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

Under the Knife: Dealing With Medical Anxiety

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As a kid, I had no fear of doctors or dentists. I had Lymes Disease as a teen, and I barely fussed when they came to my house to put in a PICC line. My dad on the other hand, almost fainted.
When I had to go for an MRI to check for a potential brain tumor, I thought it was too enclosed, but I dealt with it and wasn’t nervous about the tests.
Boy, have times changed me!

i’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I would say my anxiety towards medicine, doctors and being sick really started when I was pregnant and had Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Things started happening to me that I had never experienced. I’ve never been in a hospital so much in my life until that time. A few years prior, someone in my family had gotten really sick. A few years prior to even that, another family member had quite a few major surgeries and Cancer. I think as we get older, it’s more likely that we will deal with illness and health issues. My experience with Lymes taught me that I had some drug allergies, but I rarely complained. I got blood work constantly and I wasn’t anxious, but did want to get better.

Now as an adult and single mom, I’ve learned I have many allergies to medications and I really get anxious when it comes to medical situations. I think getting a divorce and becoming a single parent through the years also heightened my level of anxiety: I must be ok so I can be here for my daughter.

I’ve learned a few things though to help manage these fears, and it’s a work in progress always:

1. Don’t Google Your Symptoms.

2. Meditation Helps You Manage Anxiety.


3. Taking Charge of Your Health Through Diet and Exercise Helps.

4. Find a Friend Who Understands Your Anxiety as a Support.

5. Don’t Google Your Symptoms.

Those five things definitely help me! Not to mention realizing I can only control so much. Diet, exercise, fresh air, supplements, and rest are also key tools to keep me in as control of my health as possible.

So, today when I learned I might need to have something cut open on me— nothing major— I felt anxious. But not like I normally would. Sure, my stomach is grumbly. Sure, I’m worrying about it a bit more than I’d like, but it’s not overtaking me. I am doing what I can to avoid having to do that, and in the meantime, I have as much of a plan as I can. I called a supportive person and that helped also.

The moral of this anxious story? When it comes to anxiety, it’s important to understand what may have triggered your anxiety or reasons for having it. For me, a rough pregnancy and becoming a single parent definitely contributed to my anxious feelings over medical situations. Knowing this and realizing that I tend to worry over these things has allowed me to help take control over my fears and refocus in a more positive way.

Breathe in and Breathe Out,

Laura

What If Nothing Is Really Worth It?

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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

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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

3 Ways Your Depression Could Turn Dangerous

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Depression during the pandemic is common, but a simple depression could turn dangerous during the pandemic for a few reasons:

Someone Hurts You or Treats You Badly

If a boyfriend or girlfriend or friend or an ex treats you badly during this pandemic when you’re already down, it could be a real serious issue. No one needs to feel like crap, be dumped or treated badly/ taken advantage of when they’re dealing with a pandemic and depression! Only a heartless jerk would do that.

 

Losing Family Support or Having Little Access to Support

If you’re already sad and depressed, having little support or losing the support you do have can be detrimental during a pandemic. It could make the depression go deeper and be more intense.

 

Being Alone and Feeling Isolated

If you’re alone too much or isolated often, it can exacerbate an already festering and intense depression. Being alone could be a real disaster if you’re struggling.

Be Careful,

Laura

 

To Medicate or Not to Medicate? A Very Good Question

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Recently came upon a situation where I have to decide if it is best to take medicine for a concern I have OR, try to skip it and utilize other methods– more natural, alternative ones.

I am always– or usually always– of the belief that a natural method works better for me, seeing that I am a petite person who doesn’t respond well to medications that most adults do. Of course, if it’s serious I don’t skip on science in any way and I am of the belief that medications can do miracles too, but overall, I have found that for me it often comes with so many side effects that it’s not worth it.

In a time when our health is so pivotal and also so precarious with this virus, what we take, what we eat and how we care for ourselves is so crucial that it comes with a deeper meaning.

Our health is everything and always has been, but it is more than ever during this pandemic. Every choice we make seems to impact our health, physical or mental or both.

Stay Strong,

Laura

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

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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

4 Signs Someone Isn’t Learning Life Lessons During Covid-19 Outbreak

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If you’re not growing and learning during this public health emergency, what exactly are you doing?
Some people seem to be missing the point of this challenging time. If you’re not getting the point — what is really important and what needs to be prioritized— you’re not learning.

Here are 4 signs you’re completely missing the point and learning nothing during this pandemic:

Lacking Commitment, Patience and Love for People Who Matter

If you can’t put down your issues and be present and available for the ones you love, you’re missing a big life lesson. If you can’t be patient with others ( and yourself) you’re also missing the point.
If you don’t prioritize someone now during this awful event— you have zero priorities.

Grumbling About When You’re Healthy

If you’re healthy, be grateful. Many people aren’t. It’s ok to be  upset about missing milestones and friends. It’s ok to be upset if you’re out of work. 

But if you’re missing the gratitude in being healthy, you’re missing the point.

Not Checking In on Loved Ones / Being an Absent Partner

Now is the time to check in however you can on loved ones from afar or in your home. Now is the time to be present. You’ll never have this kind of time at home again. Don’t make excuses. If you’re emotionally unavailable or checked out— you’ve got problems and you’re taking everyone for granted.

Being Hard on Yourself or Expecting Too Much of Others/ Oneself

Now is not the time to pressure yourself to be perfect or do fifty million things during a stressful pandemic. The same goes for others. Pressuring people or being hard on loved ones is not fair at this time. Be loving. Be patient. Be giving.

Be Safe!

Laura

When You Finally Hit the End of the Road

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Everyone has a threshold of pain, crap, stress, fatigue and nonsense that he or she can take.

I hit mine.

At some point, the pavement ends for all of us. We’ve had our fill and we can’t tolerate or stomach anymore.

You can only be strong for so much, for so long. No one is made of steel. No one is so strong that he or she can’t be weak and succumb to whatever it is that is causing you pain.

Especially when people are pushing you down when you are at your weakest.

I have always had a big heart and tried/try to do the right thing, but apparently news flash, other people don’t.

How many times can one be taken for granted or hurt?

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