

Read More: When Life Gives You Lemons, Tell Life F U And Laugh

Adjust Your Crown & Keep Walking,

Laura

I Can Tell You Why “It is Worth the Wait”

One of the hardest things in life is to wait. Wait for an answer. Wait for change. Wait for something you want. Whatever you are waiting for make no mistake about it: it’s hard! There’s no wonder why children find it so hard to be patient…they haven’t had a lifetime of ordeals to teach them that sometimes, you just must wait. If we as adults struggle, there’s no doubt it’s not easy.

But the reality is sometimes you have to wait for what you really, really, really want!

In fact, I’ve noticed that sometimes when I push for something that I really want too hard, I end up not getting it or, getting something that doesn’t quite work out because I wasn’t patient enough to have faith and wait.

Of course, there is also something to be said about waiting too long: you settle. Or, you miss opportunities, but sometimes it’s really worth it to wait for what you want.

So, if you’re finding it either hard to have faith or hard to wait for something, consider these reasons for waiting it out.

Because it’s Not Good When Sloppy Mistakes Are Made

When you don’t wait, sloppy mistakes are made. Sure, sometimes time is of the essence and you have to act hastily, but consider dating or finalizing your divorce.

Some of us were too hasty to settle down and ended up with the wrong person.

Some of us rushed our divorces and ended up with an agreement that was less than stellar or perhaps, was more problematic due to the speed.

Whatever the case, when you wait, fewer mistakes can be made. You can be more careful and in this case, it ends up being worth the wait.

Read More: I Can Tell You Why “It is Worth the Wait” 

Be Patient,

Laura

How Learning How to Ask for Help Made Me Stronger

First things, first: I am not so stubborn that if my arm is about to fall off, I won’t ask for help. I will ask for help…with certain things. Certain things are easier for me to ask than others, but overall, I find it hard to ask for something that I really need from people I care about.

Asking an employer or someone I hired to do something I can do. But asking people within my life and community for help is much harder. For example, there were quite a few times I probably should have gone to the food bank instead of using limited funds for food. Pride kept me from going…and also, I didn’t want people to know in my small town that I was not doing so well. I also felt my ex would be more punitive if he knew.
So, there were logical reasons to resist, but there were also damn good reasons I should have gone to the food bank. Either way, we ate and no one went hungry…but still, I noted my pride.

Applying for state health care was also something I truly abhorred. I felt terrible. How could this happen to me? Well, it did. Life happened. Medical bills. Ex fiascos. Lawyers. Childcare. Caring for my daughter. Unemployment stints.

Life happens. And when it happens to the best of us as it all does, you must know how to ask for help. Period.

Asking for help made me stronger because…

Read More: How Learning How to Ask for Help Made Me Stronger

Stronger,

Laura

7 Ways to Build Gratitude For Your Life After Divorce

” … you can build your gratitude muscle by consciously choosing to be more grateful, and thereby you will be happier.” (Harvard study finds strong link between gratitude and happiness – http://www.phillyvoice.com/harvard-study-finds-strong-link-between-gratitude-and-happiness/)

It can be hard to have gratitude for your life after a divorce because so much of it can look so greatly different than your life did before, and some of it may not be happy changes. And if you have kids, they could be struggling with the same feelings. There’s always the feeling that you “lose” when you divorce because, in reality, you do usually lose money, objects, time with kids and properties, etc. You actually lose things.

However, we wouldn’t divorce if we felt we would simply just lose, lose, and lose. The flip side to all of this sad sack stuff is you win when you divorce. You really do. And if you find these “wins” then you will really be able to build true gratitude into your life after divorce.

When you are feeling like a grouchy sore loser, do these things to feel like a winner again!

1) Remind Yourself of Your “Wins”:

I don’t mean your literal wins like alimony or getting the family home…I mean the wins of divorce that you can’t see or touch. The wins of divorce that are daily manifestations of how you live after the divorce like:

– Winning peace in your home—no more fighting!

– Winning the chance at love again…the right love, and not the wrong one!

– Winning focused and concentrated time with your kids in which you can parent and breathe easier when you’re with them.

– Winning the chance of starting your life over again. Just think about all the miserably married people in the world who wouldn’t love that shot!

Read More: 7 Ways to Build Gratitude For Your Life After Divorce

Winning,

Laura

6 Life Lessons I Learned From Ballet

I always wanted to dance. Growing up, I wished to be enrolled in ballet but at the time, my parents couldn’t afford to send me. My older sisters had gone before me but financial fortune was not on my side. Once I hit high school and my parents could afford it, I started classes right away. When I went to college, I took more classes but still, I wasn’t good enough to make a living from dance so I eventually stopped.

But ballet is just so beautiful, it didn’t matter to me if I was the best or the worst. It felt great doing it. So finally, after a divorce, two moves, health issues, and a year from hell, I signed up again for an adult ballet class.

For just one hour a week, my financial stress, single-mom woes, dating dilemmas, ex-husband hassles, and other life stuff just melts away. My noisy brain is silent and strictly focused on assemblé, battement, and more. Every motion has my complete attention. I can’t bother to be sad, stressed, or think about the 50 million things on my to-do list. All I can be is in that very pose or position, whether in center or at the barre. Ballet’s beauty goes beyond the confines of the classroom; there are so many life lessons I have learned from my time dancing.

Read More: 6 Life Lessons I Learned From Ballet

 

Dance On,

Laura