The Places I Go To Cope With Tough Times

We all have tough times in which we feel as if we will never resurface to the other “peaceful” and happy side. We all have times in which the hits seem to keep coming and the hell seems never-ending. It is hard to summon hope and sustain a positive outlook in the middle of strife, stress, and disappointment. Keeping your thoughts positive when you’re basically sitting in the middle of a metaphorical pile of crap isn’t easy, but it’s necessary.

At some point, when you’re feeling stressed, you need to take matters into your own hands and find ways to shut out the madness and bask in some quiet time and peace.
For me, I have a few places that I turn to for stress relief, peace and quiet and a break from reality. As a single parent whose job is to provide emotional and financial stability for my daughter, I feel it is in my job title to maintain my own emotional health. Ultimately, as parents we need to teach our kids how to cope with emotions and tough times, so never, ever, ever feel selfish for taking care of yourself. Like the old airplane adage, if you don’t have your emergency mask on, how can you put your child/children’s mask/s on?

Here are my go-to places when I need “Serenity Now…”

Read More: The Places I Go To Cope With Tough Times 

Finding Peace,

Laura

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4 Reasons Not Giving A F*** Has Made Me Happier

There’s this popular book out there called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Mansonthat is on everyone’s lips, and it’s not just because of the provocative title.

It’s the reality that so many of us care about everything—what people think. How we stack up to other people. How we handle tough times. How we manage stress. We care, care and care so hard and often, we are left depleted by caring and fretting over stuff that we cannot change.

While I haven’t read this book, my first thought was how it was interesting a man wrote this. I say this only because women seem to care so much more about what others think than men do, albeit I’ve done no scientific research to back up that fact.

I can just say with my own honesty that I’ve spent a lot of time in my life caring and giving so many f*cks and often about people and things that I shouldn’t have blinked twice about that it is a vital life lesson to learn not to give an F.

It’s hard. I am sensitive. I am emotional and passionate. I love people. I like people to like me. But as I’ve gotten older, I have learned how important it is to stop caring about what I cannot change and not worry about what others think about me as much.

Read More: 4 Reasons Not Giving A F*** Has Made Me Happier

Not Giving One F,

Laura

6 Things That Keep You From Moving On

Are you separated? Newly-divorced? Struggling to find some happiness and a life of peace and joy? There are certain things that will hold you back from having the life you want. Some of these things you may not even realize are impacting you, whereas others may be more obvious.

If you’re not as happy as you hoped you would be, here are some potential things keeping you down and preventing your progress.

1. NOT FINALIZING YOUR DIVORCE

Stalling your divorce is not going to help you. Hanging onto the marriage and drawing out the separation is only going to impede your progress. Of course, you don’t want to rush a divorce agreement, but stalling or thinking that making it legal doesn’t matter, is a bad move.

It will keep you from cutting ties and starting afresh.

Read More: 6 Things That Keep You From Moving On 

Move On, Friend,

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

Why Don’t I Have What Everyone Else Has?

When you get a divorce, the comparisons will increase. Many of us compare ourselves to our friends, but when your life sort of falls apart and you have to make a new one, it’s very easy to start wondering why your marriage ended. Why you are struggling or heartbroken. Why you can’t make your ends meet. It’s very easy to get engaged in a metaphorical war of “Why don’t I have whatever everyone else has?”

But engaging in a pity party/comparison war isn’t going to make you happier. It’s just a bunch of negative energy that you don’t need. With every comparison you make, you’re literally throwing your own damn self into the gutter. Quit it!

The next time you go to compare what you have to someone else, engage in this exercise. I guarantee you it will help your view point on life and your attitude, post-divorce.

 

1- You Don’t Have Cancer

Now you may indeed, have health problems, but if you don’t, remind yourself that that’s right! You don’t have what everyone else has! You don’t have cancer. You aren’t sick. You are healthy and capable of caring for yourself and your kids, if you’re a parent.

You feel healthy and well. You are able to make a living. Many people do not have that honor. Watching my friend’s mother go through chemotherapy and radiation reminded me that even if I couldn’t pay for my groceries, heck—I am healthy!

Read More: Why Don’t I Have What Everyone Else Has?

You Have More Than You Think,

Laura

10 Reasons to Believe in Yourself Even When Nothing Is Going Right

The past year has been a series of event after event, after event. I feel like all I did was micromanage a series of paperwork, insurance companies, and other paper trails, or put out fires, whether it was helping a loved one of mine or dealing with damage control of some kind or the other. Financially? Just as hard . . . probably the hardest year I have ever had as a single mother. There were many times where I thought to myself . . .

“When is it going to get better?”

And:

“I’m just failing.”

I really doubted if I could handle “one more thing,” yet there was life, handing out “one more thing” to me again . . . and again . . . and again!

