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

A Single Mom Birthday

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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

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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

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

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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.

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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

Why You’re Avoiding the ONE Thing You Really Need

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Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash

The one thing I really, really, really needed to do was meditation.

Not just here and there, but daily. I needed it to help me with anxiety and channel my focus. While I am a disciplined and focused person, I am an anxious person– and time and again, it would be suggested to me to try meditation.

I resisted. And resisted. The few times I had tried it before, it felt like torture. Two minutes felt like two thousand.

Besides, I already worked out, danced and tried to take some “me” time to unwind. Wasn’t that enough?

No. It wasn’t.

So I did something different for a change:

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3 Ways to Deal With Disappointment

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It is really hard when someone or something disappoints us.

When we put our best effort or hopes into anything or anyone, be it a relationship, a new job or a new venture, if it doesn’t work out or things don’t go as planned, it can be difficult to pick up the pieces and start over. Or, forgive and forget and forge ahead. Or even further still, not let the pain get in the way of our own growth.

Everyone feels disappointed now and then. For some of us, disappointment may seem to literally come and come and come– without ceasing to end for a while– but it always does go away.

How we deal with these disappointments are key to how we grow from them.

Here are 3 healthy ways to cope with disappointment:

Take Time Alone to Think

Taking some time on your own to reflect and consider how this disappointment played out is helpful.

Consider:

  • If your expectations were fair
  • If you put your best effort in
  • If there was a way you may have contributed to the situation
  • If there is anything you could do to feel better and heal

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

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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.

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Watching Your Parents Grow Old Is The Hardest Thing Ever

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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.

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How to Deal When People You Care About Make Bad Choices

 

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When dealing with someone who is resistant to what you want, no matter what it is, it’s important to just let it go and let the person “come” to the decision (or not) in his or her own time.

Whether it’s to be a good parent, be a committed loving partner, be healthier, be a helpful friend or simply make good choices for him or herself, it’s difficult to sit back and watch someone be “stuck” in his or her way of thinking.

For example:

-Your friend wants to keep dating an abusive guy– you wish for her to be free.

-Your love interest is amazing and the two of you click– but she is resistant to committing.

-Your co-parent is absent from your kids’ lives, and you want him to be available.

Your family member is sick and not caring for his health– and you’re worried for him.

What’s the common factor in these scenarios?

You want someone to do something, yet the person is resisting what you want.

It’s frustrating as hell, watching someone hurt him/herself or making a choice that’s keeping the person from being happy in the long run.

The hardest part in all of this is accepting that you can’t change your loved ones or people that matter to those you love.

So, what can you do?

When it comes down to it– give them what they want!

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

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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.

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