Here is the good news: I handled it. I am still handling it, and contrary to those negative thoughts of mine, I am not failing. Failing is really just not trying, right? Well, I try. I do more than try. I persist, resist, and insist on moving ahead. But the one thing that really saved me were the friends who told me that it would get better. Eventually, I too started to believe that it would get better and that I could do this.

“See?” said one of my best friends, “Look at all you are doing and handling with such class. I am proud of you.” I could do it. Even when times really suck, you need to believe that you will prevail no matter the circumstance, because if you believe it, you will be victorious!

Read More: 10 Reasons to Believe in Yourself Even When Nothing Is Going Right

It Gets Better,

Laura

10 Things I Could Only Learn From Marrying The Wrong Person

There are some things in life that you won’t learn until you screw up badly or take a major risk. It’s taking that risk or making those mistakes that help you become who you are. Without those mistakes and failures, you’d be a fragment of who you are today.

Yes, you read that right! Your failures can really break you, but more importantly, they can make you.

Think about the last time someone gave you advice, especially in matters of the heart. Did you take it? Think about your last breakup. If someone had stopped you right before you committed to this person and said, “It’s going to end, so don’t bother,” would you have listened to him or her, or went ahead and married the wrong person?

You would have done what you wanted to. Had someone tried to stop me from getting married, I would have told them to screw off.

The reality is while I did love my former husband and wanted it to work out, we were not meant for each other. We couldn’t have lasted a lifetime, but without marrying him, I wouldn’t have learned so many things.

By taking the risk and getting married to the wrong person, I gained so much. A beautiful daughter and many life lessons that made me who I am today. Lessons that I could only have learned by marrying the wrong person.

 

Read More: 10 Things I Could Only Learn From Marrying The Wrong Person

Lessons Learned,

Laura

Finding Treasure Among The Trash

My one-year divorce-aversary is coming up quickly.

It’s made me stop to think about the year and overall, it’s been a rough one.

Every time I thought I had things under control, life would pull the rug under me and laugh saying, “Not so fast, blondie.”

There were some moments in which I thought—I just can’t do this. Many moments. The feeling was overwhelming, but then suddenly, I turned a corner. Not that I don’t sometimes feel defeated about caring for myself and my daughter on my own…not that I don’t look at my bank account and think, “When does it get better?” because I do… a lot.

Not that I don’t think, when another issue comes up with my ex, “What now?”

But that I believe wholeheartedly that I will manage it. Somehow, I managed when I thought I couldn’t during numerous moments throughout this year. And honestly, out of the three years we have been done with our marriage, this one was the hardest by far—proving that no two divorce journeys are alike.

And here it is spring. A time of new growth. A time of warmer sun. A time of longer days.

And for the first time, I will be without my child for six whole nights.

Originally when we split, we shared her time 50/50, and it was challenging making a life for myself when she was gone with dad. Then as her dad started to take less and less and less time with her, suddenly, it was the two of us again, attached at the hip just like we had been when I was a stay-at home mom.

I’ve never been apart from my daughter for this long. I’ve never missed the chance to dye eggs or see the bunny in time for Easter. It’s this time of the year that I am most sentimental about missing my stay-at home days with her… she just turned six and I still remember those days…the ones rocking her in her chair, her nursing to sleep. The ones in which we hopped from park to park, drawing on the sidewalks, writing letters, and swinging on swings…climbing to the top and me wondering if she wasn’t going just a little too high…or not.

How quiet the house is going to be for six whole nights…getting used to that silence. Getting used to being alone with my own thoughts.

 

Read more: Finding Treasure Among The Trash

Diamond in the Rough,

Laura

There’s A Difference Between Giving Up And Saying, ‘I’ve Had Enough’

There is a fine line between being done with love, giving up before you should pull the plug, and ending a bad situation when you’ve hit that “f*ck this” point. There’s a difference between defeat and the admission of failure before you’ve even given something a chance, and finally getting tired of a circus act and throwing in the towel.

Giving up is a failure. It’s backing out of something due to fear of failure, anxieties of many kinds, or low self-esteem.

Cutting off a dead-end situation isn’t a failure. It’s a victory. It’s admitting that something or someone in your life is bad for you, to you or with you. It’s deciding to win. It’s making a better choice.

When you give up, you are cutting off a place or piece of you before it’s even begun. It’s the career you really wanted but were too afraid to go for. It’s meeting someone and feeling butterflies in the pit of your belly and running away because you don’t want him to end up like the others. It’s trying to achieve a fitness goal but realizing it’s going to take a lot of work and you’re too discouraged.

Giving up is when you see that your end result — whether it’s true love, more money, the better career — is difficult, time-consuming or risky, and you decide to back out before the curtains have even been pulled.

Read More: There’s A Difference Between Giving Up And Saying, ‘I’ve Had Enough’

Is it Failure or Victory?

Laura